Choices. Life is all about them. They are all around us. You choose what to wear everyday, or whether to hit the snooze button in the morning, or even if you are going to be nice to the person behind the counter making your daily latte. You choose; nobody else.
It’s too easy these days to place blame on other people for the choices we make in life. Admit it; we all do it even when we try not to, or even when we don’t realize we’re doing it. An example would be blaming a friend for not watching out for you at a club and you end getting wasted, making an ass of yourself. Is that truly the friend’s fault? Did that friend make you drink, or get up on the speaker and drop your pants? No, the only person you can blame for your mistakes is you.
Here’s another example: You’re trying for a promotion at work, but the position is given to someone else that everyone knows isn’t qualified for the job but killed in the interview. Moreover, you’re informed that you need to show more confidence and leadership skills in order to get a promotion in the future. Who’s to blame for you not getting the job? Is it the boss’s fault for not seeing those qualities in you when you haven’t shown it to them? Is it the other applicant’s fault that they’re better in an interview setting? No, it’s all you. Who else? Be honest, you can have the best employee file in the world, the best attendance record, the best work evaluations, but if you can’t show to other people that you can do the job then why should it be given to you?
Choices are everywhere, and there’s no way to get away from them. Even if you try to get someone else to decide what movie to go see or which restaurant to go to, that in itself is a choice. You’ve just chosen to not make a choice, to try to put the choice on someone else’s shoulders.
Too often, as a society, we tend to sit around and whine about being alone, or being broke, or what have you. It’s become a part of everyday life for us. We’ve become a society of pessimists, always focusing on the bad stuff that happens to us. We don’t empower ourselves enough to take charge of our lives and change what we don’t like. At some point, we have to stop playing the blame game and choose to live life to the fullest.
If you’re lonely, you have to do something other than sit at home and complain about it, or sit at some bar playing a video lottery machine all by yourself. That’s just avoiding life. You have to be willing to put yourself out there to meet new people. Smile at a stranger. Stand at the bar instead of against the wall away from everyone else. Dance in the middle of the floor instead of at the edge. Be willing to meet a variety of people, whether you think they’re your type or not, because you never know when one of them may turn out to be the next love of your life, or may introduce you to someone who may be that person. And you have to understand that a meaningful relationship, although very satisfying, will not complete you. Only you can do that.
If you can’t afford to pay your bills because you go out partying every weekend, then don’t go out partying, or at least only take a small amount of money with you so you can’t over do it. Perhaps it’s your spending habits, so make a budget and stick to it. Cut out those things that really don’t matter, like the extra bag of chips or eating out a couple times a week, and use that money for something you truly need like ensuring you have enough airtime on your cell phone for emergencies. Empower yourself to say no to doing what you can’t afford. Ultimately, if you say yes and then you’re broke, what’s going to happen? You’re going to sit at home calling yourself names, putting yourself down for spending what you didn’t have. And that’s not productive.
It’s all about making the right choices in life, and it is true, sometimes we don’t make the right ones, but it’s also about making the best of the situation you’re in. Choose to be upbeat about life, choose to have fun, and choose to show yourself you can do something about it. Take charge of your own life, and lead yourself to where you want to go. Stop waiting for something or someone to come into your life to make it feel complete, and make it happen yourself.
Make a choice. Empower yourself to make that choice. Be bold. Be confident. Lead yourself to what you want in life. Because, in the end, the only person that will benefit from it is you.
Copyright 2007 by Martin P. Wilson