- contents - obstacles
Of course, if we're
talking about choices as an obstacle to living life fully,
then we're talking about bad choices. How often have you
regretted a choice that you've made because it's turned
out badly and you or someone else has suffered
considerably as a consequence of a choice that you've
made? How often have you seen friends or family members
or other loved ones--or even total strangers, for that
matter--make choices that you knew were going to be
harmful to that person and to others, but they've gone
ahead and made the choice, against all advice? It happens
quite often, doesn't it?
One of the biggest causes of friction between parents and
their children is the fact that parents want to help
their children make choices so that their kids won't make
the same mistakes that they did years earlier. Basically,
though, in trying to help their children avoid pain and
other consequences of bad choices, these parents are also
robbing their children of the ability to make choices. They're
trying to control their children's actions and have them act in the
precise way that will allow them to avoid problems, and then they
wonder why the kids feel uncomfortable with the control.
Once a choice is made, any
other possible choices are moot. They can't be made any
longer, for the situation never will be the same. A
similar selection of choices may present itself in a
similar situation, but any choice we make causes change
and turns the way things are into the way things were. Many people, though, spend a great deal of time and
energy in regret, wishing that they had made a different
choice somewhere along the line, wishing that they hadn't
chosen the course of action that they chose.
They don't realize, though,
that the only way to deal with any choices that we've
made is acceptance. The choice has been made, now deal
with the consequences--don't regret the choice. Of course,
if our choice was ill-advised or if it caused pain or
anguish to yourself or others, we shouldn't just shrug
our shoulders and say "oh, well." We need to
learn from it, and we need to direct our energy towards
dealing effectively with the consequences, and not direct
our energy towards feeling bad or feeling sorry for
We also can't let one or
two--or even ten or twenty--bad choices keep us from making
choices in the future. Accept the fact that some choices
have turned out badly, but learn from those choices and
move on. The person who won't enter into another
relationship because of the person or persons who treated
them badly before doesn't realize that he or she made a
choice to be with that other person, and that instead of
sabotaging their future happiness, they should learn from
the error and focus on choosing to be with people who
will treat them better.
Don't let yesterday's
choices hurt your today and your tomorrow. Don't let your
fear of choices prevent you from making effective ones. Accept that you will make mistakes, and make sure you're
ready to deal with any consequences of your choices or
actions. We all face choices every day, and billions of
people make billions of decisions every day, but billions
of people also deal with consequences--and there are many
wonderful consequences to choices--every moment.
If you take a
single word. . . and make it your own on a day-to-day basis,
I hope it's choose. Being able to choose to act
differently, even while
feeling the old way, may be the most liberating growth you can
Sue Patton Thoele
Courage to Be Yourself
The difficulty in life is the choice.
The more alternatives,
the more difficult
people behind the words
Two - Year Three
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all of your decisions will be correct. None of us is
perfect. But if you
get into the habit of making decisions,
experience will develop your judgment
to a point where more and more
of your decisions will be right. After all,
it is better to be
right 51 percent of the time and get something done,
than it is to get
nothing done because you fear to reach a decision.
always the way that seems the best, however rough it
will soon render it easy and agreeable.
may find merry-go-rounds tame. Perhaps your life is more like
roller coaster ride. That's okay, as long as it is the ride you
be on. Maybe you enjoy the highs and lows of the roller
on the merry-go-round, where I can meet
people of all
and we can talk while we ride. The kind of
I like are impossible when we are
alternately shrieking or
tense with anticipation. But if that
kind of life is truly your choice
and makes you happy,
then go ahead
and ride the roller coaster.
Whatever ride you choose in the carnival of life, just remember
now and then, for a rest and refreshments. And those of
who are carousel riders should definitely take a break whenever
merry drops out of the merry-go-round.
are the person who has to decide.
Whether you'll do it or toss it aside,
You are the person who makes up your mind.
Whether you'll lead or will linger behind,
Whether you'll try for the goal that's afar.
Or just be contented to stay where you are.
Know how to
choose well. Most of
life depends thereon. It needs good
taste and correct judgment, for which
neither intellect nor study suffices.
the years I have come to believe that life is
full of unchosen circumstances, that being human
has to do with the evolution of our individual
consciousness and with it, responsibilities for choice.
Pain and joy both come with life.
I believe that how
we respond to what happens to us and around us shapes
who we become and has to do with the psyche or the soul’s growth.
greatest power God gave us is the power to choose.
to choose whether we’re going to act or procrastinate,
pray or curse, help or heal.
We also choose whether
we’re going to be happy
or whether we’re going to be sad.
What is right is often forgotten by what is
need to make wise choices encompasses every area of our lives.
Since we have time for only a limited amount of stuff, we need to
wisely what stuff we're going to allow to take up that time. Since we
only a limited amount of time to spend with friends or to engage in
activities, we need to choose our friends and our activities wisely.
can choose to gather to our hearts the thorns
failure, loneliness, and dismay
in our present situation.
Or we can
gather the flowers
of God's grace, boundless love, abiding presence,
and unmatched joy.
I choose to gather the flowers.
Happiness and love are just a choice away.
lies in our power to do, lies in our power not to do.
any moment of decision the best thing you can do
is the right thing,
the next best thing is the wrong thing,
and the worst thing you can do is nothing.
order to feed our internal flames, we must wake up and make each of
choices conscious. A conscious choice reflects our highest
is in direct alignment with our vision for our lives. When we
make the conscious
choices, we take into consideration the effect that our actions will
have on our
lives as a whole. We take the time to reflect on where our
lead us and the impact they will have on our future.
Choice is a divine teacher, for when we choose we learn that
nothing is ever put in our path without a reason.
rarely have time for everything you want in life, so you
need to make choices. And hopefully your choices
can come from a deep sense of who you are.
World According to Mr. Rogers
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|You have choice. You can select joy over despair.
You can select
happiness over tears. You can select action over apathy.
You can select
growth over stagnation. You can select you. And you can
And it's time that people tell you you're not at the mercy of forces
than yourself. You, indeed, are the greatest force for you.
can't do it for me, but you can do it for you.
choices have psychological consequences. The way you choose
to deal with reality, truth, facts--your choice to honor or dishonor
your own perceptions--registers in your mind, for good or for bad,
and either confirms and strengthens your self-esteem
or undermines and weakens it.
Self-Esteem Every Day
change our lives profoundly. The choice to mend a broken
relationship, to say "yes" to a difficult assignment, to lay
important work to play with a child, to visit some forgotten person--
these small choices may affect many lives eternally.
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|There is more ambivalence in our lives now than
there was in the past. There is more confusion and there
are more questions of meaning.
In part this is because we live in a multiple-option
world. Once we pass basic survival, the options for
Americans seem endless--whether it's choosing a flavor of ice
cream, whom to live with, or what to believe in.
For those of us raised on Neapolitan ice cream and marriage,
it's intimidating. Don't try to buy a stereo or a car
without a sixteen-year-old along to provide advice.
There are too many alternatives and variations.
The negative is that life is more complex and decisions wear
us out. The positive is that the choices are now
ours. We are more tolerant of those who choose
differently. We accept a wider spectrum of love, faith,
There is more individual responsibility for what we are and
the way we touch our communities.
Next time you feel overwhelmed, breathe in deeply the freedom,
accept the responsibility, and remember that joy that can go
with it. You have the ability to make a unique,
individual choice. If it is good, it is yours; and if
not, you can choose differently next time.
|Every choice that
you make forms a building block of your life. Every
act, every word, every decision becomes a part of you. The way
you see and respond to the world in which you live results from the
choices you have made. So, in a sense, not only do your choices
you who you are, they, in effect, make your world because the world
that you "see" is the world in which you live. We are
opportunity to shape and mold our world through the use of our
consciousness. We have the power of free will to determine what
want in life, and we have the authority to call forth our good through
the powers of decree, imagination, enthusiasm, joy, and faith.
Worldwide Laws of Life
lived in concentration camps can remember the men who
walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last
piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer
sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a person but one
thing: the last of the human freedoms--to choose one's attitude
any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
And there were always choices to make.
Every day, every hour, offered the opportunity to make a decision,
a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit
to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your
inner freedom; which determined whether or not you would become
the plaything of circumstance, renouncing freedom and dignity to
become molded into the form of the typical inmate.
Fundamentally, therefore, any person can,
even under such circumstances, decide what shall become of him
or her--mentally and spiritually. We may retain our human
even in a concentration camp. Dostoevski said once, "There
one thing that I dread: not to be worthy of my
words frequently came to my mind after I became acquainted with
those martyrs whose behavior in camp, whose suffering and death
bore witness to the fact that the last inner freedom cannot be lost.
Man's Search for Meaning
attention is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer.
In both cases, a person is responsible for his or her choice and
must accept the consequences, whatever they may be.
Wystan Hugh Auden
life's circumstances are created by three basic choices:
the disciplines you choose to keep, the people you choose
to be with, and the laws you choose to obey.
confronted with two courses of action I jot down on a
piece of paper
the arguments in favor of each one, then on the
opposite side I write
against each one. Then by weighing
the arguments pro and con and
them out, one against the other,
I take the course indicated by what
|Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a
matter of choice; it is
not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.
William Jennings Bryan
is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention,
sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise
many alternatives--choice, not chance, determines your destiny.
simply put, is that we cannot choose everything simultaneously.
So we live in danger of becoming paralyzed by indecision, terrified
that every choice might be the wrong choice.