Making A ‘Choice’ – Steering Life Beyond the Uncontrollable

“We are our choices.” – Jean-Paul Sartre.

Have you ever wondered how each choice, big or small, has sculpted your life? 

Reflect for a moment on the journey you’ve taken – the paths chosen, the roads bypassed. It’s fascinating, isn’t it? How our seemingly insignificant decisions weave our existence together.

It’s not just the major crossroads that define us, but also the everyday choices. These choices, conscious or unconscious, are the architects of our character, our destiny.

Let’s discuss.

Uncontrollable Elements In Life

Picture this: the day we step into the world, many things are already set in motion. 

The family we’re born into, the country that stamps our passport from day one, the natural talents we have (or wish we had), and even the obstacles life sneakily places in our path. 

It’s like being handed a script in a play we never auditioned for.

But here’s where it gets interesting – as I discovered over a cup of coffee and some hearty laughs with friends. 

We were swapping tales of our childhoods, our dreams, and how different our lives had turned out from what we had imagined. 

And it dawned on me: while we didn’t get to pick so many things about our lives, every single day, we’re making choices that set the stage for the next scene.

Integrity, for instance, isn’t a trait you’re born with; it’s a choice you make every day. Kindness? That’s not written in your DNA; it’s a decision to extend a hand or a smile to someone. 

Hard work, preparation, consistency – these aren’t just fancy words; they’re choices that shape how our story unfolds.

Even the attitude we carry, the way we respond to life’s unexpected plot twists, and the people we surround ourselves with – these are all choices. 

And here’s the kicker: these choices are like secret keys that can unlock doors we never even knew existed.

So, as we dive into this conversation, remember – it doesn’t really matter where your story started or what the opening chapters looked like. 

What truly matters is the choices you make from here on out. They’re the real game-changers. 

Let’s explore how these choices can rewrite our stories and, perhaps, lead us to an ending even better than we’d imagined.

The Unchosen: Understanding Life’s Given Circumstances

You know, it’s quite fascinating when you think about it – the parts of our life that we didn’t get to choose. 

Like a game of cards, we’re dealt a hand we had no say in picking. Our parents, our birthplace, our natural talents, or the lack thereof – these are the cards we hold as the game begins.

I recall a conversation with an old friend who had a knack for painting vivid pictures with his words. 

He once said, “We’re all born into stories that we didn’t write. Stories that set the stage, but don’t dictate the plot.” 

That stuck with me. We’re all characters in a narrative that began without our input. But here’s the thing – our story isn’t just about the opening chapter.

Think about the family you were born into. They gave you your first sense of identity, but as you grew, you started carving out a unique self. 

Or consider the country of your birth. It set the backdrop, but you’ve been painting the scenery as you journey through life. 

And talents? Well, they’re just the starting point. It’s what you do with them, or how you compensate with hard work and grit, that really shapes your script.

This part of our journey is like the setting of a novel – necessary for context, but it’s the actions of the protagonist (that’s you!) that drive the story forward. 

It’s about playing the hand you’re dealt in the best way you can, learning the rules as you go, and sometimes, even changing the game.

In the chapters to come, let’s explore how the choices we make can redefine our narrative, turn the tides, and maybe even lead us to a path we never thought possible. 

Because in the grand scheme of things, it’s not just about the cards we’re dealt, but how we play them.

Crafting Your Path Though Choices

Now, let’s talk about the choices we make in our lives. It’s like being the director of your own movie. Sure, you didn’t choose the opening scene, but every scene that follows? 

That’s in your hands.

Imagine you’re at a crossroads. One path is paved with familiar stones – it’s the route of ‘given circumstances,’ the things about your life you can’t change. 

The other path? It’s less traveled, a bit rough around the edges, but it’s marked with signs that say ‘Integrity,’ ‘Kindness,’ ‘Hard Work,’ ‘Preparation.’ 

This is the path of choice.

If you’re a fan of Ralph Waldo Emerson, then you’re familiar with the saying, “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

Take integrity, for instance. It’s not a grand, heroic act reserved for fairy tales or history books.

It’s in the little things – choosing to return the extra change the cashier accidentally handed you, or standing up for what’s right, even when it’s not popular. 

These are the moments that carve your character, more than any inherited trait ever could.

Or kindness. It’s not just a spontaneous gesture for someone in need. It’s a consistent approach to how you treat people, how you listen, how you empathize. 

Kindness is a series of choices that collectively paint a picture of who you are.

And then there’s hard work and preparation. They’re not glamorous or always fun.

But choosing to put in the effort, day after day, to hone your skills, to prepare for opportunities that haven’t even knocked yet – that’s what separates a dream from a goal.

Consistency? It’s the choice to keep showing up, even when the progress feels slow, even when the audience is just you.

It’s the commitment to your craft, your goals, your values, no matter what the weather is like.

Your attitude, your responses, the people you choose to be around – these are all strokes of the brush on the canvas of your life.

They can either maintain the status quo or paint a vibrant, ever-changing picture.

Remember, the choices we make aren’t just about altering our own story – they send ripples into the world, affecting those around us, often in ways we can’t even fathom.

So, as we journey through life’s maze, let’s cherish these choices. 

Each one is a step, a leap, a stride in the direction of the person we aspire to be.

They’re the building blocks of a path that leads to a horizon filled with possibilities – a horizon that you get to paint with the colors of your choices.

Overcoming Challenges in Making Positive Choices

Alright, let’s get real for a moment. Making positive choices sounds great on paper, but in practice? It’s like trying to stick to a diet when there’s a mouth-watering chocolate cake in front of you. 

The right choice isn’t always the easy one.

There’s this thing about life – it’s full of moments that test our resolve to choose wisely. Sometimes, it’s external pressure – the voices around us suggesting the path of least resistance. 

Other times, it’s the internal battle – our own fears, doubts, and insecurities.

I remember a time when I faced such a challenge. I had a decision to make in my career, a choice between a safe, well-trodden path and an uncertain, risky one that aligned more with my passions.

The safe path whispered promises of stability and predictability. 

The risky path? It was like a leap into the unknown. Everyone around me had their opinions, but deep down, I knew the choice was mine to make.

A famous Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, Viktor E. Frankl said, “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response.”

So, how do we navigate these moments? How do we stand firm in our choices when the winds of challenge blow strong?

Acknowledge the Difficulty 

The first step is to recognize that it’s okay to find these choices hard. It’s human. Acknowledging this makes you more prepared to face the challenge head-on.

Reflect on Your Values 

When in doubt, turn to your core values. What matters most to you? Integrity, growth, kindness? Let these be your guiding stars.

Seek Support

Sometimes, a little nudge from a mentor, a friend, or a loved one can make all the difference. There’s strength in community and shared wisdom.

Take Small Steps 

Big choices can be daunting. Break them down into smaller, manageable steps. It’s like climbing a mountain – focus on one step at a time.

Visualize the Outcome 

Imagine the best possible outcome of your choice. How does it align with your goals, your dreams, your vision for your life? Let this vision inspire and guide you.

Embrace Mistakes as Learning Opportunities 

Remember, every choice won’t lead to a win. Some will teach you valuable lessons. And that’s okay. It’s all part of growing.

Making positive choices, especially under pressure, is a testament to your character.

It’s a display of your mettle.

And every time you choose in alignment with your values, you not only shape your life’s trajectory but also set an example for those watching – a beacon of inspiration in a world that often favors the easy over the right.

So, when you’re faced with a tough choice, take a deep breath, remember who you are and what you stand for, and take that step. 

Your future self will thank you for it.

The Ripple Effect of Your Choices

Have you ever thrown a pebble into a pond and watched the ripples spread far and wide? 

That’s exactly what our choices do – they create ripples, extending far beyond our immediate sphere, touching lives in ways we might never fully comprehend.

Take a simple act of kindness, for instance. 

I recall a day when I was in line at a coffee shop, and the person ahead of me, a stranger, paid for my drink. 

A small gesture, yet it brightened my entire day. Inspired, I paid it forward to someone else. And who knows how far that chain of kindness traveled?

Our choices, especially the ones we make consistently, shape not only our lives but also influence those around us. 

Choosing integrity doesn’t just build your character; it instills trust and respect in those you interact with. 

Consistent hard work and preparation can be a source of motivation for your peers, encouraging them to aim higher.

And then there’s the impact of our attitudes and responses. Ever noticed how a positive attitude can be contagious? 

It can lift the spirits of a whole team, a family, or a group of friends. On the flip side, negativity can also spread, dampening morale and stifling creativity.

Here’s a perspective I like to keep in mind – every choice we make is like a thread in the tapestry of the human experience. 

Our threads intertwine with others, creating patterns and colors that contribute to a larger picture.

So, as we make our choices, let’s be mindful of the ripples we create. 

“Every action has its pleasures and its price.” – Socrates.

Let’s strive to make them positive, uplifting, and inspiring.

Whether it’s the way we treat a colleague, the passion we pour into our work, or the energy we bring into a room, each choice has the potential to leave a lasting impact, not just on our path, but on the paths of those whose lives we touch.

Remember, our choices are our legacy, the mark we leave on the world. 

Let’s make them count.

Crafting Your Destiny, One Choice at a Time

As we wrap up on the impact of choices in our lives, it’s clear that while we may not control where we start, we certainly have a say in where we go. 

Life is a mix of given circumstances and conscious decisions, a blend of fate and free will.

We began our journey acknowledging the things we don’t get to choose – our family, birthplace, innate talents. These are the foundations, the starting blocks of our life story. 

But as we’ve seen, the heart of our narrative lies in the choices we make: integrity, kindness, hard work, preparation, consistency, attitude, responses, and the company we keep.

Each choice leaves a mark on our lives. Some are broad and bold, shaping our life’s direction. Others are delicate, adding nuances and depth to who we are. 

Together, they create a masterpiece uniquely ours, a life lived not by chance but by choice.

Making these choices are not just strategies for personal growth; they are affirmations of our agency in a world that often feels beyond our control.

So, as you step forward from here, remember this: your life is an ongoing series of choices. 

I recall a famous quote from William Jennings Bryan that feels appropriate here: “Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice.”

Some will be easy, others will test your mettle, but each one is a step towards the future you envision. In the long run, let your choices weave a story of resilience, purpose, and triumph.

As we part ways in this conversation, I leave you with a thought: Your life is not a pre-written script to be followed; it’s an unwritten epic to be authored, one choice at a time.

Embrace this power with both hands, and watch as the chapters of your life unfold in ways you never imagined.

Until next time, choose wisely, live passionately, and create the life you’ve always dreamt of. 

Because, in the end, the most beautiful stories are those we write ourselves.


How can I develop integrity in a world that often values shortcuts and easy wins?

Developing integrity starts with small, daily decisions. Choose honesty over deceit, even in trivial matters.

Integrity isn’t about grand gestures; it’s about consistent truthfulness and ethical behavior, even when no one is watching.

What strategies can help maintain consistent hard work and preparation when I feel unmotivated?

Set clear, achievable goals and break them down into smaller tasks. Celebrate small victories to maintain motivation.

Also, remember your ‘why’ – the reason you started. It can be a powerful motivator to keep pushing forward.

How do I cultivate a positive attitude, especially in challenging situations?

Start by acknowledging your feelings, but don’t dwell on negativity. Practice gratitude – focusing on what you have, rather than what you lack.

Surround yourself with positive influences, and remember that a positive attitude is a choice you can make every day.

What if I make a choice and it leads to failure? How should I respond?

View failure as a learning opportunity. Analyze what went wrong, what you could do differently, and how you can grow from the experience.

Every successful person has faced failure; what sets them apart is their resilience and willingness to keep trying.

Is it ever too late to change my trajectory and make better choices?

It’s never too late. Life is a continuous journey of learning and growth. Start where you are, make a plan, and take the first step.

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time is now.

How can I ensure the choices I make align with my long-term goals?

Regularly review your goals and the choices you’re making. Ask yourself if your daily actions are moving you closer to or further from your goals.

Don’t be afraid to adjust your course if necessary – flexibility is a key part of long-term success.

How do I handle the pressure of making the ‘right’ choice when faced with difficult decisions?

When faced with tough choices, it’s important to take a step back and give yourself time to think. Evaluate the pros and cons, consult with trusted advisors or mentors, and listen to your intuition.

Sometimes there’s no clear ‘right’ choice, but rather a choice that’s right for you at the moment.

And it’s okay if every choice isn’t perfect – what matters most is learning and growing from the decisions you make.

How can I balance being kind with maintaining my own boundaries and not being taken advantage of?

Kindness doesn’t mean saying ‘yes’ to everything. It’s about compassion and empathy, but also about respect – for others and for yourself.

Set clear boundaries and communicate them respectfully.

Being kind also involves being kind to yourself, which means not allowing others to disrespect or take advantage of your generosity.

True kindness is a strength, not a weakness.

In a fast-paced world, how can I stay consistent with my goals without burning out?

Consistency is key to achieving long-term goals, but so is self-care. Find a balance by setting realistic expectations and giving yourself permission to take breaks when needed.

Develop a routine that includes time for rest and activities you enjoy. Also, be adaptable and willing to adjust your methods if you find they’re leading to burnout.

Consistency isn’t about going full speed all the time; it’s about steady, sustainable progress.