“What are your choices when someone puts a gun to your head?
What are you talking about? You do what they say or they shoot you.
WRONG. You take the gun, or you pull out a bigger one. Or, you call their bluff. Or, you do any one of a hundred and forty-six other things.”
If you are a Harvey Specter fan, there is no way you would not remember this quote. For those who have not seen or met him, he is the very enigmatic, a little arrogant, extremely sassy, a hot-shot attorney from NYC from SUITS.
As Harvey implies, Life is about choices. From what to wear to work to what to order for dinner. From which stream to pursue in college to which job offer to accept. From which guy to date to what kind of wedding to plan. From being stressed and depressed to looking at the small things that bring a smile to your face. From complaining about what you don’t have to appreciating what you are blessed with. The choices you make define and shape your future.
When I finished school, I had two choices – to either get enrolled in the most happening college (yes, those were the days when 99% wasn’t the eligibility criteria) and enjoy the much-hyped college days or dive into a career and make a head start so I could help support my family. Today If I have nothing to contribute to those “Oh those were the college days when..” it is because I made a choice at that juncture of life. And I am mighty proud of that choice because it gave me a far greater purpose and satisfaction than any canteen get-togethers or college fests would’ve.
When I started my parenthood journey, I made a choice. A decision to give my career a break and head in a different direction. Influenced by factors beyond my control, I quit the job I was supposed to return post maternity break. I could have opted to hire a care-giver or day-care but I chose to spend time with my child (I have deep respect for those who choose to resume work assisted by an outside aid, it’s not easy leaving a piece of you behind in charge of someone else). After having spent over a decade specialising in my field and finally reaching a meaningful place (with all the time, energy and effort put in), I decided to take a sabbatical so I could spend these crucial few years raising my son. It, by far, has been the toughest decision (more on that later). And also the most rewarding one too.
Those were my choices, my decisions. Even if there were external factors influencing or governing my situation, it was still me who decided what I wanted to do.
Everything you do and don’t do defines what your tomorrow will look like. The choice you make will be responsible for the action you take. And your actions will, in turn, lead to the results and the outcomes. Whatever you decide will have consequences. In short – your future.
Life is not a bed of roses and there will be times you will come across situations which are difficult. There will be obstacles along the way. You can either choose to use those obstacles as stepping stones to forge ahead or you take them as a sign of a dead end and give up on your journey. The most successful people are those who make a choice to face those challenges head-on.
The only choice people don’t have is to go back and change the choices they made in the past.