You Always Have a Choice. You Just Don’t Believe It.

You think you’re stuck in life, but are you?

Having read Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck recently, I realized something I had noticed but had never thought about before. The book talks about how everyone has a choice, that everyone is making a choice whether or not they realize it. Manson stresses this point to give people the realization that they were the ones making these choices the entire time and perhaps as a way to find peace and solace knowing that we do have greater control over our lives than we had thought.

It’s shocking how much the concept of making a choice resonates with me. It’s something I’ve been conflicted over for the greater part of my life, while running startups and traveling. It’s also one of the most common complaints I hear from aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start their business or from the average Joe just looking to make a change but can’t.

It’s true that many people that believe they have no choice, no say in their lifestyles, their relationships, or their careers. They convince themselves that they’re stuck unable to move in a different direction besides forwards so they spend time complaining about the things they wish could be changed, things they wish they had.

It’s also true that sometimes it will feel like we have no choice, that we’re tied to our responsibilities and the expectations that others have of us. Sometimes we feel like we’re drowning in a never-ending cycle of a daily mundane life. Sometimes it feels like we have nothing to look forward to except afterwork hours and weekends.

Truest of all, however, is the fact that we do have a choice. We all do.

You might not feel like you have a choice and so you choose to follow that path, but that in itself is already a choice. You’ve made choices your entire life, who you choose to be with, the kind of job you do, the people you hang out with, what you eat, what you buy — these are all choices. These are all your choices.

You might not agree with some of these choices and perhaps feel as if these choices are forced, coerced upon you, but they’re still choices. If your partner/spouse chooses to eat a type of cuisine you dislike at a restaurant you hate and “forces” you to go, it’s still a choice. Either you choose not to go and make them upset, or you choose to go because you hold a greater importance towards how they feel than you do for food.

Tiffany Sun who decides to travel even though she’s worried about her father’s health is making a choice. She makes the choice traveling because she knows if she doesn’t do it now, she’ll never get a better opportunity to rebuild her life after being separated from a 9 year relationship that left her heartbroken and stranded in China.

An aspiring entrepreneur wanting to start a business might have to give up on using social media for entertainment in order to start. He chooses not to give up on social media because he realizes he places far greater importance and value on his personal entertainment than he does towards the starting of a business.

Some sacrifices are greater than others. People with children have to make a choice between spending less time with their children or their aspirations. People in abusive relationships must make a choice whether or not they’ll end it, risking being single again. People working in a job where they get no sense of satisfaction have to choose between the job or not getting paid.

The choice you make depends on you. There’s no right or wrong — it’s your choice and nobody can ever change that. But realize that because it’s your choice, a choice that you’ve made, you have little reason to complain. We make the choices we do because that’s where our values lie; it’s not that we don’t have a choice, it’s just that we’re unwilling to make the sacrifices we don’t want.

If you truly believe in something and determined to get it, you will succeed. Nobody can stop you. If you truly wish for change, it’s possible. It all boils down to choice, and you have one. You have a choice.

“Your life is a result of your choices. If you don’t like your life, it’s time to make some better choices.” — Anonymous


About the author

Jon Lee

I travel the world in search of lessons worth sharing. Addicted to culture shock and transparency. Currently working on heeyy and duuck.

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