Sitting at dinner the other night with the extended family one of my nieces posed the following question to all ten of us present. “Would you rather lose the internet or lose a leg?” An easy question to pose, or answer, when one has all limbs and a choice. But for an innocent twelve year old, with little life experience, it seems a big question. What surprised me were the two adults who chose the internet over the leg. After all, we grew up without the internet, so in my mind anyway, moving forward without it is not such a big issue.
Yet, that is the joy of being human – we have a choice. And my choice may not be the same as your choice and I have no right to judge your choices. The difficulty is that we are human and we judge everything, all the time, and often not with the best of intentions or in the best interest of the one being judged. Better we spend that same time and energy evaluating our own choices.
French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre said, “We are our choices.” When you look at your life - how you get through the day, how you interact and react with those around you - is there a sense of joy, of hope, of wonder? If not, why not? What choices have you made in the past that has brought you to this point? What are the choices that you will make now to improve your tomorrow?
Sometimes you make a choice knowing that the consequences may not be to your benefit. I love to travel but I know that I may have issues with my neck. The pillow is wrong, the lack of regular exercise mean muscles contract, the jarring car rides on bumpy roads irritate my neck but I wouldn't change one moment of the trip. When you make a conscious choice you are often better able to handle the consequences with grace.
When you follow your intuition about choices you often choose well. I really wanted to learn to surf, like you see on television in the big surf of Hawaii, and I could justify why it wouldn’t be a problem. Barbados has a fairly good surf and surfing reputation but when I really stopped to think about it I knew it would not be the best thing for me. My sister returned from the morning of surfing saying I had made the best choice.
If you make no choice for yourself, someone else will make it for you and then you are left to react and manage the circumstances you find yourself in. Wouldn’t you rather choose your destiny? Start today with a simple choice – the choice to be grateful for what appears in front of you. Grow tomorrow by choosing how productive the rest of your week will be. Soar in the future as you gain confidence and strength with each choice you make.
What choices are you making today for your tomorrow?