Small and Simple Decisions that Make a Big Difference

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

It is a Saturday evening around 5:30 and I’m facing a decision. It’s not a life-changing decision but rather a little decision about how I’ll handle the evening. Relatively minor, in the big scheme of things, but one which has consequences.

I feel pretty lousy. Although normally healthy, I’ve been assaulted by cold and flu-like symptoms these past few days. It seems to be getting the worst of me, tonight, since I just returned from an all-day meeting. An all-day meeting on a Saturday. One that I didn’t really want to attend, so I’m not in the best mood.

And then Judy (my wife) has been home doing my books (end of month and year accounting). That’s never fun. She hasn’t exactly been doing what she’s wanted all day either. And, on top of that, there are usually a few things she has to talk to me about when she finishes the books, things I haven’t handled just right. She is a stickler for detail, thank goodness. But, I can feel some criticism and complaints coming my way. I’m not looking forward to it.

So I think about what I want. I want to come from a good place tonight. I don’t want to talk (complain) about how I feel. In fact, I want goodwill to override the minor aches and pains I’m feeling right now. I’d like to spend some good time with Judy. Let her give me feedback about the books. Not defend. Know that she’s right. Ask more about her day. Listen to her. Enjoy her company. Spend time in the kitchen getting dinner. (She probably won’t let me touch the food.) Let go of my preoccupations with my sickness and “to-do” list for next week.

Yup. That seems about right. Seemly small decisions but decisions nonetheless that lead me down the path I want; a path that fits with my purpose and vision for myself. A path of knowing that I can over-ride some natural tendencies. I can choose what this evening will be like for me.

There are big decisions that determine our fate. But there are also small, day-to-day decisions. It is these small decisions that validate and reinforce the big decisions. Life is difficult, in big and small ways. But what matters more is my ability to choose, to decide. That’s the lesson I want to learn. I think I’ll practice it tonight.

About Roger K. Allen
Roger K. Allen, Ph.D. is an expert in personal transformation and family development. His tools and methods have helped tens of thousands of people live happier and more effective lives. To learn more, visit>.

12 responses to “Small and Simple Decisions that Make a Big Difference”

  1. Justin Riggs says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I hope you feel better soon, my friend. I’m praying for you.

  2. Joe says:

    You are a big inspiration to many of us, doctor. I sincerely hope you feel better soon. Take care. Joe

  3. Sue says:

    I loved following your thoughts in this article.
    Thanks for sharing them.
    Great pattern for controlling what we can… ourselves. Not being controlled by circumstances.

    Thanks, Roger.

  4. SP says:

    true indeed Dr Allen

    Thank you as always

  5. Ed Engel says:

    You inspire everyone around you. I oftentimes hear you speaking in my head – lessons taught, lessons learned, and some lessons still working on! You are a blessing to me – always have been. Keep going – the world needs you now more than ever.

  6. Marissa says:

    Dr. Allen, I hope you are feeling better real soon and stay healthy. Thank you for sharing this with us. God bless you, Judy and family. Marissa

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