“Life is the sum of all your choices”
– Albert Camus
Even though there are many who believe they are just playing with the cards life dealt them, life is actually what we make of it. The direction (or ambiguity) of our lives is determined by the choices we make every day. Big or small, in the end, all our choices just add up to what we call ‘our destiny’.
From choosing a yogurt over that chocolate, opting for stairs instead of the elevator, picking out morose clothes for a day from the bright ones or simply choosing to work an additional hour apart from the usual 8 hours a day; everything you do, defines you and ultimately, defines your life.
The bitter truth of choices is that you ‘own’ them and by that I not just mean that momentary decision you just made, but also the consequences it has.
Another harsh reality that people often don’t want to face is the fact that even the bad choices (and their consequences) are theirs. You can’t just walk into a restaurant, order something, not like it and palm it off to the person sitting next to you. It’s not just wrong; but obnoxiously absurd because wasn’t that what you wanted to eat just a few minutes back?
“No one else can ever make your choices for you. Your choices are yours alone. They are as much a part of you as every breath you will take, every moment of your life.”
– Dr. Shad Helmstetter.
We live in a world where just about everything pushes us towards temptation. The temptation to give into that popular wine everyone’s been talking about even though it isn’t good for you, to buy that bag from a luxury brand despite the fact that your bank balance is revolting or for that matter, to try dating that guy who looks just too good to let go of. To be honest, each of these examples could have a good consequence but chances are that the bad ones could be waiting their turn just around the corner.
Though there’s a lot that life has to offer, we need to know what we really want from it; you can’t just have everything.
Life is like a road. Roads that could be long or short, smooth or rocky, straight or curvy; where you reach entirely depends on the one you choose. We often term this trip as the ‘journey through life’. A trip down an unknown highway is good only for as long as it lasts in your favour. The road you choose to take might lead to a life of blessedness or complete distress; a big bank balance or a state of poverty; towards victory or defeat; to the ultimate sense of achievement or heights of disappointment.
Like the regular roads you take to work and back, each one has corners and a few detours. These detours might cause an hour’s delay in your plans, but you took them for a reason – it could be to avoid a traffic jam someone warned you of or simply to try out something new. Either ways, you reach your destination; only not in the time you assumed you would.
But what happens when you hit a crossroad? With four roads to choose from, how do you know which one to take? Would you turn around and look for a straighter route; would you give it five minutes to gauge the consequences or would you just trust your gut and take any of them?
Here’s a thing about roads, they come with no guarantees.
Now the funny thing about life is that, it loves acting up. It will fit in as many crossroads in your path as possible just to see which one you choose with that limited knowledge about the consequence it will have.
One of the most important things you need to realize about life is that it comes with no guarantees, no instructions and no one to set you on the right path. Choosing what is right at a given moment might not be what you agree with a few hours down the line. Reaching the epitome of fame and fortune does not guarantee a life of happiness. A bad word from someone who has been in your industry for longer than you does not mean the end of your career, it could probably make you something you never even imagined.
No one can determine the consequences. The only power you have is that over the choices you make and how you react when the consequences walk in. You could spend weeks crying over the bad ones or hours partying because of the good ones, or setting aside time to plan your next move. There are all kinds of people and each one is going to pick what they find is convenient for them – another choice they make in life!
So while you’re at it (trading and playing the cards that life handed you), choose the right set of people because believe it or not, you somewhat become the person you spend most of your time with. This new person you become could make you an ace gambler or a sore loser.
And, take chances! They’re worth every penny you got. You might not win at every game, but you could learn a lot from each one.
PS. If nothing else works, get a dog (or a cat); they are the best company you could ever get!
If you have got some more time on hand, do read the Quotes About Choices curated on goodreads!