“Make good choices.”
ScopeCreep tells that to his kids all the time. He mutters it when his friends tell stories of ‘bad’ choices. He’s been known to recite it when other fathers speak of their kids going astray. I am certain he repeats it again, and again, and again to himself through out the day across a wide spectrum of circumstance.
“Make good choices.”
Admittedly it’s a good mantra to have. Our choices frame our lives. They (largely) dictate how we live, what we do, and what we become. ScopeCreep wants his kids to make good choices because he wants them to live well, do good, and become all they are meant to be.
How about you?
We all make choices all day, every day. Sometimes we try to defer hard choices we have to make. Sometimes we run away from choices we don’t want to face. Sometimes we think that we can escape making a choice by careful, willful avoiding. This is rarely possible. Most times, not making a choice is a choice after all.
The little ones matter
Many times people will focus on the BIG CHOICES. What school should attend for college? Should you even go to college? Is he Mr Right? Should you marry her? Where should you live, what should you do, and how should you earn a living?
Those big choices are important, really. I’m not here to say that they don’t. What I do want to say, what I think many people miss, is that those BIG choices are all predicated – every single one – on the 1000 small choices you make every day.
The 1000 Small Choices You Made Today
Today you made 1000 small choices. You might not of noticed them. I’ll list a few of mine. Bold is what I chose.:
- Get up on time or sleep in. Get up
- Morning abs or website design. Website design
- Healthy breakfast or drive through. Compromise, sort-of healthy breakfast.
- Work hard or goof off reading the internet. Worked, uh, mostly hard.
- Work out at lunch or lunch with friends. Work out with one friend.
- Schedule all of my Germany hotels or just the easy ones. Easy ones.
- Relax at home after a day in the cubes or work on this website and my side business. No rest!
- Grill chicken breasts or bake a frozen pizza and blow the diet like I did yesterday? Chicken, but had a beer!
- Write this blog or surf the web. Well, you’re reading it.
I kind of like these choices on this day. They really paint me in a decent light. Of course, some might say I had a pretty selfish day as there is a decided lack of camaraderie, family obligation, or charity in it. I assure you there are many other days that paint me in a far worse light. However, these choices (mostly) are the ones I need to make if I want to get into shape, make my mortgage payments, and build a better future.
“Make good choices.”
My particular daily choices aside, it is these little choices that govern who you are, what you become, and ultimately what is in your soul. Revisiting the BIG choices mentioned above, who you marry is largely dependent on the 1000s of little choices you made everyday leading up to meeting them and the ‘where and if’ you go to school is largely dependent on the millions of choices you made prior to applying.
I forget the philosopher and most of the quote I’d like to use here but it went something along the lines of ‘Ultimately, every choice you make is the choice you prefer to make. The meaning being that whatever reason you say makes you chose some course of action over another is false and the choice you made belies your true values.
Ex. Saying that the reason for your MD is because your Dad wanted to become a doctor instead of pianist is false. You really chose to be a doctor because you preferred living up to your father’s expectations than following your heart.
I feel like I should say something on the point of luck. You may indeed get lucky. You may not ever have to make thousands of difficult, soul-crushing choices that so many people must make on this planet every day. I will admit, much of like is luck. But I believe more of life is how you choose to handle it.
For my proof I offer this; Imagine the most capable person you know. It doesn’t matter how well you know them or if you just know of them. Now imagine a desperate, hopeless situation borne entirely out of luck. Now combine the two. What do you see? Would that person be there in that spot or would he/she escape? Would that incredibly capable person have been able to avoid that situation via past choices?
You see, luck plays an integral part in our lives. But so do good choices. And you have 1000 opportunities everyday to become the person you want to be, to lead the life you always wanted to live. But it begins with the 1000 choices you must make everyday.
Make good choices! Make 1000 good choices everyday!