This post on Choice was originally written on 22nd September 2013 and has been fleshed out and rewritten on Friday 22nd June
You are where you are in life right now, wherever that place maybe, because of the choices you have made in your past. Those choices have led you perfectly to the exact circumstances you now find yourself in.
Think about this for a moment.
- You choose to stay in your boring job
- You choose to stay in the relationship that is lopsided and hurtful
- You choose to think the thoughts you think
- You choose to live where you live (Or you chose this in the past)
- You choose not to spend an hour to write your goals
- You choose to go out spending the bonus you have just received on things that will provide instant gratification and not on a few new books or other learning tools
- You choose to watch mindless TV every evening
Imagine one of the choices you make every day is to binge on Netflix and not spend that time on learning a new skill that could change your career.
This one choice could mean that in 6 months time you will still be stuck in your boring job and probably complaining about how much you detest what you do.
Every choice we make has a reaction or an outcome
This morning, I choose to sit and write this blog. I could choose, now, to surf the net, watch TV or do a 1001 other things. After this I will choose to get my self into my writing state of mind and press on with a new chapter of my second book.
Get it clear in your mind that everything in life is a choice; your choice.
It makes sense that the choices you make today (And tomorrow) will decide where you will be this time next year. In short, your choices determine your outcomes.
As the great Tony Robbins says,
It is in your moments of decision that shape your future.
You Will Always Make The Best Choice You Have Available
We carry around with us a tool bag of choices when faced with any situation that requires a decision or an action.
Let me explain with two examples of what I mean by choosing the best choice possible.
Lets say your boss walks in and criticises some work that you feel was a job well done.
Your mind will hear the criticism, search its internal filing system and find the best choice available to you of how to respond.
Now your best choice could be to get upset, feel down hearted and mope around the office for the rest of the day causing you stress and unhappiness.
You are so hurt by this that the next day you hand in your notice and leave.
This is not the wisest choice as a little later you find yourself unemployed and without money.
After 2 years of hard work an entrepreneur loses her business. She now has a choice to either start again or quit.
Her best choice available at the time, is to go and get another job and not start over, so she quits on her idea of running her own business.
Her choice leads her in a completely different direction and to another place. Her biggest want is to work for herself. But now, because of her choice, she lives a life of unhappiness in a job she doesn’t really like.
This is the #1 reason why people repeat negative or destructive patterns of behaviour.
They have no other choice available to them.
The point I want you to grasp is that you will respond according to the best choice you have available to you at the time.
So What If You Have Made a ‘Bad’ Choice in the Past?
I don’t know anyone who has not made a choice that they have later regretted. For most folk it is hard to let go of some past choices but you can and it is possible.
In case you are not liking some of the choices you have made in the past, let me give you some good news so you don’t have to trudge through the rest of your life carrying a heavy sack of regret on your shoulders.
I want to repeat this because when you grasp this idea it is very, very powerful.
You have made the best choices based on the knowledge and resources you had available to you at the time.
I made some pretty awful choices in my younger days that hurt other people. For years I dragged those choices around with me in the form of deep and painful regret.
I would regularly beat myself up for the ‘bad’ choices I had made and that never served me.
So How Can We Make a Better Choice From Now on and in the Future?
The answer is quite simple. Keep learning.
By learning new skills in personal development we can make better choices.
In the first example above, the employee could learn how to look at what the boss said as feedback and not personal criticism, and take the comments as a positive learning experience.
The female entrepreneur could learn resilience. Her new choice would then allow her to dust herself down, learn from the mistakes and start again.
In both instances, these new choices based on new knowledge would get a different result.
Everyone is doing the best they can in life with the knowledge and resources they have available to them
In my life, by stumbling upon the theory that we make the best choices based on the knowledge and resources we have available at the time, I was able to completely forgive myself.
I also applied this same powerful philosophy to others who had caused me deep, emotional and pain and life-long psychological scars.
They were doing the best they could with the knowledge and resources they had available to them.
After learning this I was able to make a new choice at how I viewed these people. I was able to heal and this insight enabled me to forgive them.
Putting it Together
Remember, you have done the best you can.
Continuous learning is a must. Personal development is best when it is ongoing.
If you find yourself binge watching box sets on Netflix but have feelings of frustration because you aren’t realising your full potential in life, then find out what’s the reason behind it.
You choose to watch TV and not start your business because of a lack of confidence. If you choose to give your confidence muscle a good work out, you will choose differently the next time you find yourself reaching for the remote control.
Read books, attend seminars or watch videos that offer you more knowledge for your desired outcome. Get a coach if it is affordable.
In my inspiring breakthrough coaching sessions I give all my clients more ‘knowledge’ for their situation so they can ultimately make a better choice. If you would like to get coached and unlock your potential then please get in touch.