Life is made up of choices

Every day every single human being has to make choices. They can be financial in nature, having to deal with interpersonal relationships, and really anything. Some choices (decisions) are smaller, such as what to eat for breakfast, how much money to save that day or what to wear to work/school. Other choices are major, and can be life changing. My recent life experiences reinforced this concept, and a book I read also “brought” the fact that life is made up of choices back to the front of my mind. Even the bible has an entire chapter dedicated to the importance of choices.

Over the last year I made a choice to do some things that were life changing, and while the dust has not settled yet, no matter where things up end my life will be different for better or for worse. I met someone last year who made life choices as well in how they interacted with and treated me. We at needhelppayingbills get emails from people almost daily who make choices that are life changing, such as a low income family going back to school for a better career/life. I mentor people at SCORE who make choices about starting a business, leaving their job, or taking other action to try to improve their life.

The thing is with choices, in particular life ones, is that they have consequences and can’t be reversed. I can’t reverse what I did, but I fully knew at the time I made the choices I did that my life would be vastly different. While the dust is still settling, things will probably not end up the way I thought they would at the time I made my choices last year. A person who make a choice to quit their job as they are unhappy can’t take that back. The person who made the choice to deceive me over multiple months can’t reverse what they did. The person who cheats a welfare application can take that back, and there are consequence. A low income family that decides to buy a new TV over paying the rent (and put themselves at risk of eviction) will have consequences to that choice.

Someone who eats unhealthy day in and day out is making a choice for short term satisfaction over long term health. Someone who abuses their kids or walks out on them makes a conscious choice to do that, or someone. The person who does not study for a test makes the choice they may fail. Amazing concepts around such a small world.

There is another big part of choices, and it has to do with accountability. There is personal responsibility, which is taking ownership of your choices, behavior and the consequences of that behavior. In general, people need to be responsible and take accountability for the choices they made, and I take full accountability for mine and I did as well in advance of making most of them. I do not blame it on others, such my dad setting an example by leaving my mom, or similar things.

Accountability is also such a simple, but powerful and meaningful word. There are so many people who place blame of their choices on others, their past, outside circumstances, their boss at work, where they came from, the job market, or whatever. If someone makes a choice to cheat, does not do their best at work, lies, does not pay a bill, steals, etc. that is a choice they make and are accountable for…not others. And accountability for choices is relevant for both past as well as future choices one makes.

But blaming choices about say the past or on others is an excuse….not accountability. A person who maybe did not give their all at a past project and missed a promotion at work can blame it on others and not take accountability. But the fact is they made a choice to not give the project 100% of what they had. Sometimes the results of choices made can be rectified, sometimes not. But once a choice is made, their are implications. There are countless books on the topic (which are much better than some random website) as well as some more substantial websites, such as Psychology today, that take about the topic of choices and responsibility.

So yes, the concept it is complicated and only a professional could fully explain it. But I have made a choice to better understand the topic of choices and accountability…so that is another example of a choice!

I have always know life is made up of choices, but it is great to learn more about it and I have over these last few months. Choices we make is big for a low income family seeking a better life or for someone to get a better, high paying job for their bills or more meaningful career. But it is amazing to me in what a seeming to be simple word of “choices” is so powerful. There are countless quotes on the topic…here is but one. “Your Life Is The Sum Total Of The Choices You Make.”; Fasting.

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