Some Thoughts On Choice

We have a choice in absolutely everything we do. There is nothing, in actual fact that we don’t. Sounds controversial I know; I can hear those cries of uproar at me. Sometimes I want to question the statement myself; but I can’t, I stand by my claim and here is why.

In life things happen, they just do. In the majority of cases when something comes up we have a choice, do we say yes or no, pick the red or the blue, do we stay or do we go. Of course, these choices are influenced by a whole myriad of things. Such as our mood on that particular day, our tastes and our personality.

Sometimes our choices are conscious, well thought out and long deliberated over. At other times they are unconscious, driven by instinct or previous behaviour. Making unconscious choices feels completely natural, in such moments no thinking is really required, the choices just happen.

Yes, sometimes choices can be difficult, especially the conscious ones, where we have to make a difficult decision on something, one that may take us out of our comfort zones or lead on to our lives is harder. We sometimes put them off, often at our own peril and sometimes in those cases, we may choose to let things happen.

We may choose to allow other people or circumstances to may a decision for us and ultimately choose to live with the consequences.  Again sometimes this can be a conscious or unconscious choice, it may not feel like we are able to make a choice, but we are, albeit without being totally aware that we have taken it. 

It is at this point that I think it best to head off the inevitable ‘but’ that is coming around the corner. It’s OK I have seen it from a mile away, I’ve got it covered! So let’s do that, shall we…..

But what about when something happens like a car crash or I get sick, what about covid? Where is the choice in those things? Surely there isn’t any? And in a sense no there is not. However, what there is ‘choice’ in, is the way in which we decide to respond to these things and I think that this is key to this whole article. This idea, and I think it is worth repeating, is that I may not be able to control certain things that happen but I can choose how I am going to respond to them.

Take for example the global covid pandemic. No one was able to predict or prepare for it, let alone have any choice in the changes that it inevitably brought to literally everyone’s lives. And while this is correct, everyone had a choice in how they personally responded to it and everyone ended up making that choice.

It may have been a positive choice, acknowledging and accepting the fact that nothing could be done to change the external circumstances, therefore deciding to adapt and trying to make the most of a difficult and trying situation. Or a negative choice whereby time and energy was devoted to either bemoaning the fact that nothing can be done to change the external circumstances or blaming those circumstances for not taking any positive or productive action.

Now I am not saying that this is easy. And I fully acknowledge that I am often the first person to lament the fact that I have no choice in this or that. I am well known am I for my ability to worry about things endlessly and not let them go, much to my own chagrin at times. But simply knowing that we have a choice in our response is to me, at least a good thing and offers yet another choice in itself in terms of what to actually do with that information.

Ultimately, The choice is yours.

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