Sunday, June 14, 2009

Do we really have a choice?

The moment we choose to have one thing, we are choosing not to have something else.

It is that simple. We cannot choose to lose weight and eat unlimited amounts of ice cream and cookies all day long. We will not have a monogamous relationship if we have sex with multiple partners too. We will never save $10,000 if we spend all of our money. Get it? It really is that simple.

Now the good news, make that the great news. We can have whatever it is that we want. It is such a simple statement and I hope you don’t miss the point of it. We can’t have everything. But we can have whatever we want. Why is that? Because we have choice.

It is true that the moment we choose to have one thing, we are choosing not to have another. But the real beauty and real power is that we have choice. We can choose to have whatever it is that we want.

Hold on! Wait a minute! That can’t be right!

Let’s look at it again. Our choices are limited, but not very. They are limited to whatever is within our control. I can flap my arms for hours, but I will never fly. I can buy a lottery ticket every week, but may never win. World peace? End hunger? That is not entirely up to me.

What is up to me and what I get to choose is whatever is within my control. What I eat, monogamy and how I spend my money are all within my control. Winning the lottery, world peace and ending hunger are not under my control. But they are subject to my influence. How do I influence the lottery? I buy a ticket. Influence world peace and hunger? Vote, make donations or volunteer. Flap my arms and fly? Not within my control.

Wanting things that are within our control may not be enough. We must also be willing to pay the price for them. Sometimes, the best way to know if we really want something or not is to ask ourselves “Are we willing to pay the price?” If not, then perhaps it is not that important to us. If so, we do what it takes to get it or get it done.

Our great challenge is in recognizing whether we control, influence or have no control over the events and outcomes in our lives. Once we know that and recognize that we have a choice, life becomes simpler…..and we can have whatever it is that we want.

Participate. Make a difference. Live a life that matters.


  1. I think the first half of your idea is more correct than the latter. Consider, monogamy isn't entirely up to you. It's also up to your spouse. Consider, you don't influence the lottery by buying a ticket -- you're simply subject to what numbers turn up. Consider, you can't influence or affect world peace / hunger if you don't have a job / extra money to donate.

    All of these things are outside of your control. It's only through others providing you a job, remaining true to their word, and luck that that you have the illusion of choice.

  2. We have no choices, what you wear is based on the companies that make the fabric if no companies made clothing, wearing clothes would be out of our control, same with what you eat. You may think eating at McDonalds was your choice, but It was their choice to exist. All our so called choices are based off someone else so called choices.