Cleaning can be very therapeutic.
During a session of vacuuming on the weekend, a thought popped into my head and I couldn’t shake it.
What was my vacuuming revelation?
Life is primarily made up of two factors – your choices and random events.
Let’s take a look at two factors that will determine the course of your life.
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I believe a huge part of our life is made up of our choices. Our choices have a profound effect on how things turn out.
Some choices are not rocket science. If you choose to spend more money than you earn, you end up in debt. If you constantly eat fatty foods you put on weight.
As we all know choices have consequences both good and bad.
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Some choices are set in stone, others easily changeable. Many of the set in stone options have more flexibility than we imagine. If something doesn’t work out we can try something else.
Some choices like marriage and children have a huge impact on our lives, others barely make a difference.
Or at least that’s how we often view things. I’m starting to understand that a lot of our small decisions can have a big impact. One cigarette here, a drink there, buying a pair of shoes you can’t afford, popping a few dollars into a slot machine repeated over time can all add up.
A lot of our seemingly insignificant choices can have a snowball effect.
Often we don’t want to take responsibility or be accountable for our choices. It’s sometimes easier to blame our partner, parents, friends or crappy boss for the trouble we get ourselves into.
Most of the time there is no one to blame but ourselves. At first, that fact could be a little confronting but give it some more thought. It’s actually quite liberating. It means that we have more control and power over our situation than we imagined.
Often we underestimate the power of our choices.
This isn’t about not making mistakes either. We all make mistakes. If you are not making mistakes, you are probably not trying to learn, grow or improve and that can be the biggest mistake of all.
You shouldn’t be afraid to make mistakes.
Bear in mind there is a difference between not knowing something is a mistake and knowing full well an action is going to negatively impact your life and doing it anyway. I have done this myself in the past (more times than I care to admit) and it always comes back to bite you or someone else. These sorts of mistakes often hurt people.
A problem arises when you keep making the same bad choices and the same mistakes over and over again.
I will give you a painful and embarrassing example from my own history.
Unfortunately, I used to be attracted to bad boys. For this post, I won’t go into the reasons why but suffice to say I could write a book about the topic!
Despite the fact that I knew certain people were bad for me, I kept repeating the same mistake by choosing the wrong sort of person.
While there were moments when these people were fun to be around, it didn’t outweigh the prolonged periods of heartache and low self-esteem I ultimately suffered.
While it would be easy to blame the men involved, it was me who was making the bad choices by hooking up with them in the first place. I didn’t learn from my mistakes (at least not in the beginning).
Thankfully my self-esteem, values, and choices are now aligned and bad boys don’t even factor on my radar anymore. A sign of disrespectful behavior is an instant turn off.
The more control you have over your choices the happier you will be.
You might be thinking all of this control sounds a little boring but you need to start looking at control in another way. Think of it in the realm of adventure, freedom, fun, spontaneity and boundless options, instead of something that limits you.
Don’t think that your choices need to be all about giving up or sacrificing the things you want. Compromise and making sacrifices may be required but ultimately it’s about deciding what is most important to you and choosing to make it a key priority in your life.
This is the stuff that keeps us awake at night.
These are the events we stress and worry about. It’s being told we have cancer or being involved in a serious car accident. It’s being on the receiving end of a natural disaster.
Random events, in this context, means the stuff that happens to us.
It’s justifiably scary because a lot of it is out of our control.
That’s where we go full circle. Some of the random stuff, like the car accident, for example, isn’t all that random. Often it can be the result of someone else’s choices. Getting behind the wheel of a car after having a few drinks would be an example of a bad choice that hurts innocent people.
Your choices have consequences.
While we have no control over certain events in life, we certainly have control over our own decisions.
True power exists in your choices. Are you making the most of yours?
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