The smoker who develops lung cancer made choices that led him or her to that consequence, just like the Olympic athlete who wins a gold medal made the choice to train twice a day for four consecutive years. Extremes like this help make the point of choice obvious. But the concept of having a choice and consciously making one sometimes gets lost in our daily routines. Habits (or the continuous act of making the same choice) can be both empowering and insidious. I definitely find this to be true in my own life where in the face of having made the same choice over and over, I forget that I can in fact make a different choice.
It is, more often that not, easier to identify this kind of behaviour in others than it is in ourselves. The perfect irony exists when people who are adept at preaching are no good at heeding the lessons the teach. Like the overweight personal trainer or the smoking doctor. And therein lies the human challenge. Though we often know the right choice to make, we go ahead and make a different one that doesn't support what we're about. The question I ask is why?
We choose to drive to the shops when we could (and now that we're the fattest nation on earth) probably should walk. In doing so, we stay fat and propagate climate change. We choose to stay in the jobs we detest instead of taking the courage to quit and find something fulfilling. In doing so, we waste years of our lives and tolerate a depressed level of existence. We skip the gym and eat pizza instead to put value on our mouths instead of our hearts. We walk past the beggar and sneer at him for being a slacker instead of showing compassion for those less fortunate. We complain and we whinge instead spending that energy on affecting positive change.
Every choice we make produces a result. If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always got.
The answer then - to all of your problems - is remarkably simple. Make different choices. The major hurdle is fear. Very few of us practice flexing our fear-defeating muscles, meaning that we struggle to muster the courage to make the big choices that would set us free and help us correct our courses. I am definitely guilty of this. But courage, strangely enough, is a habit too. Practice it and you will get better at it. Practice making the choice that you believe is the right one and your life will undoubtedly change.
Choice is the power of your life.