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 the importance and power of 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.
- The fourth lesson: not making a choice… is also a choice and has its own consequences.
Today, our now independent and adult children like to tease us about the mantra they heard frequently when leaving our home as teenagers: “Make good choices!”
“Every choice you make has an end result.”
– Zig Ziglar
Certainly, life is full of big and important choices
- Should I attend college? If so, where? What should I study?
- Should I get married? Should we have children?
- Should I take this job or that job? Should I begin a new career?
- Should we buy or sell a house? Should we move here, or there?
- When should I retire? (Ok, maybe not many people are asking this question. 😊)
The list of possible important questions is endless. The choices we make can, and often do, change the direction and trajectory of our future.
It has been my observation, however, that the most important choices we make aren’t always the “big ones” described above. Those choices typically get the time and attention they deserve. It is often the routine choices we make “in the moment,” 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 intentional 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 be bitter as a result of what happens to us? It is always a choice.
- Choices about how we spend our allotment of 168 hours each week… mindless television or doing something productive, intentional, to help other people, or to help make the world a better place.
I’m suggesting the choices we don’t make consciously, or intentionally, are just 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”
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- “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” – Nelson Mandela
- “Right now you are one choice away from a new beginning—one that leads you toward becoming the fullest human being you can be.” – Oprah Winfrey
- “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” – Neil Peart
- “No matter what the situation, remind yourself, I have a choice.” – Deepak Chopra
- “It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” – Tony Robbins
- “Every morning you have two choices: Continue to sleep with your dreams or wake up and chase your dreams. The choice is yours.” – Anonymous
- “There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist or accept the responsibility for changing them.” – Denis Waitley
- “Choices are the hinges of destiny.” – Edwin Markham
- “It is our choices…. that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – K. Rowling
- “Everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedom: to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor Frankl