Life will choose for you

Hello everyone and thanks for joining me I’m Tiffany Spaulding and this is Life in the Wick. As you know my goal is to encourage you to think more, think better, and change the life you have into the life you want.

 I’m not Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos or even Joe Rogan but I am living a life I chose. Is it perfect? No. But it is chosen. The topic today is choosing.

If you don’t choose life will choose for you.

When life chooses for you, the results are sometimes wonderful, sometimes terrible, but most of the time they’re mediocre. For all of us, there are points in our lives, decisions in our lives where life chooses, and we just go along with it.

Some of that is because we just don’t think about what’s being chosen.

Some of that is because we’re faced with choices every day that are small and insignificant, so the result isn’t important – not important enough to think about.

Choosing everything in your life would be EXHAUSTING.

Some stuff has to slip through the cracks. Hopefully, especially after listening to this podcast, you’re letting the unimportant stuff slip through the cracks and paying attention to the really important stuff.

For the purpose of today’s podcast I’m going to define choice as: Making a thorough and thoughtful decision that includes an evaluation of potential results and consequences.

Why is it important to choose? Choices come with consequences, I like to call these the three Rs of choice; resentment, responsibility, and results.

 Probably the most important of the three Rs is resentment

Resentment is a brutal mistress. She’ll weigh heavy on your mind, on your relationships, on your energy level, and even on your physical and mental health. Carrying resentment will breed contempt and malevolence.

One of the first steps in choosing is evaluating the resentments that may go along with the choice you’re making. If there are resentments, you need to deal with them or come up with a plan to deal with them before you finalize your choice.

The second R, responsibility – making decisions, consciously choosing, forces you to take responsibility. You’ll only have yourself to thank or blame when you take Responsibility – and for many of us, that is a very scary idea. The blame part in particular.

Finally, the third R, – Results. Results are the byproduct of decision-making. You will reap what you have sown.

It’s important to recognize, that choosing is not always easy, but there is always a choice and it is always yours to make.

It’s also important to recognize that choice is individual. You cannot choose for someone else nor they you because nobody else has the experiences, relationships, or situations that you have or have had. Your decisions are based on your life. This brings us to another important point, advice. Who should you be getting it from and how much should you be taking?

We have a tendency as human beings to seek advice from people who will agree with us. We tend to reject advice from people with a different opinion than our own. My only advice to you, on taking advice, is to seek advice from people who you know truly want the best for you. People who are willing to risk your anger, your relationship, or friendship, to tell you the truth.  These people are very difficult to find but once you do, hang on to them.

One of the crazy things about choice is that oftentimes we feel powerless to choose and even that is a choice.

When you don’t choose, you’re choosing to let life choose for you. Sometimes that’s easier, but it robs you of responsibility and can create horrible resentments and even worse results.

How do you start consciously choosing?

Start by creating a simple list. The choices you need to make today. Include small things:

  • What to have for dinner?
  • What to wear?
  • What chores need to be done?

 Choosing is a practice that becomes a habit. If you start with small choices first and refine your skills, you’ll get really good, really fast at big choices.

You think that making the decision of what to have for dinner is an easy choice, but when you start to think about the actual choice, there are a lot of things that go into it:

  • How much time do you have to prepare dinner?
  • Who else will be joining you for dinner?
  • Do they have any dietary restrictions? Do you?
  • Are there goals with what you’re eating?
  • Are you trying to use things in the refrigerator?
  • Are you trying to stay on a budget?
  • Are you trying to stay on a diet?

Choosing takes time, so consider making a bunch of choices that all go together at the same time – dinner decisions for a week.

Practicing choosing at this level trains your brain to practice choosing at every level.

It will improve your life immediately. You’ll be able to see the results of choosing on a daily level.

Now take the simple idea of planning for dinner and move it to the next level of decision-making in your life.

Maybe it’s about your relationship, maybe it’s finances, maybe it’s about your job.

 What are your goals in one, or all, of those areas? I know,…the G-word, yuck! Most people avoid the G-word, it brings up all the negative connotations that go along with setting a goal and then not achieving it.

Choosing anything without first identifying the goal, the desired end result of that choice makes choosing almost impossible. I’m sorry to be the one to confirm this for you, but you’ve got to set a few goals if you want a better life.

 Start with one thing, maybe your finances – where are they now where do you want them to be? Set a small goal. Once you’ve set a goal for finances a lot of the other choices that happen in your life will be easier because they relate to your financial goal. If your financial goal is to save more money, then the choice to go out to dinner and spend $100 or choose to stay home and have dinner for $25 becomes much simpler.

You’ll find this is true with whatever area of your life you want to start “choosing.” 

Let’s chat about the elephant in the room, you might be thinking… “Sure Tiffany, that’s easy for you to say, but you don’t know about my life. I can’t choose because…”

You’re right, I don’t know about your life, but I know one thing, you always have a choice and that choice is always yours to make.

The consequences of your choice may be difficult, but I promise you, in the long term, they will not be nearly as heavy as the weight of the resentment you feel when the choice is made for you.

If you are looking at a serious life choice – something like the end of a relationship or leaving a long time job – a choice that might have a huge effect on yourself or other people in your life, choosing that effect will be far easier than waiting and letting life choose it for you.

Here’s my advice – remember what I said about advice…I may not know you, but I truly do want the best for you, if you’ve taken the time to listen then there must be something you need to address, something you need to choose.

Choices aren’t always clear even though you think they are. Exam what you believe to be the choice and then come up with 5-6 other choices that could be considered before you make your final choice.

What do I mean by that? – You’ll have to listen to the relationship story that starts around minute 22 in the video that is attached to this post.

That sort of choice is not just in romantic relationships, it’s in everything – I’m just using the relationship example because those are generally the most difficult choices to make.

When you take responsibility for your choices you gain control of your life. Sometimes you’re going to screw things up, we’re human – we do that, but when you make a bad choice, you can take responsibility for that choice and fix it. 

Thanks so much for listening or watching.  I’m looking forward to reading your comments and hearing what you have to say about today’s message. What is the biggest choice facing you today?

I mentioned WDYDT in the video.  I wrote a blog post about this idea in the Totally-Tiffany blog.  Click here to read that post and learn more about WDYDT.

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