Choices

By making choices for ourselves in life, it may seem like we put ourselves in control and maintain that control. Nothing could be farther from the truth, as I see it and understand now. Whether or not one realizes it, a choice is often made based upon what choices others have already made, or are anticipated. Sure, we’re making a choice for ourselves, and it feels like because we are the one making our choice, then we are the one in the driver’s seat, the one in control, doesn’t it? On this level, being that choices we make are influenced by others, the choices of others, outside factors, swayed by opinion and judgment not necessarily our own, etc, what is really happening is more of a reaction rather than a real independent choice. Think about it… Maybe you think you’ve made a choice for yourself, took a stand, held on to a conviction, etc. But, all you’ve really done was conform. You’ve gone “with the flow”, followed a path of least resistance, that allows you to feel good about your choice just because it seems to be in agreement with your perceived majority. Maybe you’ve made a choice, but you’ve shown no resolute independent conviction at all. You’ve been had. A victim of being just another on some “rah-rah” bandwagon, nothing more. You surrendered to what ever the popular vote of the day may be, and you’ve lost.

There are many things that can make reaching a choice difficult! You may have too many options to choose from, or not enough. You may feel pressured to make a choice too quickly, or completely unmotivated and lack the feeling of need to make any choice at all. You may see your possible choices as all being a losing proposition of some kind. you may find that what you really would like to choose seems to have to high a cost for you, or maybe it seems just to easy to be true?

A-Hah!!!! Did you catch that magically key word in there?… Cost. Every choice we make has a cost associated with it. It’s the price we will pay for the choice we make. Each and every choice has a price, and it’s relative to what is chosen. I’ve heard it said so many times, “There is no free lunch”, and no truer words were ever spoken. No matter how big or small, significant or insignificant, a choice may be, there is always some kind of cost associated with it.

Choices come in all shapes, sizes, degrees, flavors, characters, colors, textures, and so on. Obviously, it’s true that the variety of choices is really almost limitless if we consider choices with an open mind and heart. Humans, being imperfect as humans are, have an equal chance of making good, bad, and in between choices. In between choices? What’s that? Ugh… It’s called a “compromise”. That’s a choice that make with some consideration taken and given regarding other factors, including possibly one or more other people. It’s partly your choice, and partly someone or something else’s. “Something else” could be a circumstance or a situation, and not necessarily a person, for example.

So far, that about covers what is the basic foundation, the groundwork, that defines what choices are. At least, it’s what I consider enough information to convey the concept of what making a choice is. So there.

Making a what will generally be perceived as a “good choice” or what is honestly a “good choice for you” can be very difficult. It’s always very easy for anyone, even those closest to you, to have these two kinds of choices completely reversed. Why is that? It’s pretty simple. Obvious to you, but not so much to them… They are NOT you! Only you know what you want, what will make you happy or satisfied, and what kind of risk and cost you are willing to invest in making your choice. You will have to live with your choice. The degree of effect and involvement of anyone else as a result of your choice… Well that’s their choice, and their responsibility. They will have to live with what is theirs, not you.

I’m sure there will be some degree of variety, a range of ages, or people who eventually may read this. One thing that most, if not all, will be able to relate to is that we’ve all made some choices that we regret and would change if we could, and that we’ve also all made some choices that we will never regret nor desire to change. I didn’t use the terms “right” or “wrong” to describe said choices, because those terms are subjective and relative, to both times and circumstances, and things evolve constantly. A right choice can end up being one of the worst choices you will ever make. Likewise, a wrong choice may end up being the best thing you could have ever chosen. It all depends on what your intent, your long-term goal, your desire, may in fact be. And that may not always end up being what you expected in the first place, when some choices were actually made. Making choices is what puts “motion” in to life, what ever it’s character may be at the time it’s chosen. Choices are like links in a chain. The next choice, next link, is built upon the previous, and often is limited by the previous as well. In practice, making many choices over time can reduce your options in making the next choice, and then you end up being lead in a direction made by your own choices. It’s tough to change direction after many links are built-in to a chain, and you may feel trapped in to continuing to follow along the path you’ve knowingly, or unknowingly, created. But, you can. You can always change direction. It may mean throwing away, discarding, the whole chain of choices you’ve made so far. Not starting over, but rather beginning anew from what ever point you find yourself at in that moment, when you make the choice to do so. And that’s it. It’s just a matter of choice. The one key in doing this is that you need to honest and committed to yourself, standing by your choice, and willing to meet any cost involved. Remember, no free lunch. The choice is always yours, and once you realize and accept that, then you are free to choose.

It’s taken a lifetime to learn what I have about choices. I wonder sometimes if I had learned earlier in life some of what I know now, what would life right now be like? I honestly can’t say that it would be better or worse, happier or sadder, than it is right now. But still, I do wonder about it. It would certainly be different because I would have made different choices, made some choices that I never did make, and not made some choices that I’ve made. I would absolutely be a different person, living in a different time, place, and circumstance, than I’m currently in. Hell, I may not even be here right now, depending on those different choices! That may all be just dreaming and wishing for things that will never be. Yet, in those dreams and wishes, even now, there is some guidance for me. Knowing what I would have done, it gives me an idea of what may still be possible to achieve, even today at this late date in my life.

If all I can do is share this idea, these concepts, maybe have one other person see the truths I’ve written here, go “Hmmm…” thinking about it, and then consider it? Then just maybe the choice I made to write these thoughts down will become a treasure that is shared with someone else? Don’t let your choices become chains that imprison you and drag you unwillingly through life in a direction not of your choosing or desire. Instead, know that your choices are keys. They both can unlock, or lock doors for you. It all depends on how you make them, then use them, or not. Choice is freedom of the purest and simplest form. Learn from your mistakes, those are the lessons. Fear of failure is exactly the same as fear of success, so always make choices fearlessly. When you make a good choice for yourself, ride it like a wave, shout from the mountain top that it is, bask in the glow of satisfaction in gives you, even if you are the only one there that sees it. It’s your party, feel good about it. You always pay your own dues, your own fare, your own costs, one way or another.

The last thing is to remember that choices can affect more than just you, so you may want to keep that in mind. Everything that seems like a good idea at the time may not be such a good idea later on. Do your best to think it through. You’re going to make some choices you’ll regret later on. Keep making choices though, and keep trying to make better choices for you. In the long run, you’ll end up having less choices made that you’ll regret, and very likely that others will regret as well. Keep trying. No matter how badly you may think you’ve failed, try, try again. Tough isn’t being able to kick the world’s ass. Tough is having the world kick your ass over and over, and each time you eventually choose to get back up and give “whatever” another shot, OK? Got it? Good Luck…

~Mike

About offworldengineer

Still alone. Still Alive. Still Unbroken.
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