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Monday, November 16, 2015

Summing Up Your Choices

My life contains a number of very bad choices. In the immediate hindsight, when things were going badly, or creating rather a great deal of difficulty, I said things like if I could do it over again, I'd do it differently. But that early conclusion changed with the benefit of longer hindsight.

Choices forge and hone us. Choices can make of you - like the proverbial rough diamond that is cut and polished and goes through extreme pressure and stress in order to become brilliant - an individual who has grown, progressed, and evolved precisely - and thanks to - those apparently occasional poor choices and the possibly turbulent wake of their resulting aftermath. Choices can also make of you a very poor end product indeed. Much depends on what you choose to do once you realize you've made a bad choice. That choosing of your reaction to the bad choice is, of course, another choice, and with it, you lay the groundwork of the next part of your life - perhaps only a few hours or a day, or perhaps it will have repercussions that will be felt into the next decades of your life. And then, of course, more choices are made. Being very aware of yourself - and of course, exactly how aware you are - plays a crucial role in this process.

Perhaps none of this is news to you, but there is one little bit that we tend to forget: we think of the big choices as those that impact us the most but pay little attention to the small ones, those that we take many times a day.
  • where do you choose to let your thoughts go during your day ... many times a day?
  • what do you choose to read, listen to, or view during your day ... several times a day?
  • with whom to you choose to talk during your day ... many times a day?
  • what do you choose to talk about during your day ... many times a day?
  • how often do you choose to see beauty during your day ... many times a day?
  • how often do you choose to feel gratitude during your day ... many times a day?
  • how often do you choose to stay in silent mindfulness during your day ... many times a day?
  • how often do you choose to find joy in small things during your day ... many times a day?
  • how often do you choose to smile during your day ... many times a day?
  • how often do you choose to be kind, loving, generous, compassionate during your day ... many times a day?
As you see, these small choices during your day, every day, and many times a day, also form part of those choices that can make or break a life. As Camus said: life is the sum of all your choices.

Make good ones.

Photo credit Gimnyeong Maze Park, Souh Korea. golbenge (골뱅이)/flickr


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