It’s 2004 and Chung Li, Taiwan is hot and muggy. As per the usual. I’m choosing to celebrate the weather by living in flip flops and sundresses. I’m swapping out my full-faced scooter helmet for something lighter and breezier and significantly, uh, less protective.
Meanwhile, the brakes on my scooter have been squeaking and requiring more squeezing than usual but I’m choosing to put off the repairs till my monthly paycheck comes through. My commute is short! I rarely drive faster than 15 mph! IT’S FINE.
I imagine, dear reader, you can see where this is going. Can you see me tootling along the street on my way to work, thinking about my lesson plans for the day? Can you see the black Mercedes cutting me off and me tumbling into the street in my cotton dress? Can you see the hospital and the stitches and the scar tissue?
Perhaps I should have chosen a different outfit. A different helmet. To get my brakes fixed.
Now it’s 2008 and I’m sitting in a basement apartment, squinting at blogger.com. I’m thinking about all the stories I want to tell, the ideas I want to share, and by god, the internet needs another space to discuss cat videos!
So I start Yes & Yes and every day, I choose to sit in my chair and write. When I can’t afford a computer of my own, I choose to stay late at work and write my blog posts there.
I choose to say “no thanks” to the occasional party or weekend away so I can learn glamorous things like SEO and email funnels. I choose to keep driving my 2003 Ford Focus and put my money towards a site redesign, an amazing assistant, and courses that help me grow my business.
Every day, in big and small ways, I choose myself and this weird internet writing career I’ve cobbled together. And those choices have lead to a life I love.
Daily choices add up to a life. We are what we do every day and we pay for our choices with the lives we lead. Click To TweetIf I choose to gossip about my friends, forget their birthdays, and skip their parties it’s unlikely that my life will be filled with supportive people and lifelong friendships.
If I choose to close my laptop at 7 pm, stop drinking coffee after lunch, and keep my phone and all its notifications far, far from my bed, my life will probably include eight hours of sleep. It will also probably include calmer mornings and a brighter, more alert mind.
If I choose to make a jillion impulse purchases at Target and use every blessed discount code Anthropologie sends my way, my life probably won’t have much in the way of retirement funds or vacations.
Obviously (obviously!) there are extenuating circumstances beyond our control and choices that we have no say in.
We didn’t choose the bodies or families we were born into. We didn’t choose the country we were born in or the political administration we were born under. It’s pretty hard to ‘choose’ your way out of oppression or inherited health issues or brain chemistry.
But there are so many things we have control over, such a huge number of choices we can make every single day.
If your health isn’t where you’d like it to be, you could choose to:
- Finally make an appointment with a physician or therapist
- Take a walk every day during your lunch hour
- Remove things from your diet you know make you feel bad
- Try a different medication or a new way of treating a nagging issue
If your social life isn’t where you’d like it to be, you could choose to:
- Join a Meetup group for a hobby you love
- Stop hanging out with that friend who makes you feel bad
- Reach out to someone you haven’t seen in ages
- Host a potluck – be the party you wish to see in the world 😉
If your relationship isn’t going particularly well, you could choose to:
- Not do the thing you know your partner finds annoying
- Say something loving, supportive, and honest every single day
- Plan a date night
- Text your partner a funny shared memory
When we make a choice we’re saying: “I want this in my life. This is what I believe I deserve.” Click To TweetWe’re telling our brains, our bodies, our bank accounts, and everyone around us that this is what’s important.
Friends, as terrifying as it is, let’s take a clear-eyed look at ourselves, our lives, and the choices we make every damn day. Which choices have led to the less awesome areas of our lives? Which ones have lead to successes?
I bet you know the answer to those questions. Choose accordingly.
I want to hear from you. What choices do you make every day that add to your life? If you’re being really honest, what choices have negatively affected your life? How can you change that?