What is Choice?
Let us look at the dictionary meaning first, “the act of picking or deciding between two or more possibilities” or “the opportunity or power to make a decision”.
Contrary to what the meaning of this word, Choice stands for, we surely have heard, many a times, people saying –
“That was a very bad choice of car I have made.”
“I am feeling happy about the choice of food I made today!”
“This dress is a very good choice you made.”
“I just think that I made all the wrong choices in my career & hence this suffering.”
and these examples just keep flowing in…
However, we always end up blaming our choices which does not resolve our current predicament of having made them in the first place.
1. Why do we make choices?
Choosing is a default mechanism we as living beings have ingrained in us. Choices are an integral part of who we are, what our aspirations are and what we think is the right decision to take. There are times when we have taken a decision in a certain situation, and after some time when we revisit the same situation and have to make a choice, we might choose differently. This happens with everybody, as choices are made not only with our mind, but our heart as well.
2. People who blame their circumstances
They don’t realize that these circumstances are a direct result of the choices they have made. A different choice would have got them into a different circumstance and so on so forth, but the only thing consistent to any activity is that you choose between one and another. As the saying goes ‘there is rarely a dull moment in life’.
3. How can we lead a satisfied life with our choices?
We all must realize, it is pretty hard to expel ourselves from our current situation and take an independent review of the situation. Situations or circumstances are a direct result of the choices we make. It is humanly only possible to try and make the apt choice that will yield good results, or create positive impact. Like I say ‘life is a sum total of all the choices one makes’.
4. Importance of letting kids make their own choices
It is a natural process that when you have kids and they are of an age where they don’t understand the implications of the choices they make, we, as their guardians make some or many choices for them. This has to stop after a certain age when you think they have enough understanding of a situation, we as adults should encourage them to make choices. They have to learn at this early stage that the situations that will come to them are a direct consequence of certain choices they make. However, what we should do is, always make them feel comfortable that no matter what they choose, they will always have a safety net for a comfortable landing. This habit of making informed decisions will go a long way in enabling them to make life-altering choices for themselves, and their careers.
In our patriarchal society, we have always seen women being judged, especially after they give birth. We always have a tag ready for them, they are either career-oriented, selfish mothers; who are not bothered about their infant’s well-being, or they are the epitome of motherhood, if they leave all work and are dedicated mothers. My question is: Why do we have these name-tags ready for them, it is their life, their kid’s life, these mothers are adults and equipped enough to make the correct choice when it comes to their newborns. What we should do is become the pillars of support for this mother, who has made the choice to nurture her child and also be a working woman. And if she makes the choice of leaving her work and looking after her infant, we have to be supportive of that choice as well.
6. Have choices, but not too many
Having more choices typically leads to lesser satisfaction, more regret and it also takes people longer to decide on what they want. Sometimes having fewer options is better. You may not have all the options but then you also don’t need to worry about all the options that you did not take.
7. Why happiness is a direct outcome of the choices we make?
Wealth is not the only measure of success. Money often becomes an end in itself and therefore distracts people from leading a satisfying life. Making meaningful choices about what to do in your life is more likely to lead you to a fulfilled and happy life than only getting the highest paying job or accumulating lots of money.
8. When do you get happiness?
This is a very potent question. The straight-forward answer to this would have been – ‘when we make the right choices’. But, for those who have read this entire blog, I hope this blog has definitely made a difference to their thought-process and they will now beg to differ and say – ‘whatever the outcome of my choice is; negative or positive, it is finally my choice and I will be a wiser person through these choices to improve the outcome as I progress in life’. The key is not to get disappointed but to continue to strive towards the end goals that we have set for ourselves.
To sum it up, we have often seen that some choices hold a longer gratification cycle and some hold shorter ones. Like I mentioned earlier, that does not render our choices big or small. These choices keep on adding to our experience of making them and without going through the entire process of making our own choices, we can’t taste the sweet nectar of success or get the foul taste of failure.