Life Choices

Our lives ahead are each a series of ups and downs, or junctions along the roads of life, attempting to travel along a better road than we are on.
So we can evaluate our own choices: potential and possible futures. We know that our futures are not wholly open to choice, because of the many social, economic and cultural constraints against us, but we can still make some choices.
There are two ways we might look at this. One is by a life to road method, and the other is to borrow from a religious insight and convert it to a more practical here and now approach.
For the road junctions approach life can be seen as a series of junctions and choices.
Draw a road with a series of junctions at life decisions. Use an inverted U, starting at the bottom left and ending at the bottom right. The junctions outwards are better, higher, roads. There are many dead ends. Use symbols, pictures and colours at each junction and along the way. Some notes might be useful in explanation. What might lead to a better road? What might lead to a poorer road and even dead ends? A stimulation to such a diagram is given below.

Then there is the ups and downs approach. The Hindus know about making progress when they look at the issue in cosmic terms. They believe that we are condemned to be reborn over and over again, and therefore each individual should attempt instead to improve his or her moral standing to achieve salvation and end rebirth. This achievement is called Moksha, and they even have a game for it called Moksha Chitram or Moksha Patuma. The Victorians brought it to Britain as Snakes and Ladders in 1892 with virtues and vices renamed according to Victorian values. Squares of penitence, thrift and industry sent a player up ladders to grace, fulfilment and success and snakes took players from indolence, indulgence and disobedience down to poverty, illness and disgrace. Moksha Patuma had more snakes going down than ladders going up but the Victorians used the same number. Moksha or salvation was achieved when reaching square 100, and the dice thrown represented chances in life.
In a more immediate this life perspective we have life choices. One might want a better job, or more education for its own sake; there are relationships to consider; there are wishes for children and the elderly. Money is a big consideration on its own. Perhaps moral and even religious choices are important. So consider what might lead to a ladder going up and what Try it with 100 squares or less - perhaps 81 (why would 81 be considered next?).
Let's consider a few possibilities: education, training, gambling. Education can happen at various times: school, college, adult education. Training improves skills and flexibility. How big are those ladders? A big ladder if you win the lottery, certainly, but a long snake if addicted to gambling or wasting money. What about the addictions to drugs (like tobacco, or excess alcohol)? Some life choices may involve some debate whether a ladder is involved or a snake, and in what circumstances.
Discuss ways that life can be improved and get worse. Then individually list four or five ways that life can be improved at certain stages in life and four or five ways that life might get worse. How tall should the ladders be, how long should the snakes be? Then on your own grids place them. All that is then needed is the dice of life.