You’re Only as Good as Your Choices
I try to be a good parent. I don’t know how well I’m doing, but I do my best to engage with my kids and provide them with resources for success. I can only do so much, because the rest is up to them and the choices they make.
If I teach my kids only one thing, I say to them, “Your life is based on the choices you make.” Everything in life is a choice. When my daughter complains or blames others for her issues, I don’t accept it. I ask, “What did you do to cause this issue?” She usually walks away frustrated, but I don’t accept her excuses, because I know life won’t accept them either.
Luck plays a role in life, but even with luck, one must choose how to leverage luck to one’s advantage. I’m blessed with so much. Great relationships, awesome health, wonderful friends and colleagues. Luck visited me several times in my life and I embraced it and leveraged it to my advantage, how about you?
Whenever life throws something at you, good or bad, you have a choice on how to react to it. You’re hit with a health scare; how do you react? A close friend ends the relationship with you, how do you react? You receive a lump sum of money; how do you react? What do you choose in that moment?
I used to be more reactionary in my young adulthood. If I perceived something negative, especially from another human being, I reacted. In fact, I often exploded. I had a volatile temper and wasn’t afraid to unleash it at a moment’s notice. I had high’s and I had low’s, all in reaction to life and it’s many variables.
I once physically pushed my own father out of my house, because I was tired and afraid with newborn twins. He said something I didn’t agree with and I reacted. I made a bad choice and experienced a strained relationship with him for over six months. That was time with my father that I will never get back.
I lashed out at my wife many times in the beginning of our marriage, because I was frustrated with my professional life, a result of my own choices, but I blamed her and so I lashed out. I made poor choices.
Luckily for me, in both of those situations, my father and my wife, made quality choices and showed me grace and loved me in spite of myself. I’ve calmed down a lot over the last decade. I make better choices, especially with those that are closest to me, but I had to make better choices to experience a better life.
My life is a result of my choices and the choices of those around me, so is your life. As you take stock of your life, and slow down to reflect what is good and also not so good, what kind of choices did you make? What kind of choices are you making right now? Do those choices advance your relationships or hinder them? Do they advance your career? Do they make you healthier?
Finally, the ultimate choice that we all must make on a continual basis is love. The decision to love someone is the greatest gift you can give a person and yourself. My father chose to love me, as did my wife, and those choices elevated me to greater heights, even though I didn’t deserve their love at the time. Choose to love and everything else will fall into place. Choose to love someone, in spite of their actions, and your grace will make an impact.
Where’s your life going and are you happy with your path? What role have your choices made to get you where you are now? Do you need to make better choices? Choose to live, choose to embrace the moment, but most of all choose to love. What choices will you make today that will have a positive impact on your life?