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Updated on November 18, 2014


Have you ever felt like hitting your head against the wall thinking “If I would have just done this and not that” about a wrong decision you made? We all have been, at some point, in this same exact situation for some reason. We are all human beings, and therefore we make mistakes more than we wished.

As a general rule, some of our decisions will be right, while others will be not. The kind of bad decisions, which are usually made without thinking too much, in the spare of a moment, are the ones which could not be reversed, and will stick with us for the rest of our lives.

Some of them? A bad marriage, the way we raised our kids, a bad job selection, the way we treated someone, there is a never ending list of mistakes we made due to a bad decision, which will affect our entire life forever. It just comes back to this: As long as we are human, we will make mistakes in our life, it just comes with the package!.

The truth is that if there was a special formula to avoid big mistakes, not only we would live happier, but also the world would become a better place to live.

I remember when I got married for the first time, I was a stubborn young woman “in love” and despite my dad's begins, I married this horrible man that eventually ended up in prison. The signs were right there in front of my eyes, I just did not want to see them. Love, sometimes can be as lethal as rat poison.

Through the years, bad decisions have been like a karma for me. Maybe because of my stubbornness and the way I see life: like a challenge. The more difficult and impossible a task seems to be, the more I want to do it. I guess is because I have always thought that you can do anything if you try hard enough. I have news for you, it does not work that way sometimes, especially when is about people.

Although it is true that a person can change for good, there is also another factor involved: a change requires willing to change, and sometimes this might never happen. My two marriages failed because they were destined to fail from the first beginning. The first one was due to mental problems (schizophrenia, narcissism, bipolar) the second one because of alcoholism.

Yes, I might be cataloged as an idiot by some people, but in the bottom of my heart I firmly believed that I could change these men, and I almost felt in the hole with them, trying to save them. Nothing I did mattered, nor the love I felt for them. At the very end I lost the battle, but today I have two wonderful children, and honestly..that is all that matters to me.

However, if someone would have asked me if I would make the same mistakes all over again, I would probably say no. I am over 50 now, my son is fixing to join the military within a year, and I am alone. I never thought this would happen to me, ending up my life by myself while other women are just planning their lives with their husbands, going on cruises, traveling around the country in an RV, or simply holding hands in a rainy day. Sad? Yes it is, but that is just life.


It doesn't matter who you are, and where you come from, bad decisions are part of life, and that is the only way we learn: by making mistakes. However, what happens when the consequences of a bad decision extends to so many people, it just changes the story of world? Well, lets see: Napoleon for example, returned after his decision to invade Russia, with a minimum part of his army, his ambition was bigger than his common sense. And what about the Trojans when they opened the gates, to let the wooden horse in the city, without thinking that could be a trap? It was full of Greeks! And in our century bad decisions have cost some famous figures their power and reputation, like our ex president Clinton, and even their lives, like Michael Jackson. Bad decisions are usually made quick and without analyzing how it could affect others, and our own future. Some of our leaders, celebrities and even religious figures, maybe should learn how to stop and think twice, before making an important decision. The world would probably be a better place to live and in the other hand, other like Bernard Shaw had their own theory, as he quoted once: "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing".


I never got through college, my life got complicated too early, and education cost became outrageous through the years. However, I did learn my lessons in life, and if I had to teach someone something about life today, it would probably be to slow down before making a decision, to learn to think with your brain, not with your heart. Difficult? Not really. Like everything else, it just takes a lot of practice. Here it goes:

-Despite how perfect your present life seems to be, try to project yourself in the future: taking in consideration the present circumstances and analyzing the elements you have now, to determine how they could affect your future. For example: I spoiled my daughter to death when she was little, probably because I always felt guilty for not giving her a better father. As a result, our relationship was never strong. She was very unsecured, ungrateful, and in the bottom of her heart, she will always blame me for getting divorced, and not having her dad around when she was growing up.

I know one thing: No one marries another person, thinking that the marriage will fail, or that your kids will be the ones paying the price someday; but what about if before marrying that person we loved so much, we would have pushed the love aside, analyzing important factors such as their personality, family, and the way they lived their life?

A man or a woman who only cares about themselves, is more likely that will not be a very good parent, since parenthood involves a lot of sacrifice, dedication, and especially not being selfish. On top of that, if their families have a history of too many divorces, careless relationships, and even abuse, that should definitively raise a red flag for you. I m not saying that the person you will be marrying pretty soon, could be the exception to the rule, but do you really want to invest your whole life trying to change all these lifetime engraved factors on him/her? Life gives you the choice, you are the one who is to say Yes or No. It will be only you who will have to face the consequences of your poor decision for the rest of your life. In my case, my first husband had red lights all over him, ever since I met him, I just closed my eyes to them, and I of course, I paid my price.

-Always do your homework before you make an important decision, do not just jump in the pool right away! If it is about a job, take your time, and make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of taking that job, and also about the effects it will have into your career. There are some things you might want to take in consideration. For example: do your research about the company's reliability, better business bureau references, talk to current and former employees if you can, find out about benefits, promotions, opportunities to progress there, and of course salary increasing. Remember, you are the one choosing them, not them choosing you. It's your future on the line, they can always get rid of you, you are not special for them, you will always have the “disposable” sign under your neck, no matter what, we all do.

-When is about your kids, feeling guilty will always work against you. Raise them the best you can, but always remember that they are not yours. Provide for them, make sure they have an education, and prepare them for life . The final product usually is a 50/50 between their own personality, and the way you raise them. The true is that no one teaches you how to be a parent, therefore there is no such a thing as a perfect dad or mom. Sometimes, you just have to play by ear, have tons of common sense, and go by what your parents thought you once. But above all, whatever you do, always show them how much you really love them.

-Make the 10 second golden rule a habit in your life. Before you say something which will affect your life, no matter how pressured you are, take your time to make that decision. Let's say that you think you are ready to buy a car or a house, or whatever! Take a 24 hour brake and analyze your next purchase. Never let a salesperson rush you to make a decision, because this will only interfere with your good judgment. Or If a decision you are about to make involves an answer about your feelings STOP!, Think for at least 10 seconds and respond. Don't ever let anyone push you around, that never works! At the very end you will later hear a lot of: “But you said this and that”, and believe me, this is how manipulation starts in a relationship.

-Learn how to say “I am sorry” if you have to back up on your decision. Anybody can make a mistake but it takes a lot of guts to recognize it. You might lose friends or opportunities like this, but at the very end you need to do what is best for you, because no body else will! I remember how with my second husband, who was an alcoholic, I did everything I could to battle his vice. I was abused, betrayed, and I I thought I would be trapped in that situation until I die. I also clearly remember how I snapped out that situation one day. It was one afternoon when I went to a support meeting for the families of alcoholics.

While I was listening to the speaker giving advise on how to learn to live your life with an alcoholic, something snapped inside of me. I mentally reviewed like a fast-forwarding movie all those years being mistreated by him, humiliated in public, hiding my feelings trying to avoid a confrontation while he was drank because he was violent, lying to my kids when they founded me crying in the bathroom, and I saw myself old, alone and being abused.

I stood up and said: “ You know? I would do what all you are saying to keep up with an alcoholic if it was my kid the one with the problem, but not because of a man who I wasn't born with. I think I have heard enough. Thank you for opening my eyes!” A month later I filed for divorce, and I have never been so happy in my whole life, I just regret not doing it before, long time ago. In other words, I admitted I had made a mistake, and when I finally had the courage to recognize my bad decision, I moved on.


Through the years, I have come to realize how all those bad decisions affected my future, which is now my present. Despite my mistakes, I cannot complain. Maybe my life is not perfect now, but who's is it? We all have our own booboos and "battle" scars. Today, I'm an older woman, so different of that young girl that defied her dad to get married, but I did pay my price for that too. I will probably get older alone when my son leaves, and the sole idea kind of scares me to death, but the lesson I learned through my past years, will come handy now: Everything in your life happens for a reason, and the only one responsible for your bad decisions is, so live with it!


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