How can we make the best of life? – Psychology Today

Click here to read the ORIGINAL ARTICLE: “What Are Life’s Biggest Decisions?”

By Adrian R. Camilleri Ph.D.  January 31, 2021.  Reviewed by Gary Drevitch, as published in Psychology Today.


As stated in the article, “New research reveals life’s most common big decisions.”


We call them “big” decisions. When outcomes can have a significant or long-term impact on us, or others.


It is wise to get prepared. But, what will those big decisions be? 


Most of us try to solve common and frequent problems:

  • What should I learn? What should my education be like?
  • What type of work should I do?
  • Where should I live?
  • How may I build my own family?



What are the most frequent life decisions

In the article, Mr. Camilleri identifies “nine different super-categories and fifty-eight different sub-categories.”

The super-categories were: Career, Education, Family, Finances, Relationships, Relocation, Self-Destruction, Self-Development, and Other. Look at the figure in the article (click here) to see the full list of sub-categories


The author further describes “the 20 most common big life decisions among all respondents”. I will show here some of those decisions. To see the full list, as well as “the percentage of respondents mentioning that decision at least once”, click here:

  1. Start a new job/position
  2. Get married
  3. Pursue a degree
  4. Have/adopt a child
  5. Buy a home
  6. Quit a job/position
  7. Move to a new state
  8. Choose where to study
  9. Get divorced
  10. Other family decisions
  11. Other education-related decisions
  12. Buy something
  13. Get a pet
  14. Begin a romantic relationship
  15. End romantic relationship
  16. Move to a new city
  17. Make a decision for your child
  18. Start a new business


The most important life decisions

Another question we should be interested in refers to the relative importance of these decisions. In the survey, the author of the article also asked respondents to rate how big the decision felt at the time, and the most important decisions apparently are:

  1. If he/she should get divorced
  2. Whether to have/adopt a child
  3. If he/she should get married
  4. Moving to a new geographic location
  5. Making a decision for their child
  6. Buying a new home
  7. Whether to end a romantic relationship
  8. Other family decisions


See the original article for more details.