My daughters and I have a saying; “when we make bad choices bad things happen, when we make good choices good things happen.” My girls are 5 and 4. We probably have this discussion once a day, sometimes more. Teaching my girls about the importance of choices is one of our top priorities.
Much is said about character, success, and values, but at the core of it all are choices. We ARE the choices we make. From the food we eat, to the schools we choose, to the neighborhoods we choose to live in, to the friends we have, to how many children we choose to have, to how much money we save, to how much we exercise, to how much TV we watch, etc. I could go on infinitum on the choices we make every minute, every hour, and everyday, most which appear insignificant, but they’re not. They create and define us as well as our lives.
We ARE the choices we make.
I think it’s hard for many of us to accept this. If our life is NOT what we want it to be, it’s hard to say, “I did this to myself.” But, in most cases we did. Life is a giant addition equation of choices, with a bit of multiplication for those really huge choices. A series of bad choices can rarely be undone with a few good choices. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work this way the other way around. One bad choice CAN undo a whole lot of good choices. Making choices is what life is about. Each choice is a brick in the structure of our life. Some are laid perfect and help build the killer life we want. Others are weak and laid poorly, undermining the life we want. We won’t make the right choice every time. We will make bad choices. It’s part of the process. They key is to limit the bad choices.
Looking at the choices we make is the key to seeing who we really are and the life we are building.
Fred Wilson has a great post up today about leaving on top. It’s a perfect example of how “choice” shapes us.