“We all need to decide whether to “play it safe” in life and worry about the downside, or instead take a chance, by being who we really are and living the life our heart desires. Which choice are you making?” – Charlie Badenhop
Last week I met one of my old friends. It was a long-awaited meeting. We used to be best of buddies. As life progressed so as the distance between us. A time came when we just knew the whereabouts of each other and had no connection. With all due thanks to social media that we were able to reconnect after two decades. I was super excited and was reminiscing the old memories of our friendship and about his qualities. He was an intellectual and confident individual. A firm self-believer, ambitious and hardworking. His personality always gave a feeling that one day he will pave his way to the highest milestone in his career. Presently he is working at a senior position in a well-known company. But when we met, I realised that he was not what I knew or remembered him. There was an exponential change in him. He had achieved big heights in his career, but I felt he had been compromising on himself in many other aspects of his personality. He was no more that energetic and vibrant personality rather he had stooped shoulders and wore a cosmetic smile. His attitude sounded too materialistic and practical. He had the best of everything in his kitty, yet something was amiss. On my prompts, he disclosed about dissatisfaction with his job. His boss was very diplomatic and not respectful to him. So, when I suggested him to opt-out, he immediately replied– my paycheques do not let me leave. I was shocked as he was a person who never compromised with his self-respect and today, he was bearing a pain that was self-inflicted. He was now a completely changed person. It took time for me to absorb this new change, but sadly it was true. He was willingly doing it.
I think it is not about my friend, but we come across many such people who are always grumpy or frowning for the situation, people, and things in their lives, yet they stick to it. There is lack of quotient of happiness in their life. Despite of best of everything, still they are unhappy and may feel trapped. Their solace lies in complaining and not really doing much about it. Meeting my friend on that day gave me the realisation that it is the choice that one makes by self. Probably our circumstances or situations are not in our hands but how we choose to act on it is our own decision. It is about how we choose to choose in our life. Even an expectation from someone is also a choice. Most of the times the reason for pain in our life is a set of expectations from others. And when it is not met the reaction or response to it is also our choice. When we look forward to someone for help and sympathy, it is also a choice to put oneself vulnerable to others sponge or be strong enough to stand for self. A decision whether to create a void and further deepen it or to plant seeds of beautiful flowers… Our whole life is based on choices. We make choices at every moment in our life, and every “NOW” moment is the result of our preferences, it is a prerequisite of the life.
The choices that we make in our life deeply influences our state of mind. When we choose to move with the way life comes and refuse to change, we succumb to the circumstances. On the other hand, if we wish to create the changes, we need to initiate it. Change means an intentional and systematic move of charting out the unknown paths. A transformation that will uncover a new side of one’s personality. But the precondition to it is the willingness to explore it. Mending and Bending paths in one’s own way are not easy. Introspection, Efforts, Patience, and Courage are the steps towards it. As there is no surety that things will click in the first attempt. One must be consistent with time and focus. Before we become imprisoned and miserable for the wrong choices, free yourself and have guts to pave your own way and walk, let your confidence brighten your personality. Be prepared for the struggles and the lows that will come along. Unlike my friend who preferred his paycheques to his self-esteem. His fear of losing his cheques and the current lifestyle made him surrender to the circumstances, and unknowingly he made himself vulnerable to many more problems.
Choosing to choose works on shifting the mindset that will gradually mould life in a way that you want to live for yourself and not falling prey to the circumstances. Our preferences define the future that we want to make for ourselves. If we research the lives of great people, they have chosen the path that was never made instead they made their own ways. It must have been a tough journey for them, but it gave them the experiences that were precious and treasured by generations. A thought to unearth and review and readjust the focal point of the situations needs courage and conviction. So, it is a call to opt: whether to flow with the flow of life or to redirect the flow in one’s own way.
I demolish my bridges behind me, then there is no choice but forward – Fridtjof Nansen
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