Life is all about choices. Every second we make a choice. Either we are choosing to do something or not do something. Our choices literally shape our life—such is the power of choice. Come to think of it, our lives are nothing but an aggregate of all the choices we have made so far, isn’t it? You must have heard dialogues like “I didn’t have a choice”, “I had no option” in movies, where then the protagonist slowly turns around, deepens the eye contact, takes a pause, and slowly says in his baritone voice “You always have a choice”.
And I kinda concur. It is true. We do have a choice in every situation of our lives, right from the small ones like which shoes to wear or which car to drive, all the way to the big ones like who to marry and what to choose as your career. At times one may feel like he’s trapped to do something the way they have been told to but too often it’s just our minds making up rules to soothe or fit in the society. Well, guess what, being trapped and believing in the orthodox and outdated notions is again a choice.
You don’t wanna spend your life in a cage, even if it’s a golden cage. A cage is a cage, and every living creature demands freedom. The power of choice can surely give you that and a lot more. In every stepping stone of your life, you have two choices. Do something or not do something—do something good or do something bad—to choose the right path or to choose the wrong path.
Small Choices, Big Consequences
At the end of the day, you gotta understand that your desires, your goals, your dreams aren’t gonna decide how your life is going to turn out. It depends on the everyday choices you make. Choices you think don’t matter when they actually do. Choices as small as waking up early to go for a jog can or to eat healthily or to say ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’ when needed, can have a major impact on your life.
We are always trapped under the notion that “one fine day of my life, I will get this huge opportunity that will come out of nowhere, which will change the course of my life once and for all.” But that’s where we miss the entire point. You see, you don’t just get an opportunity as big as something worthy to change your life out of thin air. It’s the power of choice, the small choices that you make every day, every second which ultimately builds up the door to let you hear the knock of the “opportunity”.
You see, opportunities don’t just fall out of the sky into your lap just like that, you create them, you hunt them, you discover them—and it all happens based on the kind of choice you take. Stop trying to do something big all the time, rather focus on the thousands of small choices that you make on an everyday basis because ultimately it is going to be the deciding factor of your life.
The choice of reading another page of the book, performing another set in the gym, giving another hour to study, making another attempt after failing, discovering another article of my blog. Once you take care of the small, “the big” will automatically take care of itself. The day you start taking these small choices diligently, you will start seeing a change in your life and you will rise in your own eyes. And the person who rises in his own eyes will automatically rise in the eyes of the world.
I also get to make choices every day whether to write something or not, whether to market my site or not, whether to make some changes or not. And whenever I make the right choice, though I may try to resist it in the short term, the feeling that ‘yes I did something great today’ before I sleep, makes it worthwhile. That’s how you elevate your own worth, that’s how you rise in your own eyes, not by taking thousands of decisions in a day but by choosing to fulfill just one commitment in a day.
Making the right choices sometimes involves going through pain, discomfort, and requires effort while making the wrong choice, mostly is fun, easy, and instantly rewarding. This is why the majority of people are attracted to distractions and only a handful makes the right choice of doing what’s right for them. Such is the power of choice.
Just think about it, if you are not making the right choice of choosing to fulfill your own commitments, then how on earth will you be able to choose to fulfill the promises you made to others. Your word would mean nothing but horseshit and that’s generally not a good sign. Look around the world, whoever is successful in whichever field they are, always choose to keep their word because they understand how important is to keep their word.
If you have made a commitment that you will read every day, then no matter how boring the task may seem, you ought to make the right choice. Once you start choosing to fulfill the small commitments, slowly and gradually your own capacity and potential will increase with time which will make you ready for the big commitments and the big opportunities. Ultimately, one just can’t underestimate the power of choice he makes.
The Power of Choice in Relationships
Now how can we apply the power of choice to improve our relationships with our family, with our partners, with our friends, or with our colleagues?
What happens is that sometimes, a pinch of negativity sours the whole relationship between the two people. All it takes is one goddamn negative thought which keeps on swirling inside our minds severing all the previous ties we had. This one negative thought creates a whirlpool inside our minds, which ultimately attracts all the negativity one went through in his past which has no connection with the current relationship whatsoever, making the whole scene worse.
You might have noticed that sometimes while fighting with your partner there comes a point where you are fighting about things that aren’t even related to the actual problem, which itself is a pretty big problem to address. This is where the power of choice jumps in. You see, consciously or subconsciously you have a choice to let the negative thought stay afloat in your mind or let it go.
You have the choice to either stay silent and listen to what your partner has to say or to lash onto him without actually understanding what he has to say. Now I know what you are thinking, “but dude, you don’t understand, I don’t have a choice at the heat of the moment.” But remember what I told you at the starting of this article? You always have a choice. Accepting that “Yes, I always do have a choice” is also a choice itself. And making the right choices will sooner than later change your life for good.
If you don’t know how to listen or stay silent, then you also have the choice to walk out of the room. You don’t mean half of the things you say in the heat of the moment anyway which often leave a lasting impact on the other person. Make it so that you don’t get to say anything in the first place and when things cool down, sort it out peacefully.
99% of the problems aren’t actually real problems, and they automatically rectify themselves with time. You finally come to your senses that you were an ass fighting about things that don’t really matter. You see, it’s ultimately up to you, what choice you make. Always remember, at the end of the day it’s you and the people around you who have to bear with the ramifications of the choices you make.
After things cool down, sit with the person and talk to him about some other topic that has no connection whatsoever to why you fought earlier, and then see the magic. You will start noticing the positive qualities of the other person just by peacefully and calmly listening to him. Too often it’s our own sight that’s bad which in turn makes us believe that the whole world is bad. Once we see the other person’s point of view, his upbringing, his situations, his circumstances—then we will automatically lay down our weapons.
Choose to Take Responsibility
One thing should be crystal clear to you. Whatever you do with your life, whether you make it or break it, the world isn’t gonna give a damn. You have a choice whether to take responsibility for your life or to just let it hang out to dry because let me tell you something, no one can actually take the responsibility of your life but you yourself.
You have a choice to whether put the blame on your family, your friends, society for your failure or to take responsibility for your actions, accept and learn from your outcomes and move on. Again, it’s you only who has the choice to either look within yourself to discover your true strengths or to blindly follow the masses and wander here and there meaninglessly.
Everything you need to do something in your life—your passion, your strengths, your goal, your purpose, your interests, your skills—everything is inside you. It’s your goddamn choice to either keep yourself distracted in worldly affairs or to enhance your inner true potential by focusing and paying attention at the right place.
The Choice of WAKING UP
99% of people in this world are asleep—completely estranged with what they want to be, why they want to be what they want to be, why they are doing what they are doing right now, why they are following the masses. If you wanna be in that 1% category, you have to wake the hell up. And whether you want to wake up or keep on sleeping, the choice is completely yours. This power of choice is truly your biggest superpower.
One small choice can bring a big change in your life. Such is the power of choice. If you are wondering how one can wake up, then the answer is simple. We need a power bigger than the mind to put it in check. As of now, our mind is behaving like a monkey, constantly jumping from one thought to another all the time. How can one possibly find out what he wants to do in such a ruckus environment?
One needs to take a pause. Take a deep breath. Look.
Say to yourself “ Let’s see what thoughts are revolving in my mind.” The minute you will say this, your thoughts will miraculously vanish just like that. Go on, try it. You will be in a state of infinite possibilities when you don’t have any thoughts swirling around in your mind. Trust me on this. Do this exercise for just 5min a day, and feel the difference after a month or so.
When you start looking at things as it is, in its real form, then something magical starts happening. Most of us right now are in a swamp of thoughts, the more they try to get out of it, the more entangled they find themselves, which is why they are not able to figure out what’s going on in their lives. But if you start seeing things with a calm and peaceful and controlled mind, simply by following the exercise I just told you, the way you see things will change which will make all the difference.
Most of us are busy changing their outer environment—their friends, their colleagues, their parents, their partner, the society. The thing to understand here is that, you have one life, and the best probability to change someone in such a limited time is no one else but you yourself. Once you actually change yourself completely, everything else will follow.
Your situations will change, your circumstances will change, even the people around you would feel different since you have changed the way you used to look at them. But what do we do instead? Busy changing everyone but yourself. SO, again, choose wisely. It’s ultimately your choice. The fact that you can choose is your biggest power.
The Third Person
I am sure you must have experienced it. When a friend or a relative of yours calls you if they are in a jam or something, and you give your life-changing advice to get them out of the problem. But when the exact same thing happens to you, you get stuck and you don’t have a clue what to do. Why does this happen?
Because now you have included yourself in the equation. Earlier on, you weren’t a part of the equation and hence didn’t have to live with the consequences but now you do. And this is why you get so attached to the problem itself that you actually can’t see the problem only. You gotta see the problems as the third person if you wanna figure it out.
The choice is yours yet again. Create an imaginary friend in your mind, and pin all your own problems to his head. Now, think about what your friend should do to come out of it. Your mind is insanely strong, so don’t think that this is stupid or out of your control. You have a choice to be your own best friend by helping yourself out in the best way possible. This is how you will be able to give an unbiased solution to your own problems.
The moment you attach ‘I, me, myself’ in the equation, then that’s when you get off track because now all the fears, greed, desires pop up into the equation and destabilize the entire process. Don’t worry, it’s actually way simpler than it sounds.
The way we see the world, the world also appears the same way. And the best part is that it’s our choice to see the world in any way we want. We all have the same set of eyes, but each and every one of us has a different vision of the way we see the world. This is perhaps why someone enjoys a break-up while someone goes into depression.
Someone sees hardships as an opportunity, while someone curses their fate or destiny for making their lives so darn hard. That’s the power of choice and no one can take it away from you till your dying breath. Until and unless you change the way you see this world, nothing’s gonna change in your life. But the second your sight changes, every damn thing will change.
Your boss would become more supportive, your partner would become more understanding, your parents will become more open-minded, your friends will become more helpful. The fact is that you didn’t change any one of those, they are behaving the same way as they were. You just chose to change yourself, and voila everyone around you will change.
You don’t have any control whatsoever over what’s gonna happen to you the very next second. A car may run you over, you may get fired from your job, your partner may dump you, your venture may go bankrupt. But what you do have control over is how you are gonna choose to react to each and every situation.
You always have a choice—you can either go and rant about all the adversities that happened to you or you can accept what happened, look at the silver lining and move the hell on. Your choices are literally limitless, and it totally depends on you how you wanna use this superpower. The one who knows how to use this superpower will be no less than a real-life hero.
It is our choices that make our life miserable or blissful. It is our very own choices only that make our luck/destiny/fate favorable or unfavorable. And once we actually understand this for a fact, not just for show, then you yourself will start heading in the right direction by making the right choices—the choices that will lead you to where you wanna go.
The power of choice is by far the biggest power we have. But the sad part is that too often we snub or are completely unaware of its limitless potential. Nevertheless, it’s never too late to make the right choices, starting this very second. Choose happiness over sadness, smart work over shortcuts, love over hate, opportunity over failures, compassion over cruelty, laughter over tears, help over betrayal, open-mindedness over closed-mindedness, contentment over greed infinite over finite.