In our previous Wisdom Note, we proved that you always have a choice. This week we will continue on the subject of choice. If you miss any of our Wisdom Notes, please go to the blog to read past newsletters.
The choices that you make not only impact your own life, but also the lives of many others. If you desire to make an impact and live your legacy each day, it will be based on the choices that you make.
Let’s continue our previous narrative. Within our former Wisdom Notes, I went through the 9 choices that I make every morning before I arrive at my desk, ready to work each day. But what if I change choice #2 from getting up at 4:45am to start my morning routine, and instead, I choose to sleep in until 7:30 am? I would have to grab a quick shower, eat a donut or cereal for breakfast, and then still be at my desk at or around 8 am. But, how would that choice, made on a regular basis, impact my life?
- Physically, I would be less fit because I would not be getting a regular routine of exercise.
- Spiritually, I would be less fit because I would be missing my daily Bible readings and devotional materials.
- Mentally, I would be less fit because I would not be preparing my mind with new and wholesome information each day.
- Professionally I would not be able to produce my podcast.
- Nutritionally, I would be less fit, and I would probably gain weight and become less healthy because I am not eating a wholesome breakfast.
- Emotionally, I would be less fit because my body, mind, and soul, which are all integrated, are not receiving their proper nutrients that are needed daily.
This one simple choice to get up at 4:45am each day and follow through with my morning routine sets the entire day on a proper trail for me. It also allows all other choices, large or small, that I need to make for the day to be done with the proper mindset because I have taken care of myself physically, spiritually, mentally, professionally, nutritionally, and emotionally.
Through this simple exercise, you can see that there really are no small choices because the accumulation of small choices adds up to very big consequences, both good and bad.
Taking Ownership of Your Actions
Sometimes, you may not recognize that you do have a choice because the circumstances are daunting. They overpower you to a point at which life looks like it is just a series of constraints, and you don’t see yourself having any power or choice over what you are faced with. It is to be understood that the choices you have available to make today may be constricted because of the choices that you have made in the past. Even with this realization, you also need to understand that tomorrow’s choices will be based on the choices that you are making today. It may require that those very difficult choices and sacrifices be made today so that you will have the freedom to make better choices in the future.
You can either react in a helpless manner, which is still your choice, or you can gather your resolve to take action to obtain the outcome you desire. The first scenario will lead you to become a bitter, disjointed, unhappy person who gets a limited experience of life. The second scenario will lead you to live life proactively, making things happen and creating results you want to see. As with all aspects of life, the choice is yours.
Sometimes I hear people complain about how they dislike what they are doing. It seems like a badge of honor with them. I am convinced that some people just enjoy complaining or playing the martyr. Yet when they are asked what choices they are making today so they can have a better tomorrow, they come up with a whole list of reasons to justify why they haven’t been doing anything about their situation. In their mind, they think, “I don’t have a choice.”
To obtain success in any or all areas of life requires that we make wise choices in all areas of life so that our life is in balance. The seven areas of life where we need to make wise choices are Spiritual, Family, Physical/Health, Mind/Intellect, Personal/Social, Financial, and Work/Career.
If you keep thinking you have no choice over your situation, that’s exactly how it’s going to remain. You will always remain powerless over your life circumstances. You will be powerless because you refuse to accept and take responsibility for what you are doing. Your life will not change unless you take ownership of what’s going on in your life through the choices that you make.
When you recognize that your life is your life and everything you do is inherently a choice you make, that’s when a shift will occur in how you behave in your life. Rather than blame the external environment for what you are facing, you take action and become proactive in getting what you want. Rather than feeling victimized by your situation, you will gain power over it, one by one. Things will start shaping themselves into what you want them to be because you are actively working on them.
As we reach our plateau for our two-week focus on choices, here are some questions for you to ponder:
- Is there anything you are doing today that you would like to change but you feel “there is no choice”?
- In these cases, what are the other options you could have taken in the past but didn’t for some reason?
- Do you see that whatever you are doing is actually a choice you made in the face of a previous circumstance?
- Moving forward, what is your proposed plan out of this difficulty?
- What are some immediate steps you can take to start moving toward more desirable choices?
No matter how things may seem, you always have a choice. Only through accepting responsibility for that can you finally progress toward what you want.
Most mornings I would like to sleep in! But the subsequent consequences because of that choice outweigh my desire to sleep more. The choice is real.
Here are a couple of examples of good choices that all of us can make taken from the book of Proverbs.
Proverbs 8:10, “Choose my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge rather than pure gold.”
Proverbs 22:1, “Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.”
Choices, choices, choices – we make them every day. Some are small choices, some are large choices. All choices are important, so choose wisely. As we have finished our focus on choices, we will next explore a topic closely related to the choices we make, which is why integrity matters. Encourage your friends and family to join us on our 5 day a week podcast: Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.