Every day, we make thousands of choices. What to eat, drink, wear, just to name a few. Something we don't really consider, however, is the impact these choices could have on our day. One small decision could completely alter the course of our day, good or bad. Just ask these people.
People on Reddit share the small decision that completely changed their life. Content has been edited for clarity.
"One day, my foreman just flat out didn’t show up to work. I was vaguely familiar with what had to go on at the site, and who needed to do it, so I just started calling people, and talking to those on-site saying I was filling in for him for today...
Fast-forward a few months, and people are saying they greatly prefer me to organize jobs, and management starts giving me jobs of my own. I start getting great reviews from clients and my jobs are making money. Eventually, my old foreman gets fired (not because of me directly, but because of some questionable antics and poor performance).
Now I’m enjoying a wonderful paying and more fulfilling job. What started as a job to make a bit of money while I figured out what I want to do has turned into something with serious career potential."
"My girlfriend and I at the time were traveling from New Zealand to my family back home in Sweden. We both decided to spend a bit more money to fly back through Paris instead of Amsterdam, just because we wanted to see the tower. It cost us maybe an extra $50, and we got to see it on the landing and then take off, but never actually set foot in Paris proper because we were poor students.
When we landed in Auckland, New Zealand, jetlagged to heck, we turn on our phones and notice that we have about 50 missed calls from our travel agent, which was odd. When we call her, she sounds super relieved and out of breath. She tells us the flight she originally suggested to us, the one from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over Ukraine. My brain couldn't process that information at the time, but once I woke up the next day it hit me like a ton of bricks. A mere $50 made the difference between seeing the big steel thingy that has so many photos of it, and being sent to Sweden in body bags piece by piece.
Sometimes the absurdity of my existence comes over me, and this story always gives me goosebumps. One heck of a story to tell over drinks, though.
"Flying into Tulsa from San Diego in 1998- coming home on a 3-week Libo (leave from the service), after a 16-month deployment.
A few days before, there had been a bad ice storm and the roads were still slick.
My wife insisted on picking me up from the airport after I suggested taking a cab home. I didn't want her driving on those slick roads. There was an eight-mile stretch of country two-lane roads from our house to town, and it could get pretty treacherous, due to minimal maintenance. She refused to drive an old Cherokee Chief that I had at the house. Instead, she chose to drive her 2WD Ranger pickup.
She lost control of the truck and went down a 40' embankment, losing her life in the process. We had a one-year-old daughter and a three-year-old son at home, that grew up without a mother, and I've spent the last 22 years kicking myself for not simply annoying her off to the point that she wouldn't drive, and I could just make up with her when I got home.
I should have argued harder with her or had one of her brothers come and pick me up.
I met my new daughter for the first time, with her mother gone. I was basically meeting both my children for the first time, as I had deployed when my son was my daughter's age. Neither knew me, and both were absolutely terrified and confused.
I was still obligated to the Corps for another year, but they did right by me. I stayed home on hardship, drew base pay until my EAS/discharge, dealing with being a single parent, PTSD, and transitioning to civilian life.
The happy ending is that both children had a great childhood, grew up smart, well-adjusted, and successful. My daughter is finishing her master's degree, and my son is a successful electrician raising a young son on his own.
There's always a struggle in my mind that I'll always deal with. My wife wasn't going to ever move from Oklahoma, and I planned on being a career Marine, so we would have ended up divorced, no doubt, and I wouldn't have the bond with my children that I do now. I lost the love of my life, but I gained a great relationship with my kids. My children lost their mother, but they didn't have to grow up with an absent father.
Life is funny."
"I was best friends with a guy, let's call him 'Sam.' So we were legit best friends and I had feelings for him. I made my feelings abundantly clear and they were not reciprocated. Which I was totally fine with, I was OK with just being friends. So we stayed just friends for about three years when another guy, who I had known since high school, asks me out and I accept. At the time, I was in college majoring in musical theater. So I tell Sam, since obviously I'm happy, and he gets mad at me for going out with this new guy.
So we had a falling out. We don't talk. I'm still great friends with his three sisters. So one weekend, I go to his sister's house and spend the weekend with her and the family (she was living with her parents, as was Sam at the time). Come time to leave, I pack up my car. I leave my keys on their kitchen counter. A couple of hours later, my keys are gone. The only person who has left the house/gone by that area was Sam. This was before I got on my medications, so my emotions are running wild at this point because I cannot find my keys. I looked everywhere, even dug through the trash. Nothing. Sam and I fight because I am convinced he had something to do with taking my keys (car key, car fob, house key, business keys, etc. ~$200 in keys to be replaced). We haven't meaningfully talked since.
Skip ahead a few years, I changed my major to paralegal where I graduated top five in my class. I married the guy who asked me out from high school. We have the cutest puppy ever. I tried talking to Sam and actually apologized, but a rekindled friendship is out of the question.
There are zero doubts in my mind that if I hadn't gone out with the guy from high school, Sam and I would have gotten together and I would have been an unemployed (most likely, or in an unrelated field), musical theater major."
"When I was about 10 years old, my parents and I were in our backyard clearing out a ton of weeds that had gotten out of hand. I had trouble focusing because our next-door neighbor had this really adorable puppy and all I wanted to do was play with him.
We found out that they were actually going to take him to an animal shelter because their son was not taking care of him as he promised. I decided to ask my parents if maybe we could get him instead. I was an only child and never really have anyone to play with unless a friend would come over. The thought of having a puppy to play with whenever I wanted to was great.
My parents agreed and our neighbors offered to sell him to us for $20, which is really cheap for a dog when you think about it, but a lot of money for a kid. I had that saved up and immediately agreed and promised I care for him and love him forever. So, he became my puppy and like a brother. After a few days of debating, I named him Snoopy.
Snoopy became my closest friend. He made me laugh, played with me, and would just hang out and watch TV with me. He was always there for me, especially through some tough times in my life where I was extremely self-destructive. He saved me from myself. He was there at my side through tough breakups were all I ever wanted to do was lay in bed. He was an amazing friend. He was there to see me graduate 8th grade, high school, and college. I hoped he would be there on the day I got married and maybe be around for when I had kids, but unfortunately, as much as we wish for things, sometimes they don't happen."
"I guess, ultimately, the beginning of my biggest life change was when I decided to be the bigger person. I picked up my nieces from the hospital when my sister's boyfriend called, even though my sister herself hadn't spoken to me in over a year and didn't attend my wedding.
Her boyfriend refused to say why she was in the hospital, so I went. It turned out that she was in labor, although no one (allegedly including herself) knew she was pregnant. I brought my nieces home, and two weeks later my sister came and picked up the youngest of the two-- the daughter of hers whose father she was dating. However, left me with a five-year-old indefinitely.
My husband and I had only gotten married a month before my niece came to live with us, and two months before that I'd had my tubes tied because my husband and I were certain we didn't want children.
After a lot of drama, I wound up getting a lawyer and got custody of my niece. She's lived with my husband and me for four years now and is a completely different person from the little girl I picked up at the hospital. She's really come out of her shell and very clearly feels safe and secure with her new family. As for my husband and myself, I'm now looking at having my procedure reversed. I hadn't wanted children because I'd spent my entire life caring for my siblings.But now that I have a kid and have to do homework and parent-teacher meetings and play dates, I'm realizing it's a lot more rewarding, raising a child as an adult, rather than raising other children while still being a child myself.
My life changed irreversibly when I picked up the phone four years ago. There's not a single thing I would change about it, though. I love that kid."
"Three years ago in a small country town. It was one of those nights where everything just clicked into place. I was planning on staying in for the night when I received a text from a workmate, telling me that 'The planets have aligned and everyone I knew was at the pub.'
I thought he was pulling my leg, but thought what the heck nothing else to do around here.
Forty minutes later I rock up and low and behold every one of my mates is out having a great time. It was rare for all of us to be together being a big group. Seeing most of us are running low on drinks, some of us head to order another round. We order our drinks and head back to the others when I realize I've got the wrong drink. I head back alone to grab the correct drink.
Out of nowhere, I feel a tap on my shoulder. Thinking it's one of my mates, I swing around with the goofiest look on my face. But it is not. It is some random chick (my future girlfriend) trying out a cheesy pickup line on me. Now I'm not the most socially adept person and can't understand if she's just joking with me or not. This has never happened to me.
So, I panic, laugh nervously and shoot out a 'What?', still with my goofy face.
Fast-forward to now and if I never had gone back to change that drink, I wouldn't have met Ash and traveled all around the country doing things I never thought id do.
My life changed completely just because I goofed up ordering my own drink."
"In 2003, I was coming to the end of university and wondering what to do with my life next. One particular evening, I was feeling a deep kind of existential depression, so I went online to distract myself. - maybe I could go travelling? Maybe I could find a job to apply for? Who knew? I just needed something as an anchor, something to work towards.
I landed upon the page for the Athens 2004 Olympics and decided to give myself a post-graduation goal to work towards. I planned on buying tickets to a couple of events, then I saw a Volunteer section so I clicked on that and filled in the details.
The months went by and nothing much happened. I met a guy, he was horrible, we broke up, I got deathly depressed, worked in a call center job I despised. Eventually, I couldn't handle it and moved home, cutting ties with the city, the horrible ex, and everything else.
By the time the Olympics rolled around, I planned on concentrating on me so I headed off for some weeks of volunteering. Well, day one of volunteering I met the man who would go on to become my husband. I moved to Greece, learned a new language, got married. Ten years in, I'm still happily married with two awesome kids. This was all because I felt terrible one evening and decided to surf the Internet. I could have ended up on any number of websites so I don't know why I took a look at the Olympics committee, but such is life."
"I went to the same primary and secondary school with my now best friend, but I only got to know her in secondary school after commenting on her drawing of something from the TV show Charmed in class that looked like elephant ears.
From then on, we very quickly became close friends. I came from a broken family, and my mom was never much around because she was busy keeping the roof over our heads. I would walk to her house every Friday since school starts two hours later to accommodate Islamic prayer times (I take a school bus to school, and since Chinese schools start at the usual hours, I had to follow the same schedule), and her parents were very accepting of me from the get-go.
Every Friday became over the weekend, over the weekend became months over school holidays. Her parents soon would become the only parental figures I have in my life growing up, and somehow guided me and I believe massively contributed to who I am today, without imposing on me.
I remember each moment crisply in my mind, from the one time dad kissed me on the cheek and said 'You are my daughter,' getting my own computer (extra from dad's office he fixed up for me) after sharing just the one with my BFF, or the time I got my own set of house keys, the time where they just decided I am going with them for church camp and paid for me, seeing my face in their family photos on the wall, the random kisses on my cheeks, the random hugs, cooking my favorite dishes, sending me home with food, bringing me to vacations and still paying for those to this day (they won't let me pay) and most importantly always made me feel like I mattered. They always made me feel proud of myself, always made me feel like I was going to amount to something. Like I was wanted by choice. For once, it didn't feel like someone was 'stuck' with me. They genuinely want to care for me.
Simple things such as getting my driver's license, going to college, no one would have told me to do those things if my BFF didn't also do those things with her parent's guidance. I just followed suit. My life has been very rich thanks to her and her family, and I would never have known the kind of love that she and her family showed me if I hadn't commented on those funny ears.
My BFF also taught me how to play the guitar better, and helped developed my immense love for singing and writing songs. She is my number one fan and seems to genuinely love my songs.
To think that I've been crossing paths with her all those years in primary school as strangers, not knowing how important she was going to be in my life or how big of a role she and her family would play in my life, is sort of surreal. I wonder how much better my childhood would be if I met her earlier."
"My application to transfer to a university was accepted, but I was too broke to go so I spent an extra semester at my community college instead to knock some science credits out of the way.
During my bonus semester at the community college, I met this good-looking guy in my chemistry class. He was quiet and didn't seem all that into me, so I figured I wouldn't bother. I finished up my semester and transferred to the university.
About six months later, I'm on campus for just one day during the summer to take care of some paperwork for my financial aid. I was early, so on a whim, I decided to take a scenic walk and grab some coffee. On my way to get the coffee, I ran into the guy from the chemistry class. He remembered me immediately and it turns out he was really easy to talk to and we had a lot in common.
I didn't get his number, because I'm an idiot.
Another six months go by. One of my classes let out a little early, and as I walked out of the building I saw him, standing on the other side of the street.
We exchanged numbers.
Been together five years now, all because of being too broke, getting coffee on a whim, and being let out early from that one class."
"I was supposed to go on vacation with my family for my 21st birthday. Was super excited about it, and then we found out the vacation was during a week where I had a few important tests for college. My professors were extremely understanding and were willing to let me take the tests before I left so I could go. For some reason, I just decided to stay back and take the tests during the planned week, not really sure why but I just had a feeling I should stay home. My family still went because they usually take a vacation every year anyway so they weren’t upset with me or anything.
While they were gone, I had decided to have a few friends over one night to keep me company. One of my friends asked if he could bring his friend, who I also used to be friends with in high school, because he was home for his school’s spring break. There wasn’t a reason that we had stopped being friends just typical drifting apart when you graduate and go off to college.
I said, 'Sure why not,' and figured it’d be fun since we hadn’t talked in a few years.
We ended up really reconnecting that night. That was seven years ago and we are getting married next year."
"I used to hang out with the two kids on the air force base we lived on. We’d vandalize stuff and look at dirty mags out in the middle of nowhere around the base. Eventually, we snuck out and went to the high school and did some more vandalism. We got arrested and our parents picked us up. It’s weird to think about, but we weren’t even in sixth grade yet.
After that night my mom talked to me and asked if I ever had an alarm in my head that told me not to do something. She couldn’t wrap her head around why I was acting out, and not considering to repercussions of my actions. I remember telling her I didn’t have an alarm I just did what I did without thinking. I acted impulsively.
Anyway, one nice a week or so after the two boys show up at my window saying they’re going to sneak to the lemon lot because a forklift still had keys in it. I thought of what my mom said and told them I was going to stay home. Turns out the two kids used the forklift to crash it into a couple of cars and an RV. They really caused some damage. They were expelled from our school and ended up having to leave the base.
Last I checked, one of them was in prison for robbery and no info on the other. My mom tells me all the time how glad she is that I was still home when she found out about it in the morning."
"I went to college straight out of high school, I'm a gamer and thought game programming would be neat. Turns out it was not for me. A crummy two-hour commute including a train, bus, and walk into Seattle three days a week, only to sit at a desk and be confused about coding for a solid eight hours. Then to walk two miles to catch a bus back home, since the train was already out of service by the time class let out.
All of that just to spend the rest of my week and weekend working a sucky job as a dishwasher. Granted I was fresh out of high school, thinking I knew everything and having a false sense of how people get things: Working hard. I simply wanted things handed to me and didn't want to work for it because I was 'above it.' I dropped out within two weeks of starting and thought my parents were going to be just fine with me dropping out, working part-time, and playing World of Warcraft, I was wrong. I was told to get a full-time job in one month or I'm out on my butt.
Needless to say, I shaped up. I went to work for Amazon and have spent the last almost three years with the company working in IT in Seattle at a corporate location, less than a mile or so from the college I went to three years ago. I also am happy to say I will be graduating from an online college program at the end of the month with my Associates. I only wish I could play games as much as I was once able to. But hey, you have to grow up sometime right?"