This journey of life that we are on seems so daunting. We all struggle, have pain, experience stress, have hard times and live with adversity. It may be different for all of us, but very few people on the planet are exempt from having dark and difficult times. What, though, is different between people who generally feel a sense of personal peace and happiness and those who are miserable? I have come to the conclusion that the key lies within our decisions.
Some people have opportunities, chances and options offered to them and somehow, things always go sour. Others may start in the exact same place but their results are completely different. Since all of us have the exact same 24 hours each day and we all manage to get completely different life results, the fine line that separates all of us then, is our choices.
Even though some individuals tend to make a career out of damaging choices, there is actually good news. Although there are many variables in life, we at least have a chance to make new choices, each and every day of our lives. We get to choose what we eat, what we wear, who we spend time with, what we do for a living, how we get around, what kind of housing we live in, what we focus our attention and energy on, whether we are grateful or unappreciative, and so much more. When you think about, by the time you have read this, you have probably already made dozens of choices today.
When you opened your eyes, after sleeping, you decided what to do first. You decided what to say to yourself, in your head or out loud. You decided what to wear, or to stay naked. You decided what to drink or eat, if anything. You decided if you would make your bed, or not. You decided to put on music, or not. You decided to check your phone, or not. You decided to let your dog out, or not. You decided, in the first place, if you had a dog, or not. You decided what you did before bed. You decided what time to go to bed, etc. Or, you decided that you would let someone else decide all of these things.
I learned, back in my late 20’s and early 30’s, that in order to improve anything about my life, I had to take full responsibility and accountability for my decisions and choices. I had to stop blaming anyone for anything that caused me to feel out of sorts. I had to do an autopsy of my life and identify when I began to feel off, out of balance or stressed.
I also had to analyze relationships, things that brought me down, situations that were toxic and what I really wanted for my life. I had to do research on who I really was and what I really wanted for my life – what a mess this process can be.
I am now creeping towards 50 years of age and this process is still on-going. It really never ends.
There are many days I am still a mess. You should see my wild hair days, mascara down my face and my favourite fleece blue sweatshirt covered in whatever sweet thing I could find to eat. If all else fails, a spoonful of honey will do the trick. When I stopped living my life unconsciously, though, going through the motions of the day-in and day-out of the daily grind, I was making a forever choice. It was a decision to become fully alive, fully engaged in creating my life and fully aware that I had an artistic hand in what was happening around me.
It is a fact that most people go through life without doing this analysis. You could; however, be lumped in with the “mid-life crisis” or “nervous breakdown” club, that is really the “mid-life awakening” and “authentic breakopen” club (terms which I prefer). I think it is amazing to stop the rat race, the never-ending series of mindless events that constitute our lives, in order to reflect on where we have been and where we are going.
If we happen to end up in a big puddle of tears on the floor, need some anxiety healing or therapy along the way, it simply means that we are growing, changing, progressing and re-evaluating a part of our life that has not been working. Hopefully you do this analysis at a younger age than I did but kudos to you, if you have also been there.
Life is way too short to go through life mindlessly. It can end much too soon. We can miss out on so much joy. We can have so many regrets. I don’t want any more regrets. I want joy. I want peace. I want purpose. I want fun. I want happiness. I want love. I want connection. I want to make a contribution. I want creativity. I want learning. I want growth. I want adventure. I want exploration. I want travel. I want nature. I want new experiences that make my one-time, one-way ride on this planet filled with as many smiles, happy times, good memories and great stories as possible. Even though so many people don’t realize it, we all have a choice.
Our life is a series of decisions, one crossroad at a time and one moment at time. It doesn’t mean that all moments are amazing and fantastic, because we all experience adversity, but it does mean that should we decide that we would like more of that peace and joy stuff, that we can make it happen. Since my choices mean that I have less stability and take more risks than most, I am also responsible for any negative consequences. My choices, though, equal my results – good and bad.
I integrate as many of the things that I love to do and that I love to be around and that I love to engage in, because I am creating a life by piecing together as many enjoyable moments as possible. I happen to share thousands of these moments online, with photos and written and spoken word. Your life will have different things than mine will, because we all have different interests, but if you are not fully engaged and active in creating the best version of your life, then maybe today is a great day to start.
If we make choices and decisions, one at a time, we will piece together a life that is more authentic to what we really want. Time to put yourself and your wellbeing on the list, today. The open road awaits and our motorcycle tires are going to grace the roads this first weekend of our riding season.
Stringing together our life choices creates our quality of life. Since we choose our attitude, outlook, perspective and so much more, if we don’t like the quality we can make new choices for our string. Cheers to you also doing what makes you feel alive and well.