It’s so easy to forget that each day we make choices. And that all those choices – big and small – are the guiding force for our lives.
This seems especially true when we hear other people’s stories that we envy or wish for. Ya know what I’m talking about. When you hear about someone that has traveled the world do you find yourself saying, “Sure it’s easy for her because she doesn’t have a house/family/dog/etc., to worry about.” Or maybe when you learn that someone has decided to start an entirely new career you think to yourself, “Well of course he can do that he’s young and free/old and retired/smart and rich/etc.”
When I catch myself thinking like this I know that I need a choices reality check.
The truth is I could sell all my belongings and travel the world. I choose to have the companionship and responsibility of a dog. I choose to live my homesteading dreams now and own chickens. I choose to prioritize my relationship with Kale and build a life where we can spend time together. If I wanted to travel the world for an extended time, I would have to compromise some of the things I’m currently choosing.
What about you? Could you travel if you didn’t own a home, car or pets? Are those choices that you want to change?
The truth is I am on an entirely new career path. I choose to sometimes feel completely lost and scared in return for the excitement of following my dreams. I choose to make less money now – and therefore have less to spend – in return for pursuing my passions. I choose to have people think I’m a bit whacky for not just getting a normal job like everyone else in return for the chance to blaze my own path.
What about you? Could you change careers if you ignored conventional wisdom and charged past your fears? Are those choices you’re willing to make each day?
Perhaps you’ll find – like I usually do – that you’re actually quite satisfied with your current choices (your house, your family, your life path in general), but for some reason your autopilot gets flipped on when you hear of someone else’s adventure. And when that happens you go straight into justifying why they can do something and you can’t.
When this happens I find it useful to state out loud your choices. So instead of just saying, “I wish I could travel.” I say to myself, “Right now I’m choosing to live in this lovely rental, with my dog, partner, and chickens. I could make other choices, but I don’t want to at the moment.” I like to add the “at the moment” part because it reminds me that everything is always in motion. Perhaps I don’t want to make those choices now, but in future I might change. And that’s perfectly alright.
Are you ever in need of a choices reality check? What choices are you happily making right now? Let me know in the comments – I’d love to know your thoughts on this.