Why Is Making Choices Difficult?

From August 26, 2014 to December 18, 2014, I toured the Americas, Asia and Europe, holding 115 question and answer sessions in 111 locations. During a question and answer session at Princeton University, a student asked how to make good choices in life.

"There are many paths that I can take. Which path is the right one and how can I find that path?"
There is no good or bad when making a choice. A choice is simply a choice. Then, why are there good choices and bad choices? It is because of the results that follow. Making a choice is difficult because we do not want to be responsible for the choices we make. For example, when you are hesitating between borrowing money or not, it does not matter which you choose. If you borrow money, you have to pay it back. If you do not want to pay it back, then you should not borrow money.

The choice itself is neither good nor bad; we just need to be responsible for our choices. Our minds are conflicted between wanting to borrow money and not wanting to pay it back. Such conflicting desires make choices difficult. Make any decision you want but be ready to embrace the inevitable consequences of your choice. When I chose to take this new path of engaged Buddhism over traditional Korean Buddhism, I foresaw that I would experience adversity. When faced with criticism and denunciation, I should not say, "Why is such hardship happening to me?" When I made my choice, I foresaw that hardship would follow. You can make any choice you want, but you should foresee the consequences and be prepared to accept them.