Over the years I have come to believe that life is eventually about choices. The choices you make now can shape your day, shape your views, shape your experiences, shape your thoughts and shape your life...
There are some life choices over which you have no control or which others will make for you -- like when and where you are born, the family you are born into, your life during childhood, etc. Beyond that, there are several other important choices that we all make in life. In this post, I have articulated the choices that are significant in determining how life turns out.
1. Choice to learn
Learning is a choice that you make consciously or unconsciously. This could be through formal education (college graduation, post-graduation, etc.) or self-learning through MOOC (Massive Online Open Course), reading, observation, tutorials, meaningful discussions, pursuit of hobbies, human interactions, personal experiences, reflections, self-realisations, etc. In the long run, the importance you personally associate with learning and how disciplined you are in your learning efforts can potentially transform your life.
2. Choices in and of relationships
The closeness or distances you chose to maintain with family (immediate and beyond) affects your life. In addition, the friends you choose to make and how you choose to nurture these bonds over a period of time impacts your life. More importantly, the choice of your life partner has a significant bearing on how your life will eventually turn out. Lastly, the choice of how you build and nurture other relationships in your personal and professional life makes a difference.
3. Choice on the importance you associate with your personal health
Your overall health is a function of many things. The key determinants being the diet you choose to consume and the nature of exercise you ensure on a regular basis. Of course, the pre-requisite is that you need to be aware about these two aspects on your everyday life and knowledgeable on how they affect your life. Beyond this, you need to ensure that you invest the required time and effort to eat wisely and exercise regularly.
4. Choice of the place you reside
The place you live in affects every dimension of your life, whether or not you acknowledge it. And place includes every dimension of your immediate environment -- encompassing the milieu at home, to the exact location in terms of geographic coordinates; the latitude and longitude -- to the weather, to the people living in your vicinity, to the community life, to the availability of resources, etc. All these affect your daily routine, your lifestyle, your social networks, your productivity, your outlook to life, your opinions, your views, your judgments, your energy, your creativity, your thoughts...
5. Choice with respect to your personal finances
Your choices on the importance you give to personal finance will eventually determine the quality of your life. Beginning from how much time and effort you put in to understanding personal finances, to how much financial planning you do, to how much you earn, to how much you save, to how much you invest and most importantly to how frequently to review your finances and make the required course corrections.
6. Choice to bear children and how you decide to raise them
Children mark the beginning of a new phase in your life -- one which changes almost every dimension of your life. And once you have children, you need to make choices in their upbringing -- both minor and major. And all the choices you make for them will eventually determine how they grow and evolve! After all, children of today are the grown-ups of tomorrow. How you nurture your children will ultimately reflect in what they make of themselves and the mark they leave in the world. And this will be part of your legacy.
7. Choice on your life priorities
At some time in the journey of life, you have to be clear and decide on your life priorities and also rank them in an ascending order. There's no right or wrong here -- it's just a personal choice. It's vital to be cognizant that for every priority you choose, there are implications, both big and small, both positive and negative, both in how they will affect your life today and several years from now.
8. Choice of your vocation and organization
The vocation you choose affects many dimensions of your life -- from how your daily routine is, to how happy you are, to how much you earn, to the kind of people you interact with, to the kind of impact you can make in your sphere of influence. Based on the choice of your vocation, you also make a choice on the kind of organization that you work for -- be it self-employed or as an employee.
9. Choice of how you value time -- both yours and others
Time is one of the most valuable personal asset for any individual. And the respect, importance and value you associate with your time and others' time will reflect in how you conduct yourself, how you interact with others and how others will respond to you.
10. Choice on your spiritual journey
One of the most important choices that you make in life is connected to your spiritual awareness, growth and journey. And what's significant is how aware you are of this journey, the priority you associate with it and the personal commitment you make to progress and advance in this journey.
11. Choice of how you value yourself
This choice of how you value yourself can initiate a metamorphosis in your life. And this one single choice has the potential to change your acuity of yourself, your self-confidence, your dreams, your goals, your successes and also others perceptions of you. It is one of the most noteworthy and transformational choices anyone can make in life.
12. Choice not to choose
Last and most importantly, the choice not to choose the above or any other key aspect of your life is again a choice that has the potential to transform your life...
Ending words of wisdom -- make your choices wisely today.
What choices do you think affect anyone's life? Leave a comment to let us know
A version of this post appeared on the author's blog