Have you ever stopped to think how you got where you are today?
I'm not talking about your mode of transportation. I mean, how did you wind up with your particular life? How did you end up with your career, the person you married, the home you where you reside, and the experiences you've had?
It wasn't a random set of circumstances that placed you where you are right now. Perhaps some of your life evolved as a result of the hand you were dealt, but most everything that's happened to you or that you're doing in your life right now, is a result of your own personal choices.
If you love your current life, that's good news. If you don't, accepting the responsibility for how your life turned out can sting. It's hard to swallow the truth that our own choices have led to failure, regret, shame, or simply a failure to launch in the direction we really want for ourselves.
However, even if you have been dealt a bad hand in life or have made poor choices in the past, that doesn't mean your future has to be limited. The great thing about choice is that you always have another one around the corner -- and a chance to change the direction of your life. Almost every moment, you are presented with a question:
- Should I sit here and watch the game or go for a run?
- Should I order those fries or go without them this time?
- Should I spend the next hour talking with my wife, or finish this project on the computer?
- Should I call that list of prospects one more time or call it a day?
Every choice we make has a consequence, even the smallest choices. You might choose to skip flossing your teeth on a particularly rushed morning, but if you choose to skip it every day, you'll end up with gum disease or tooth loss. You might pass up calling your prospect list one day, but if you blow it off too often, someone else will get the sale.
Our repeated choices become our habits -- either good or bad. And our habits become who we are. So how do we decide the best choices in the moment when life is busy and demanding, or we're tired or hungry or unmotivated? How do we move past the "what the hell" voice that pushes us toward a bad choice, so that we can hear the higher calling of our best selves?