Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Most Important Choices

Life is all about choices, right? So they say. Hundreds of books have been written to help people make the right choices. Therapists spend most of their time helping people work through their bad choices or the bad choices of others. Our lives seem to revolve around choices. Choosing the best school, the perfect spouse, the most rewarding career, the right neighborhood, the smart investments, diets that actually work, good retirement plans, caskets that don’t leak.

After many choices, some good and many bad, I’ve come to the conclusion that the most important choices a person will ever make are:
_ What you choose to believe in?
_ How you choose to allow that belief to impact your life?

You’re not getting a sermon from me. As a charter member of Bad Choice Makers Anonymous, I am just saying that what you choose to believe in and how you choose to allow that belief to impact your life, are the most important choices you will ever make. And these are not easy choices. A lot of people say they believe in the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have other do unto you.” But few people actually choose to live out that belief. How many “Born Again Believers” do you know who actually live like they really believe or that they really are “born again”?

What you choose to believe in and how you choose to live out that belief makes all the difference? Beliefs and actions. I actually think that most people believe in the “right things”, but choose to act in ways that are in conflict with those beliefs. That has certainly been the story of my life. Of course, there are those who believe in the “wrong things” and act in accordance with their belief, often with terrible consequences. On this day, 9/11 comes to mind.

But for the most part, we humans choose to believe in the good things. And we choose to believe that we are trying our best to “live right”. That’s the problem. Choosing to believe that we are living right or at least trying to live right is not the same as choosing to allow our beliefs to truly impact our lives, our choices. It’s not easy. You say you believe in the truth. Do you always tell the truth? Most people don’t. You vow to love and honor the person you marry. Will you always? Most people won’t. You say you believe in honesty. Are you always honest? In all of your dealings? Most people aren’t.

What will you choose to believe in? Will you choose to let that belief lead you in all the other choices you will make over a lifetime? I hope you always will. Most people won’t.

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