No matter where you came down on the issues or candidates, voting is an opportunity to be heard. It also gives you a chance to examine how you really feel about issues and people – something that translates to the larger scope of your life. Sure, you get up early and head to the polls before work, sacrifice a lunch break or fight traffic to secure a place in that tiny booth before the polls close. But it really is worth it.
Those who vote, change the direction of a city, county, country or even the world. If you deliberate over school funding, cigarette taxes and new energy initiatives, do you stop to ask how much of that freedom of choice is used in your own life? Try these Election Day principles that you can apply to your life – and see the results!
Know the issues
Some may have you believe it’s enough to show up and vote, but uninformed choices amount to no more than so many random punch holes. When you’re making a difficult decision, it’s best to arm yourself with as much information as possible. That may seem an obvious suggestion, but so often when we’re faced with a potentially overwhelming decision, it’s easiest to close our eyes to the infinite options and make the easiest choice. Just because a job is offered to you doesn’t mean it’s the best course of action. Have you researched similar positions? Bid for counter-offers? Have you really asked yourself if there isn’t a more attractive, if less available path out there for you? If you’re in a disagreement, are you positive you’re arguing for what you really want? On everything from choosing real estate to choosing partners, there are countless resources available to helping you make an informed decision, and often it’s a piece of new, yet overlooked information that helps swing a vote in the right direction.
Vote early and often
So you’ve had the same job for the last seven years, been in the same industry, maintained the same roles with friends, family and co-workers. What does that actually have to do with what happens today? It’s easy for us to become stuck in patterns we’re not actually obligated to follow. Every so often, weigh in on what you really want. Just because you felt one way when you settled on a direction doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it. Circumstances change – you change! You have the power and the right to adapt or completely overhaul your direction each day. That doesn’t mean every day demands radical changes, but ask yourself what you want each day just to check in with yourself.
Think outside the ballot
Your dreams don’t have to fit on the same page as every one else’s. Think you’re too young or old? It’s too late or too risky? Don’t let imaginary limitations limit your choices. Imagine someone doing what you want in spite of all of those obstacles and think how inspired you would be, then cast yourself in the role you created! There are plenty of real life challenges that need to be overcome to reach any goal worth reaching so don’t create others to place in your way. You don’t have to choose between the options offered. If you don’t like either of the candidates, write one in!
Vote your conscience
Listen to advice. Other perspectives are valuable and can help you reach conclusions you may not have reached on your own. You respect your friends and colleagues for a reason, and they may have something to say that helps you see your life in a new light. But don’t let all those insightful opinions distract you from making your choices for yourself. At the end of the day, your vote is the only one that matters.
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