Life is all about choices
As I sit here in the living room listening to two grandchildren
discuss how Kings XI Punjab stunned Mumbai Indians by winning the match
in the IPL tournament, I sigh a bit and smile.....the sounds of their
voices over the TV, the dog lying around, two cats beating each other
up, I cannot help but realize how lucky I am and how good of a life we
Suddenly I remembered Michael, a friend for three decades, who died a
week ago. He was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was always in a
good mood and always had something positive to say. If somebody asked
him how he was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better, I would be
twins!” He was a natural motivator. Seeing this style really made me
curious. One day I went up to Michael and asked him, “I don’t get it!
You can’t be a positive person all of the time.” Michael replied, “Each
morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today: You can
choose to be in a bad mood or you can choose to be in a good mood. I
choose the latter. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a
victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose the latter. Every time
someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaint
or... I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the latter.
“Yeah, right, it’s not that easy,” I protested. “Yes, it is,” Michael
said. “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every
situation is a choice.
All of us have heard the saying “Life is about choices.” Michael
understood it very well. Life was certainly about choices for Clint
Eastwood when an executive from Universal Pictures told him that “his
future wasn’t very promising because of a chip in his tooth and because
his Adam’s apple stuck out too much.” I think life was about choices
when the owner of Pepsi went bankrupt for the third time before making
We choose our feelings, we choose our state of mind, and we choose to
blame others or to make others responsible for emotions. Most of us, if
given a choice, would choose to have the life we have today as opposed
to be in the middle of hell in Libya or Syria. But are our lives really
so terrible that we have to gripe about them or wallow in our own tears
of self pity?
If you have a home you are fortunate, if you have a job, you are
fortunate, if you have a husband or wife you’re lucky, if you have
children, you are lucky to experience some really great moments. Most of
us are really lucky I think. ...lucky to just be.
Sometimes the past is painful...I have one of those that haunts me
every so often but I choose to turn off the switch and enjoy what is
right here in front of me... grandchildren who are so wonderful that I
could just burst with pride, a roof that isn’t exactly wonderful but
it’s home all the same, a wagon with bald tires but it gets me where I
need to go...and most importantly a life that I chose—the key word there
Like a road
A wise person once said that life is like a road. There are long,
short stretches; smooth, rocky stretches; crooked, and straight
stretches. There are roads that lead to a life of single blessedness.
There are also roads that lead to fame and fortune. There are roads that
lead to isolation and poverty. Just like any road, there are corners,
detours, and crossroads in life. Perhaps the most perplexing road that
you would encounter is a crossroad. With four roads to choose from and
with limited knowledge on where they would go, which road will you take?
What is the guarantee that we would choose the right one along the way?
Would you take any road, or just stay where you are: in front of a
You do not really know where a road will lead you until you take it.
There are no guarantees. This is one of the most important things you
need to realize about life. Nobody said that choosing to do the right
thing all the time would always lead you to happiness. Loving someone
with all your heart does not guarantee that it would be returned.
Gaining fame and fortune does not guarantee happiness. Accepting a good
word from an influential superior to cut your trip short up the career
ladder is not always bad.