Over the weekend, I did a little road trip back to Ohio to visit some friends and family and enjoy a mind-blowing living room show by this fellow. As it usually goes, the time spent on the road was half spent performing a concert of my own spliced with a bit of heavy thinking. While it was primarily on the return trip, a lot of my thinking centered around choices and—based on how my mood and appearance were received (positively) by others this weekend—the importance of making the right decisions for yourself.

In a bit of a lull over the past few months, I came to internalize that everything before you is there because of your own doing. Very rarely is something done to you as much as it is by you (random jabs by the universe excluded). Nearly everything you have in life—both good and bad—was preceded by a choice. A choice to do or not to do. A choice to stay or to leave. A choice to think for yourself or a choice to have your thoughts decided for you. A choice to let circumstance derail you or enable you.

This weekend taught (or rather, confirmed for) me quite plainly: no matter what others might think of you in the process, when you make the choice that’s right for you, it eventually all works out in your favor. It’s in staying true to what you feel is best—even if it makes you temporarily unpopular—that you discover opinions are ephemeral. That the externalities which can and often do sway our behavior matter very little. That in just a few short months of correct decisions, you can change how the world perceives you entirely.

Take stock of your choices. Know when you’re making a bad decision vs. a good decision and how to get out of it if you can. Always remain aware of the paths you take, being careful not to let what others think control you. If you’re ever unhappy, retrace your steps; when you examine your choices, it’s very easy to see your wrong turns. Admitting you screwed up to yourself takes a ton of humility and honesty, but it’s the only true way to correct course. The only way to go from being somewhere you don’t want to be, to somewhere you enjoy being. To go from being someone you don’t like, to someone you do.