It’s always a choice

February 27, 2014

You cannot control the weather. You cannot control physics, chemistry or biology. You cannot control the laws of human behavior. You cannot really control much of anything.

The one thing you might be able to control is your own attitude and behavior.

And when you do this, you have a critical choice to make. You can think of yourself as a victim, buffeted by a set of forces that are indifferent or malevolent, or you can see yourself as an agent—one that makes choices.  And then you do the best you can to act accordingly.

Too many people see themselves as victims. Of a harsh world. Of an evil company. Of a bad boss. Of a stupid process…

That worldview neither helps them nor helps the world. It is counterproductive.

Here is the harsh truth:  The world doesn’t give a shit about you. But it’s also not out to get you. It’s just there. And you have to decide how to react. It’s easy to blame it on the world. It’s easy to believe that you have no choice.

But it’s also lazy.

You do have a choice. Choice doesn’t mean easy. It doesn’t mean free of pain. It just means you get to choose. It may be a tough choice (actually, if it’s easy, is it really a choice?). You might not have all the information you need. You might not have enough time… But you get to choose. And then you get to live with the consequences.

You can take the easy way out. You can tell us a story about how you didn’t have a choice. Many people will even believe you. And then pat you on the head and tell you what a good boy or girl you are. If getting a pat on the head is your life’s dream, then that’s what you should do.

If having an impact and making a difference is your life’s dream then you need to start by accepting that there’s always a choice. And then using yours wisely.

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