Life is Like a Long Cafeteria Line

lunch table

Life is like a giant cafeteria line. There are so many choices, options, good things to eat that you run out of space on your tray before you get to the end of the line. The dessert is always first, which means that by the time you make it to your favorite main course you no longer have room for that yummy dish. And we have all been stuck behind the person who takes forever to make choices, can’t decide, or wants to put something back that they chose two minutes ago. The sad part is choosing something that looks great then when you bite into it is not at all what you wanted or expected.

I am that annoying person in line. I walk down the serving area to see what is available before I enter the line, which messes up the entire process. I like to know my options before I get to it, so I can save space on my tray to satisfy my cravings. And yes, I do choose a dessert first and have been known to avoid a main dish to make room for the sweet stuff. This also helps me stay within my budget (if I have one) when it comes time to pay.

Life like a food line requires that you know what you want. Making decisions is easier when you know what you want and what you don’t want. Too many times we think we know what we want and then when it is right in our face we become uncertain and indecisive. I was coaching a woman who had a major professional decision to make, and she wanted me to tell her what to do (which I don’t do). I simply asked her what she wanted. There was silence and a bit of hammering and hawing, so I asked her again. I then encouraged her to think, ponder, contemplate, and pray about what she wanted. She could evaluate all the sides of the decision but couldn’t make the decision. How can you decide which way to go if you don’t know what you want? It’s great to have options and the best way to evaluate those options is to know what you want.

All of this really boils down to decision making. How much information do you need before you can decide? And how do you handle things when you did not make the right decision? How do you handle the unknown, and how do you treat others while you are deciding? Making the decision means you know what you want OR what you don’t want. Too many times we make life changing decisions based on what act we think we want, or what other people expect, or what we think is the logical next step never asking ourselves what we REALLY want.

Next time you find yourself facing life choices that are so complex or overwhelming that you don’t know what you choose, ask yourself what you really want. Sometimes the answer is to leave the line and go to another restaurant, and having the guts to get exactly what YOU want instead of choosing less simply because that is what is offered.

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