CHOICE: Our power

What is the single force that shapes the quality of our lives? What power do we have that can change everything?…As you and I both know, the answer is the power of choice. Eleanor Roosevelt once said “One’s philosophy isn’t best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibilities”. We need to understand that we are where we are today because of the decisions we’ve made. For example, if your business or career has been affected by a recession, do you feel that you are being punished or challenged to find a new path? Are you going to give up or give more? No matter what we’ve experienced in the past, our history is not our destiny—we all have the power to make new decisions today.

How is one to know what to choose?

There are so many choices these days. Walk through any store, look at any magazine. Even e-mail offers a thousand advertisements. How is one to know what to choose? Some people feel overwhelmed by picking between two things. Others can have an almost infinite seeming variety and do well. There are problems people face when making decisions. Some people have troubles with making choices because they are afraid of the consequences of making the wrong decision. The idea that they should pick something based on preference or pros and cons is just as frightening. People who have trouble making decisions fear mistakes. They hate being wrong.

Another problem with decision making has to do with seeing choices as things to be done, rather than as opportunities to explore. Making decisions sometimes means making a commitment to a choice & sticking with it, but often there is an opportunity to find out something new either about oneself, or about another person or topic. Having an opportunity to find out something can make decisions fun. Most times, we want opportunities we find comfortable. Thus, we try to avoid discomfort at all costs. To us the worst thing is not to like something. To do something we need to like it, that is…the “doableness” of the task is embedded in our liking, not in the task itself, and that affects whether we can make a decision to do the the task.

What you should know

Joyce Meyer said “When God tells us in Deuteronomy 30:19 to “choose life,” He’s actually showing us what wisdom looks like—it’s life giving. And when we follow wisdom, we live deeper than “I want, I think, I feel….” because wisdom always chooses to do now what it will be satisfied with later on, while foolishness means “without common sense””.

Finally, here’s some great news: If you’ve made foolish choices (and we’ve all done it at times in our lives) and you’re not happy with the way things are, you can change. But you have to be willing to take responsibility for your wrong choices and make a determined decision to change the way you behave. When you do, you’ll find that every right choice you make helps reverse the wrong decisions you’ve made in the past.