Life is a multitude of choices. We get to choose what we are going to eat, wear and how to do our hair. We choose if we are going to go to work or call in sick. Choices and options are a beautiful freedom. People behind bars wish they had a choice on what they are going to eat tonight.
Choices lead to decisions and being a good decision maker is premium in a world full of options. The decisions we make shape the direction of our lives. What we say “no” to is just as important as the opportunities we say “yes” to along the journey. We have the freedom to choose who we are going to be in life.
Have you ever sat down and asked yourself:
- “Who do I want to be?”
- “What does the future me look like?”
- “How do I want to be known by my friends, family and associates?”
In my neighborhood, there are groups of children that like to play in the street. They do not move out of the way when cars are coming. I have seen them stand in the middle of the street and look at a driver like, “you are getting in my way with your car.” These kids will have two or three cars lined up waiting on them to finish playing kick ball in the middle of the street. This is of course until I pull up in my big black Yukon and honk my horn for as long as they are in the middle of the street. YES! It is as loud and disruptive as you can imagine the horn of a two-ton truck to be. It does not stop there though. I will then advise them on how extremely dangerous it is for them to play in the middle of a main road and audaciously rude to have four cars waiting on them to finish playing kick ball. Then I ask, “Where is your mother?” By that time, they have all scattered to their backyards.
In that moment, I had to ask myself, “Brenda how do you want to be known in your neighborhood?” Do I really want to be known as the angry, old lady in the big black truck? Of course not! I quit my nice corporate job so I can be an inspiration for people to write their own story and live life to their full potential. Angry old lady does not fit in that category. That means my behavior had to change because of the decision I made to be an inspiration, not a complication. Now let’s keep it real, I have been known to be a complication a time or two. Times change and so do people. When you make a decision on who you want to be, then you begin to take actions that lead to the future you.
“A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.” Tony Robbins
Instead of having stern talks with the children in the middle of the street, I am sending a letter to all the mothers in the subdivision. This will be an encouraging and informative letter advising them of the dangers of and statistics about children playing in the streets. Many of them may be young mothers that simply don’t know that one in every five children under the age of 15 who were killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians.1 My goal is not to be the angry old lady in a big black truck. My goal is to love people and avoid the possibilities of a horrible neighborhood accident. The key is I get to make a decision on how I respond to the kids playing in the street. I get to decide who I am going to be in that moment.In the Moment
Do you have some situations in your life that you need to sit back and decide, “Who am I going to be in this moment?” In critical times, like a messy divorce or dealing with a toxic work environment you need more than emotions and reactions to navigate you to higher ground. A well thought out response based on the person you want to be is always better than a knee jerk emotional reaction.
I don’t care what the world has told you. YOU GET TO DECIDE WHO YOU ARE! You make a decision everyday what type of person you are going to be, to yourself and others.
- Dependable or flaky
- Trustworthy or dishonest
- Debt free or slave to debt
- Speak to yourself as if you love yourself or allow self-doubt and insecurity to rule your inner voice
The life you live is your choice.
“But until a person can say deeply and honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,” that person cannot say, “I choose otherwise.” Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
As long as we blame others, jobs and circumstances for the life we experience we can never make a different choice. That mentality is always a slave to things outside of its control. When the truth is, the life we live is a sum total of the decisions we made yesterday.2 Let’s make different decisions.
- Decide to show up for you!
- Decide to invest in your personal development!
- Decide to be HAPPY!
Make the decision to take the pen back and write the next chapter of your life the way you imagine it!
Decide who you want to be, the choice is yours!
1 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Facts 2015 Data – Pedestrians. Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; 20175. Publication no. DOT-HS-812-375.