Even at the dreaded (or LOVED) middle age years, this questions still looms in my mind. Am I relying on luck and random acts to determine life. Or am I making very conscious decisions and steering my own ship? It’s two very dramatic and different ways to live. Luck and random acts aren’t as effective or enjoyable. Anxiety, uncertainty, and dissatisfaction can fill the heart in abundance. Choice is much more effective and satisfying.
I was working full time in corporate America in what some would consider a great job and a wonderful place to work. And it was. But, I had changed over the years and I found myself having to make a decision. I won’t lie to you. It took lots of soul searching. To live by choice or chance. Chance, just keep at the job, do great things, and wait for change to just “happen” (lots of changes needed mostly on MY part because you CAN teach an old dog new tricks). Living by chance would be easier. Or, Choice. Make a decisive choice to put the change in my life now, because life is short and there are things that need to be done. Choice would be harder and lots of work!
Here are some of the ideas and thoughts that helped me, and hopefully you will find some help as well……
1. Entropy is your enemy. Entropy is the idea that all systems have a gradual decline into disorder. A sandcastle tends to fall apart over time. You won’t see a sandcastle just miraculously rise from the beach. A clean room becomes more cluttered over time. It won’t become less cluttered on its own.
* If you’re living by choice, you’re adding energy into your life and moving in a predetermined direction. There’s regular improvement. This is all that’s needed to overcome the effects of entropy. You can outrun the pull into abyss of disorder.
* If you’re living by chance, you lack direction. Your life is always becoming more disordered. It’s only when your discomfort is great enough that you’ll get busy and make it tolerable again. But it will never be great. You deserve more than this type of life will ever provide.
2. Great things rarely happen by accident. The odds of anyone becoming a brain surgeon, movie star, astronaut, or president or living an amazing life are slim without intention. All of these things require an intention.
* If you’re living by choice, you know what you want and you’re making it happen. You have a pretty good idea of what your life will look like in the future. Anything is possible with enough time and effort.
* If you’re living by chance, you likely have a job you don’t want and you’re living a life you don’t enjoy. You spend a lot of your effort putting out fires just to keep your life the same. Life becomes one minor catastrophe after another.
3. A great life requires some thought. It’s hard to get what you want if you don’t know what you want. If don’t know what you want, you’re stuck with whatever you get.
* If you’re living by choice, you’re able to set goals. Attaining them creates the life you desire, step by step.
* If you’re living by chance, you don’t set goals. Failing to choose the direction of your life means not being clear on your desires. Without a target, you’re just drifting through life.
4. Consistency is important to enjoying a balanced life. It’s not just important to be consistent, but to be consistent effectively. Watching five hours of TV each night is consistent, but not effective.
* If you’re living by choice, you are in the position to take effective, consistent action. A great career, body, social life, or anything else requires consistency, day after day. Making choices about your life provides the opportunity to be consistent in an effective manner.
* If you’re living by chance, you’re consistently inconsistent. Your life is too random to make progress in any meaningful way. The only consistent part of your life is passivity.
Choose the life you want to live. Any other alternative leads to unsatisfactory results. Make decisions and choose to stick with them. Live a life that you’ve designed. Avoid living life by default.
You can create a much more satisfying and enjoyable life with choice than you’ll ever achieve through chance alone.
Be bold: choose your life. You’ll be glad you did!
P.S. I decided to live by choice! I retired from my job, and brought my heart home to refeather the empty nest even more!
Kim Steadman is the COOP (Chief Online Operating Person) for The Re-Feathered Nest. A place of encouragement for moms entering the Empty Nest Zone who are ready to RePurpose and ReDesign according to God’s purpose for their lives now that the kids have flown the coop. Kim can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheRefeatheredNest and on Google+ at +Kim.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.