"Decisions Determine Destiny"
Just how powerful are we? What if I told you, WE are the architects of our lives? Immensely powerful. Choices.
The course of our lives is chartered by the choices we make. That’s it. We make choices, we face outcomes, we make more choices.
Of course we all want the outcomes of our choices to be in line with our goals, dreams, and visions of what our lives are meant to be. But, we also know, we don’t always get the outcomes we want. How can we better equip ourselves for the next choice? How can we better anticipate those outcomes and prepare to respond accordingly? How can we learn to take what appear to be undesirable outcomes and use them as tools to sharpen us?
All of this and more as this week we look at the power we have through the choices we make.
1. Choose A Faith System
Every single one of us believes in something. Our belief system doesn’t have to be religious, or even spiritual in nature. It could be in the science behind the world we experience. It might be the belief in the love of those closest to us. In fact it could be a combination of many things. The bottom line is that as we are faced with choices to make, ultimately, our value system and what we believe in will drive the direction we go.
I’ve certainly found my place, my center of balance, through scripture. As I am faced with those dilemmas: choices that appear to have to no good option, I have relied upon my faith in the Lord, and the lessons he so lovingly gave us through his life. To this point, this faith has served my family and I well and I know will continue to do so.
There’s little more personal to us as individuals than our faith system and that which speaks to our souls. Take some time, really get acquainted with your soul and what calls to you. Then run with it, man! Run with the wind behind you and the world ahead. With that foundation, you can’t choose wrong!
2. Don't Choose Entitlement
If we believe that we do make choices and the choices we make are within our control, then we must be accountable for the outcomes of those choices.
We may feel disadvantaged or that our situation is particularly unfair. I get that. We don’t all come from the same starting point. Sometimes folks use this analogy of running a 100 meter race with some people born 50 meters down the track. That sucks!
You know what sucks even worse? When the gun fires and the race begins, just standing there or walking off the track. Not participating because “it isn’t fair.” That is our choice. That is where entitlement will get you.
Life isn’t about the most advantaged people probably going to win the race and therefore none of the rest of us should even bother running. No! The championship life is about taking what you have in the place where you are – WHEREVER YOU ARE – and taking control of the next choice. It is an affirmation that you, me, and we EARN what we get. No one is going to look out for me, or you, for us. We must choose accordingly.
3. Choose To Be Your Best
All we can do is all we can do. As individuals that will certainly manifest itself differently based on god-given talent, the goals we set, and the environment in which we live. For example, I may never be Lebron James on the basketball court. But if I’m on the court playing, I can choose to put out my very best effort. And no one, not even Lebron himself, can stop me from doing that – even if I never score a basket.
Even if we don’t close the deal in our business, even if we don’t get whatever result we were working for, NOTHING in this world can prevent us from choosing to give our best in that moment in time. Only WE as individuals have the power to do it. We choose to give something less than our best. We live with that choice.
Only we know what our best is. No one can determine that for us. And when we don’t give our best, it is we who feel guilty; we who carry the burden of “what could have been?” We feel that shame.
When we do give our best, win, lose, or draw, we hold our heads high and learn the lessons. We dust ourselves off and we choose to do our best all over again.
4. Make The Choice (Don't Be Indecisive)
Indecision is usually driven by fear. Fear of making the wrong choice. But fear is paralyzing. If life is a journey, then it requires we keep moving. Paralysis, then, is antithetical to our getting the most out of the life we are given. Champions we will never become.
We all have those moments of feeling uncertain. The doubt creeps in and we question everything, mostly ourselves. This is when we must recall our faith system. The trust we have in that foundation will provide the metaphorical springboard from which we will bounce back. We will recognize our power in choosing and our power to correct should we choose wrong.
Sometimes we choose wrong. Sometimes we make mistakes. But mistakes are only losses if we fail to learn from them. We apply whatever we learn to the next choice. We get better. We proceed. We progress. But this is only made possible by us not allowing indecision to rule. Be brave. Be bold. Be ready to adapt. But above all, be decisive!
5. Choose A Positive Attitude
“Life is 10% what happnes to us and 90% how we respond.” Yes, it’s become a cliché in self-help circles but as with all clichés, they gain their popularity because we recognize the truth carried within the statement.
We can’t control everything, we know that. I would never suggest otherwise. What I will tell you is the bad attitude we CHOOSE (and yes our attitude is a choice) will hurt us, hurt the people around us, and ultimately prevent us from becoming all that we were meant to become.
I recently read something that described anger as “holding a hot coal with the intention of someone else getting burned.” I like that. But I like it with regard to all our negative attitudes. Anger. Jealousy. Self pity. Grudges. Hatred. All of these burden us. All of these, like anchors around our necks, pull us down and may even drown us.
No matter what that 10% of life that we can’t control is; no matter what those things are that happen to us; we must focus on the things we are grateful for: health and wealth. And I don’t simply mean financial wealth. I mean a wealth of love, of spirit, of hope, and of audacity.
Find the audacity to love fearlessly, to practice your faith fearlessly, to reject entitlement fearlessly, to be your best fearlessly, and to respond to the outcomes, in your favor or against you, with fearless positivity.
Choices. We have the power.
Thank you for following along all week as we dove deep inside the power we each have to take control of our lives and determine our destiny!
“Life is struggle and struggle is life. Misery is optional.”
"What I believe, will be!
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