Imagine, if you will, there are five oranges on a table in front of you. They are all identical on the outside, yet each one on the inside has a completely different taste, texture, and even nutritional value. You ultimately will not know which one is better for you and which one you will like more until after you choose one and bite into one. By the way, one of them is poisonous. Could you ever make such a choice, or is it a trivial process for you and would easily chose randomly?
I find that my personality and critical thinking are often waging war with each other. This particularly applies when I must make a decision that will, or could, vastly alter my life and the course it takes through the world. It is my mentality that I must choose the correct path when possible, otherwise I may dwell for some time on how to either fix what I did wrong, or better decide in the future the next path that I have to take. Sometimes there is no correct path, but I have yet to completely understand this.
For example, a few years ago I decided to leave a solid and stable career that my entire family was extremely proud of me for having. I lost the ability to purchase a home of my own and to save a considerable amount of money in the process for my retirement. Yet I left it for the game industry and a more "fluid" career, which so far has brought me to exotic places as China, where I'm currently writing this blog post. Yes, there were several benefits like being here in China, but there were also drawbacks. Sometimes I wish I could have stayed with my family and friends forever, but that would have required the job I once had that I will never be able to get again. Was it the right choice? I still do not know.
Right now I am debating a similar situation. I could stay in China for several more years, save a lot of money in the process, and somewhat further my game industry career. Or I could leave after another year for home in America and work with the game industry on a level I can't quite currently achieve here, and as a bonus I'd be close enough to my family to see them on a regular basis. Being with my family, friends and those I've known for most of my life is important to me, as it is for almost anyone. Finding the right balance between a career and family is often difficult. I have it easier than most as I do not have a wife and children, or any other major obligations at this time.
One thing I have learned on my adventures here in China, regardless of whatever path I ultimately take in the future, is that I am fortunate enough to have a choice. Be grateful when that opportunity presents itself to you, as you have the power at that time to decide your fate, instead of allowing fate to decide for you as it would like to do. Do not worry about whether it was the right decision or not, or whether or not you came out ahead monetarily or increased your personal security for the future. Think about whether that decision makes you happy with the immediate results it gives you, and if so, that is what matters... the here and now. It is good to think about the future of course, but relax a bit and plan only when necessary and in reasonable doses.
I am still understanding my own words of wisdom, so I hope you will have better luck with them than I.