Life is about choices.
There are a lot of everyday choices that are relatively non consequential. Mostly so because we have made up a basic set of guidelines we intend to follow. We decide what time we get up in the morning, what we have for breakfast, what clothes we put on, which route we take to get to work, what we say to people in response to their comments and questions. Most of these choices are decisions we make on autopilot. We don’t have to think about them because we’ve set up guidelines that we unwittingly adhere to without much thought.
Some choices become a form of habit; what we watch on television, the products we buy, the foods we eat and drink. At some point we made choices about these things, but for the most part they become routine answers that we tend to follow without much thought. These are all the easy choices.
Then we come to places in life where we know our choices are profound. We have to decide between one college or another or what curriculum we choose to follow. We have to decide if and how to punish a child for mistakes they have made. We have to decide to accept a marriage proposal, or break up with the person because they seem to have choices in mind that don’t fit with our own. We have to make hard decisions sometimes that are life changing. What becomes even more profound is when we have to make choices that go against what we want, what we believe and how we feel.
We don’t always have the luxury of time in many cases. Sometimes we have hours, minutes or only a moment to make decisions that are life changing. Then other times we are in places where we really don’t have to make any choice at all; which of course is a choice in itself.
Standing at the crossroad, looking down the path of different choices, we attempt to discern which road leads us in the most comforting, the most productive and/or most rewarding direction. We stop to ponder the details that lay before us to contemplate the journey and the destination. We inevitably find that we simply have no way of knowing what lies at the end of either of those roads. Try as we might, we weigh, measure and reason to the best of our ability, yet we can not know where either of these roads will ultimately take us. And just as we know we are not able to predict the future, we struggle with these choices because we know we can not change the past. Once the choice is made that decision becomes a part of our record. It also becomes a reference to good and bad decisions.
The first important thing in coming to a crossroad is to know we are standing at the junction. Some people pass them by without any thought whatsoever, without any realization they had any choice at all. For others, they figuratively or physical fall to their knees in desperation and confusion. They find it virtually impossible to make a decision; becoming paralyzed by their choices.
The answer to which direction we take has little or nothing to do with the moment. The crossroads always depend on the destination. We have to decide which road leads us closer to our goals, and which roads lead us away from our goals.
If we want to lose weight we have to choose between the fatty foods or the healthy foods, and how much of those we will eat. If we want to save money for our dreams we have to decide to place that money aside or spend it one small piece at a time on frivolous momentary satisfactions. If we want to have a strong marriage, a happy family, successful children or rewarding careers we have to be true to our goals. We have to base the choices we make on the goals, not on the momentary rewards. We have to keep the big picture in mind.
Life isn’t about the choices as much as it is about the goals. When we set up our goals we need to carve them in stone and resolve ourselves to reaching them, then the choices become much easier.
When we come to the crossroad there is really only one choice; follow your goals and reach for your dreams. Do things that take you closer to your goal, and avoid paths that lead you astray.
Life is about choices.