Choose, then be.
Scientists say we make up to 35 000 decisions each day. Each decision, of course, carries certain consequences with it that are both good and bad. Most, but not all, decisions are made semi-consciously. People are shaped by their choices and to stand a chance of making more good ones than bad ones, takes character.
There are certain crossroads we face throughout our lives. Times when a decision, either way, has significant consequences for our future. Most of these junctures, we can look back and recognise. Looking into the future is a little harder. Having a foundation that keeps you balanced and authentic, especially under pressure, your choices have a fighting chance of being good ones.
How do you prepare someone, like your child, for when they’ll need to make critical decisions sometime in the future? Through constant encouragement when good choices are made and lovingly nudging and guiding when choices don’t turn out as planned.
I remember my high school matric dance. I asked a beautiful girl — no, she asked me — who’d just won the miss-junior-high competition in our school. I couldn’t mess this up. It was 1980. The invitation said: Black Suit and Tie and Evening Gowns. In Saturday Night Fever, John Travolta had introduced disco and the world to the white suit. I told my Mom, I needed a pure white suit. My Mom — God bless her — took me to the downtown wholesale outfitters where fashion was secondary to price. No one had a white suit. A white suit like I wanted would have cost a fortune. We settled on an ivory three-piece.
Instead of a grand entrance, I blended in.
I remember buying my motorbike in high school. A Yamaha FS3 50cc two-stroke off the showroom floor with my own money. Finally, I had my independence and could travel when and where I wanted. Until then, my Mom and Dad would wake me on Sunday mornings, to get ready for church. They provided the transport, and the motivation, to go to church each Sunday. I remember making the conscious decision one Sunday morning. I got ready, climbed on my motorbike, and went to church by myself.
I never stopped “taking myself” to church.
Like any youngster, things like fitting in and being popular were high on my “to-do” list. The choices we made would shape and determine much of our future. The truth is, there are only a handful of decisions that will impact your life. Of the 35 000 remotely conscious decisions we make, most won’t matter much either way. The ones that will count, that build depth of character, are far more difficult to make.
It takes a conscious decision to be something better. And you must make a choice. It comes down to choosing what you see as the best option, for your good and those around you, then doing that.
May all your choices this Heritage Day and in future be good ones!
Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄
As always, thanks for reading 🙏