First a quote; “Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make… makes you.” – John Maxwell
As parents, one of our philosophies in raising our two children was to teach them about choices early in their life. The first lesson; no matter the situation, we almost always have choices. The second lesson; the choices we make have consequences. The third lesson; while we may be free to make a wide range of choices, we don’t get to choose the consequences associated with most of those choices. When making a choice, we also choose the consequences associated with that choice. And last, not making a choice… is also a choice and has its own consequences.
Today, our now young and independent adult children like to tease us about the mantra they heard frequently when leaving our home as teenagers: “Make good choices”.
Certainly, life is full of big and important choices; Should I attend college and if so, where and what should I study? Should I get married? Should we have children? Should I take this job or that job? Should we buy or sell a house? Should we move here, or there? When should I retire? The list of possible important questions is endless and will be with us throughout our entire life. The choices we make can, and often do, change the direction and trajectory of our future.
It has been my observation however, that the important choices we make aren’t the “big ones” described above. Those choices typically get the time and attention they deserve. It is the routine choices we make “in the moment” and, often subconsciously, that are more likely to determine our level of achievement, success and happiness. Choices about our daily habits, our attitudes, our thinking patterns and how we spend our time are hugely important. And yet, very few of us make conscious choices about those things. For instance:
• To have more friends, we must first choose to be a friend and, to be friendlier with others.
• To be more loved, we must first choose to be more lovable and, to be more loving of others.
• To be more respected, we must first choose to act more respectably and, to be more respectful of others.
• To earn more money, we must first choose to produce more results, and be of greater value to others.
• To have what others don’t, we must first choose to do what others won’t.
• To be the person we aspire to be, we must first choose to let go of who we have been in the past.
• When bad stuff happens to us, we have a choice to make… will we choose to be better, or bitter as a result of what happens to us? It is always a choice.
The choices we don’t make consciously, or intentionally, are as important as the choices we spend hours contemplating. We are where we are today because of choices we’ve made in the past. Our future depends upon the choices we make today, tomorrow and next week. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it this way, “The only person you are destined to become, is the person you decide to be.”
As we taught our children… make good choices! Even the small ones matter.
Why not choose to be your best self this week? It is a choice!
Have a great week!!
“Expanding Your Capacity for Success”