Originally posted onto Tastemakercollectivemedia.com 12/15/15
Your life is a series of constant choices that will take you to either spot A or spot B. At any given time, you are faced with a choice to go either this way or that, and that one split second choice could very well shape the rest of your life. Spooky, no doubt about that, it sure makes you rethink if it really was the wisest choice to order that plate of sloppy joes versus ordering a light salad on last night’s date with the new girl from the office.
All it takes is a quick decision to veer this way instead of that way to cause a ripple effect that can have a lasting effect that continues for the rest of your days. Now, not every choice you come up against bears the weight of your entire future on its shoulders, but regardless of how much a choice weighs at the time, it has the potential to alter everything.
Where it all starts
Take for example, your morning routine. You wake up to the alarm on your phone/clock/radio and you hit the snooze. Boom. Right there, a decision. You snooze, and wake up 15 or so minutes later and then decide to get up. You shower (or not shower), shave (or not shave), and then eat breakfast (if you hit snooze earlier, then you now have no time to eat). After all these back-to-back decisions in your morning, you hop in the car and if you had to forgo breakfast because you hit “snooze” instead of waking up, you drive onward in hopes that someone is bringing muffins into the office break room today.
All of these small decisions add up and influence the rest of your day’s outcome in ways that are big and noticeable, or small and pretty much unrecognizable. For example, because you snoozed and over slept, you had to dash madly out the door and possibly forgot your wallet. Or you were invited out by some coworkers to hit the bar after work, and because you didn’t shave that patchy beard off this morning from your glutenous snoozing, that lady across the bar who caught your eye refused to give you any mind. (You really should shave that patchy beard though. That lady was teaching you a valuable lesson).
The point, is that you make decisions pretty much every minute of your day from the second you wake up (or choose to not wake up) until the second you decide to fall asleep (or choose not to fall asleep), and these decisions all have repercussions that will influence you in some way, big or small, further on down the road. It’s the series of decisions that we make all the time that make up who we are and what our lives will become.
A collection of choices and decisions
The collection of choices and decisions, whether big or small, is what makes you you, and there isn’t anyone to blame for what makes you you, except you. You are in control of your life, and you call the shots.
You don’t have to go to work every day. But, if you want to keep that job so that you can continue to receive money from it as well as retain your position, then it would be the obvious and wise choice to continue to show up everyday. No one puts a gun to your head every morning and shakes you awake commanding: “You better get in that shower and make yourself look presentable for that pitch meeting this afternoon, or else…” –at least, that isn’t the norm to have that gun wielding invader in your room. If so, you might want to consider getting a more conventional alarm clock instead.
You make the decisions that make up your day, that in connection, make up your week, that in turn make up your month, and a collaboration of those months make up a year and so on and so forth. In the grand scope of everything, you really aren’t going to be on this big blue and green marble we call earth for very long (or realistically, blue and brown marble. –we’re still in a drought here in L.A.). So with that in mind, why settle for a series of decisions that are going to make you unhappy in the long run? You’re the one in control and making the choices that will make up your life, so why make decisions that will end up leaving you bitter and resentful for the duration of your time here?
You’re the one in control here, and we all aren’t here for that long. Remembering that is a reason to take more risks, live a little more dangerously, and put a little more thought in how to get what we want out of our time. As you go through your week, keep track of the choices you consciously make and at the end of the day, try to pinpoint what happened as a result of that decision.
Keep a record of where you have been
Keeping track at what got you to where you currently are is a great way to motivate yourself to be more precise in your life.
Whether it just be ignoring the urge to slap the snooze, or finally being bold enough to make an introduction of yourself to the company CEO on his monthly visit, your choices will take you wherever you point them.