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Good Decision Making/Lifestyle Choices

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

How many of you remember when the Chesapeake Bay Bridge was shut down after an accident on the bridge? There was a young girl who apparently crossed the center line of two-way traffic, causing a large truck to veer in avoidance, thus going over the bridge into the water, killing the driver. In a statement, she said she fell asleep at the wheel of the car when coming home from her mother's wedding in Baltimore. At that point, the State's Attorney's office had not decided whether to press charges -- however, the focus then shifted when her MySpace page indicated her drinking habits, including a picture of herself holding a bottle of rum to her mouth as she sat behind the wheel of her car. What may have been seemingly harmless now took a different focus for her future.

Understanding that the world now offers information in a very public way means that bad decisions can be compounded by future actions that become connected in unexpected ways. Alcohol has now become a reason to consider charges against her that may not have come about under circumstances surrounding the accident. Was drinking a way to fit in or for her to feel good about herself? Was it worth what this has brought to her life? Should she have made different decisions? Even if she doesn't want a security clearance, think of how her decisions will negatively impact her life forever.

The Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

Have your parents ever said to you that hanging with the wrong crowd can get you into trouble and you simply shrugged it off by saying, "they're just my parents what do they know and besides, that could never happen to me." Well, on a Washington Post discussion board about Careers, one college student from the Washington, DC area talks about her inability to find a good paying job as a result of her felony conviction for drugs that were hidden in her car by her boyfriend unbeknownst to her. She fears that she will never be able to make enough money to support herself because most employers, including places like Walmart, require a background check. She goes on to say that if a background check is needed for a job she doesn't bother applying. In the end, the moderator sums it up well by saying... "Your story is one that many young people should take heed to and understand how being at the wrong place, at the wrong time and with the wrong people can have some very negative consequences on you and your life."

I bet she wishes she had listened to her parents when they said "he looks like trouble." This is a perfect example about how lifestyle choices made today can affect the rest of your life. Although this appears to have been an isolated event, it is clearly affecting her ability to gain the kind of employment she desires. Having a felony conviction could potentially disqualify you from getting a job that requires a security clearance, which usually results in higher earning potential, but could also make it difficult to obtain any type of job. You must ask yourself these questions; do I surround myself with positive people who do the right thing or do I surround myself with people who don't make wise choices, are not looking out for my best interest and could potentially bring me down?

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