As I was pondering this first post, I started to get stuck. Out of all the hundreds of life lessons I want to make sure I pass along to you, which one should I start with? That’s a daunting question (and one we’ll come back to since you both struggle with procrastination :-). But then I realized it’s an irrelevant question because this is simply the beginning of a journey for the three of us.
So then I asked myself, “What was the first lesson that came to my mind when I asked myself that question?” and the answer was the title of this post, “First you make your choices, then your choices make you.”
No matter what you choose, once you choose that thing, you not only have said, “No!” to every other option possible, you’ve also set in course a series of outcomes which will then shape and influence you (and, in many cases, for the rest of your lives). For example, if you choose to stay up late watching TV, then you’ve not only said, “No!” to everything else (from sleep to studying to devotions, etc.), you’ve also set in course a whole series of outcomes (like being tired the next day, not being mentally sharp, etc.).
The lie that the two of you and I buy into far too often is that this one thing won’t really affect us that much. But rarely is that one thing found in isolation. Just a little more dessert doesn’t seem like a big deal, but that choice, made consistently, does change us. First we make our choice, then our choice makes us.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately with TV. If I totaled up all the time I’ve watched TV since I graduated from college, I’d be ashamed. If I’d taken that same time and worked on writing books, I’d probably have published 15 or more books. If I took some of that time and used it to learn new languages, I’d probably speak several languages by now. Or if I’d chosen to use that time to read, I’d probably have read through the whole collection of “Great Books.”
Now, you know I’m not against watching TV or entertainment per se. But that choice, just like every other choice, has influenced my life over time. As of today, I’m 49 years old. And while I’ve accomplished a lot of things in my life, I’m still unpublished, I’m still mono-lingual. And I’ve read just a few of the “Great Books.” At no point in my life, while I was watching 24 or Lie to Me or The Cosby Show or Murder One, etc. did I ever think, “Boy, this is keeping me from writing a book that could influence and change thousands upon thousands of people’s lives,” but it has. First you make your choices, then your choices make you.
The two of you are at a great point in your lives--and you’ve both made lots of great choices up to this point. But you’re both now at critical points in your lives where the choices you’re making, will greatly influence the shape and direction of your lives. Some of those choices will be big (like who to date or what job to take), but most of them will be little (like what to do with your time or what to eat or who to hang out with this evening or what to watch or should I put off this purchase until I have enough money to pay for this with cash).
Yet, the size of those decisions is irrelevant because each one will set in course a series of outcomes that will shape you. So make sure that you choose wisely EVERY DAY because first you make your choices then your choices make you!