So I typed in Google Blog Search the words, “crossroads of life,” and I realized that there are hundreds of bloggers writing on this rich and meaningful topic. I was especially keen on reading some thoughts that resonated very close to my own heart, and that we all reach these decision making crossroads at different points, and more accurately at multiple points, in our lives. I am so fascinated with this idea that we make life decisions, and that we can map backwards, like a logic truth tree, the long string of decisions that we’ve made over the course of our lives. In one sense, it’s like a massive Pachinkogame with divisions and re-directions every step of the way down.

One quote that drew my attention came from Emerson, who said the following:  “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

The blogger who quoted this was surely expressing this longing for something more than simply happiness, even though the pursuit of happiness seems like such a common pursuit. We pursue money, love, fame, popularity, power, thinking that this will complete us.

Decision are often complicated by choices, although sometimes they may complement each other. We make big choices sometimes with a sense of regret or dread, thinking that we’ve missed out on something, or that we’ve been fooled into making the choice. Yet, for some reason, I think that life’s journey tends to prove that the choices aren’t an end in themselves. That is to say, we perhaps focus too much on the choice itself, rather than what’ further down the path. The landscape further down from the crossroads can often be expansive, and although we feel entranced by the big division of paths, perhaps we can look out to what surrounds our decisions.

Sometimes we’re paralyzed with fear, and making the decision turns out to be cyclically indecisive. We’re fearful of deciding so we don’t make a decision at all. In a sense, we stall our  lives by not giving it any gas (or failure to just release the clutch). You see, when we release the clutch, i.e., we release our fearful grip over our lives, we tend to gain momentum and pace. Without that gradual release, we just sit there waiting for things to move along.

I’m not suggesting that we go about life mindlessly. Far from it. What I am suggesting, however, is that I’ve often been unwilling to even mentally make that decision because I try to map out what trajectory the decision will take. Like a chess player who weighs and maps out the permutations of a move, I can often be caught up in that game of permutations. Life amounts to surely more than permutations. Much  joy can be found walking along the paths; the junctures are just the beginning point, not an endpoint.