Your life is a result of the choices you make. If you don’t like your life, it’s time to start making better choices because in the end, we only regret the choices we didn’t make.
Most people may disagree with or even reject the above statement. The idea that each person’s life is directly proportional to the choices they have made is not easily digested. Most of us feel life is completely fated or it’s only the lucky few who actually get to enjoy it. It’s this feeling that gives self-assurance that we are not to blame for our current situation and that we are just pawns in a never ending chess game. Well, in this brief blog I’m going to show you how your life is what you have made it and as
you realize this you can take the necessary steps to change the outcomes of your future.
A friend of mine once told me, “it would be so wonderful if our life was like the movie ‘Zindagi Na Melaigi Dobara’” and I said “It can be if you choose it to be.” it’s a statement that shook him to the core of his being. He gave me a list of reasons why the choice is out of his hands: my parents, financial situations, sister’s marriage, starting a new business, obligations to others. Just like my friend we can all relate to these reasons and hence feel our life is not controlled by us. It is not uncommon for us to be a self-saboteur and compound that with a victim mentality; this is a choice we make as well. But let me tell you one thing, if we start making choices that benefit us along with others, we will start achieving pinnacles of success we never dreamed possible.
Let’s look at how we currently make choices: say we have an aggressive boss who is super negative and only likes the sound of his own voice. What would we do in this situation? What is the choice we make? Well for most of us the choice is not even a choice, we must continue to endure the cruelty of this bull of a boss. After enduring an entire day of unhappiness we go home only feeling distraught with work and life. The bottom line: if we hold our breath and then blame others of our inability to breath, the result is only us losing consciousness.
The simple fact is, life doesn’t get better by chance; it gets better by choice. So if you are unhappy about your boss, change the way you feel or the way you think or the place you are or the way you work or the work itself or try to build a relationship with the person who causes you discomfort. The world is our oyster, we can chose the number and type of pearls we wish to have. There is no clear cut answer to any problem; there is no clear cut choice; there is only what makes us happy and making good choices that support that feeling. Life is a Roller Coaster and through its ups and downs, we can either chose to scream or enjoy the ride.
Consider this: with Choice comes Freedom; with Freedom comes Responsibility and with Responsibility comes a Choice. The choice is always in your hands and you alone carry the responsibility for your life. Do you want to live your life from where you were yesterday or from where you want to be tomorrow? Let’s use a simple model to aid us make better choices with no regrets and reclaim the life we truly want to live.
Every Action or Choice we make has a consequence and every consequence comes with both desired and undesired effects.
Let take an example: You and you colleague had joined your organization at the same time 2yrs back. Both of you are equally qualified, skilled and knowledgeable. Both of you want to grow fast in the organization. However only one of you can get a promotion. Your colleague (who is single), knowing this starts taking on more work and spending longer hours at the office to complete his new responsibilities. Now you have a choice: taking on more work like him or decide to go home on time for you family.
What would you do in this situation? If you decide to go home, because you family comes first, that is a choice you have made.
Desired Effect: spending quality time with your family, we can have work life balance, life is not all about work, able to start fresh the next morning.
Undesired Effect: your colleague gets a promotion faster than you.
Some of us will chose to go home and then complain when that colleague gets promoted over us. Some of us will feel forced to stay longer hours and take on more responsibilities and then complain that work is becoming our entire life. Happiness is not based on making choices out of fear or insecurity. Happiness comes when we make choices based on what holds important to us in life. So if family is more important, make choices that support that priority, then be willing to digest both the positive and negative consequences of that decision.
Another situation: Say your boss asks you to prepare for a big presentation that will take place the next day. Your Choice: to prepare the presentation or not. This is an easy choice, we will chose preparing the presentation. Now let’s throw another element in this choice. Just as you sit to prepare, your closest friend come to your place and shows you tickets to a movie you have been longing to see. Here comes the major choice: to prepare for the presentation and not go for the movie or postpone the preparation for after the movie.
Almost everyone will choose going for the movie first, as we convince ourselves we have a lot of time and can easily work on the presentation after the movie. Let’s look at the desired and undesired effect of going for the movie first.
Desired Effect: we build on the relationship, reduce on the days stress, have some fun and entertainment and even building on some creative ideas for the presentation.
Undesired Effect: reduced time for the actual preparation, lack of sleep due to working late into the night, increased stress about the next day and the extent of content in the presentation, inability to call any person for clarification due to the late hours, increased stage fear the next day, insecurity about the outcome of the presentation and even cursing the friend for showing up at the worst possible moment.
Now if had chosen the presentation instead of the movie, all that would have happened is that we would not have ‘Fun’ or be ‘Entertained’ and all the undesired effects would move into the desired side.
Have we every told ourselves, ‘I wish I had
known this earlier, I would not have made
the same choice’ or ‘ I wish I could turn back time and change my choice’. Well we all know we can’t turn back time, but this action consequence model will help us evaluating the desired and undesired effects of any difficult choice we need to make.
However, even after careful evaluation we still chose to go for the movie first, we need to deal with the negative consequences as we would have made a conscientious decision.
It’s your Choice!!