"Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest."
Whether or not we have true free will or our fate is somewhat determined, each of us has the freedom to make choices that affect and shape our lives in so many ways. Think about all of the choices you have made in life that led you to where you are today. You probably have choices that you take great pride in and choices you are not so proud of, and all of the other choices in between. If life is going well, you are probably making many more of those satisfying choices and experiencing the effects of those not so great choices a lot less often. Our choices correlate with the learning curve of life.
Over the years I have learned the hard way how to make better choices. My choices have gotten me into some sticky situations in both my personal and professional life. Many of the poor choices I have made provided me with repercussions I was forced to learn from. Some choices forced me to be a better coworker or friend. Some forced me to be a better human in general. The most important lesson I have learned from my blunders is how to make the right choice. I do not make the right choice all of the time, but I do it a lot more often. As we progress through life we get wiser, if we are open to doing so.
This is why I like comparing life to a round of golf. We do most of our learning and growing on the front nine (first nine of 18 holes) so we can apply what we have learned and have a much better back nine. However, if we fail to apply what we have learned over the years, we are doomed to keep making the same mistakes. If we do not correct our swing, we may keep slicing our tee shot into the woods. If we do not line up our putt correctly, we may miss that easy tap in for par. It's all about learning and growing on each hole, which last about four to five years in the average golf match of life.
There may be a lot of disadvantages to getting older, but the one advantage we do get is experience. We have more holes completed in the golf match of life than the generation born after us. With that experience we get to make better informed choices that serve us better in the long run. We have been there and done that. We know better. We simply have to apply what we already know. Most importantly, we must keep learning and growing if we want to keep playing well. That includes making the right choices and doing the right thing. It makes the back nine so much more enjoyable.
Very Well Health: 5 Ways to Make the Most Informed Health Decisions