The Choices We Make

Few weeks ago, I received an anonymous quote as a forward –

“Everything you do is based on the choices you make. It’s not your parents, your past relationships, your job, the economy, the weather, an argument, or your age that is to blame. You and only you are responsible for every decision and choice you make, period.”

As I dwelled on this, I realised this is 100% true.

There are many powerful thoughts conveyed in these three sentences – choice, responsibility, blame, decision etc. But the core of this is really in the choice we make. It is the choice that results into everything else.

Did you know that an average adult makes around 35000 decisions in a day and young kid makes about 3000 decisions? Per day!! WOW! This is the number from multiple sources on internet. But even if half of it is true; or maybe fraction of it is true, we’re still making substantial decisions every day. And these result from the choices we make.

As we draw close to this year I want you to think about the decisions you made this year the serious ones.. and how many of them are really your conscious choice? Think about it

And how about this week

Did you make a conscious choice to skip that gym?

Or did you decide skip it subconsciously because you were comfortably tucked inside your bed.

When you make a conscious choice, you’re evaluating the pros and cons of that choice. You’ll be able to understand the decision making process without getting into a decision fatigue.

Let me share an example. Years ago my husband and I took a collective decision to create space in our schedule for mandatory vacation. For past 11 years we have been taking out chunks of our time which is 3-4 weeks a year to travel to exciting destinations from our dream list.

Friends comment and joke about how consistent we are with it and sometimes even puzzled as how we can travel to so many places, even make road trips that are on their to-do list.

The main reason this has happened is because we’ve prioritised travel and budget for those costs. As a result of that choice, we carry an old version phone, keep our home fairly simple with basics but nothing too flashy, we shop selectively and rarely eat at fine-dining spots or consume alcohol.

We made a choice of simple living for the sake of creating travel and adventure in our lives.

Personally too I’ve realised I value experiences and memories over material items and try to live my life accordingly.

So here is a simple algorithm you can use when you want to make a conscious choice.

  1. Connect your choices with your intentions and goals – This will help you prepare and prioritise things you do
  2. Evaluate on how your choice will impact you and those around you – This will help you avoid mistakes and course correct if needed
  3. Once you made your choice- Take responsibility for that choice irrespective of the consequence
  4. Be willing to accept and let go, if it turn out to be a bad choice.

When you use the words ‘I don’t have a choice so I took a bad decision….’ you’re negating the responsibility. Instead if you say ‘I reflected on the available choices and took this decision’ you’re taking responsibility and now control the path of your next choice

Our days are filled with a constant stream of decisions. Some are mundane, but some are very important that if you’re not conscious about them, they can haunt you for the rest of your life

So I encourage you today to reflect and be aware of the choices you’re making so you can lead an intentional life in 2019.

I wish you all the very best and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

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