“Life is about choices. Some we regret, some we’re proud of…We are what we choose to be.” – Graham Brown
Whether we think about it or not, we make countless choices every day. Some we do automatically, part of a daily routine, whether that’s good or bad. Some we have to think about before we do them, weighing and balancing – if we’re trying to learn something from previous behavior – and then taking action. Some we do on impulse, not giving it any thought whatsoever. The latter may tend to get us into trouble, for who hasn’t reaped the consequences of giving into cravings or temptations—to eat that decadent piece of triple-layer chocolate cake, reaching for yet another cocktail, splurging and breaking the budget to buy that must-have item?
The point is that all of life entails making choices. There’s no getting around it – at least, not as long as we’re breathing. When we cease breathing, we won’t have to deal with making choices. But that’s not really what we want to think about right now, is it? We want some way, some great technique that will help us make better choices – and feel good about it afterwards.
What might that be?
Perhaps it would be wise to contemplate the potential outcome of whatever choice we’re considering – before we plunge ahead and do it. While this takes a measure of planning and conscious decision to delay implementation of action, it is well worth it in the long run. For one thing, we won’t be as likely to get a speeding ticket for trying to make it to work on time after sleeping in too long. We may be less likely to blurt out that nasty remark in response to something someone says to us that presses our buttons. We may determine that having that cigarette or beer or saying yes to an offered joint isn’t exactly in our best interests – and steer well clear of that behavior.
Yes, life is all about choices. And the choices we make say a lot about who we are. The other side of this is that we choose who we want to be. It isn’t up to our neighbor, our spouse, friend, co-worker, child or acquaintance. It’s up to us. We make the choices and we undertake the action – or inaction, for that is also a choice we make.
Try envisioning a future where we see the fruits of our many choices. Suppose we have a longtime desire to own our own home, but lack the finances and good credit to make this dream a reality. Put together a plan for improving credit score and saving money so that one day this dream can be realized. We make these choices. They won’t fall down from the sky.
What about choosing to change our behavior? We make those choices as well. And they’re not impossible to do, despite our misgivings and worry that we don’t have what it takes to follow through. We do and we can. It all depends on what’s in our head. Who do we choose to be? Figure that out and then get to work making those important choices.