Updated: Jul 23, 2020
Today I saw an opportunity: take a step in the direction of the future I want, or continue doing the same things I have been, letting that future be a dream. Knowing that I don’t want to wind up old and gray with a dream that withered away, I do my best to keep “doing”- being productive and proactive, in order to achieve my dream. Doing and being proactive aren’t always easy nor straightforward. Determining the steps to achieving any goal or dream is an important part to maintaining efficiency in the “doing.” How do I set up the “doing” without moving aimlessly, and find the efficiency I speak of? Knowing the future I want is waiting for me to seize it, I still have to overcome the distraction between it and me to get there. If I don’t overcome distraction, then the “doing” will always be difficult, and my dream out of reach. How do I overcome distraction? The first thing I have to do is decide that distraction is a choice, and the direction I take is my choice. Choice is defined as “the decision I make regardless of the circumstance or situation.” My choice can be my ticket to freedom, my enemy, or my gamekeeper, but I am accountable for my choices regardless.
As my gamekeeper, choice can keep me in my place because habit and conditioning are parameters that often guide choices and become the reasons for the actions. We rely on routine, habit, and conditioning to make decisions because often we are naive to an alternative, and human nature is to do what feels safe. This type of conditioning can help us survive, but can also stifle communication. Example: a person makes a racially-charged comment towards someone of a different race, and explains that their choice of comment is rooted in something they learned from their culture. The comment may have been made out of cultural influence, but it could also be rooted in an inaccurate perception of the race in question. The person who made the comment had the choice to make or not make the comment, just as the recipient has a choice in response. If the situation or circumstances push me and I react, my reaction becomes my enemy. In contrast, when I force myself to make decisions based on more than just emotion or the whim of the moment, my choice becomes my ticket to a free mind, spirit, and healthier world.
Any circumstance or situation gives people chances to make better choices, but often we are unaware of the full scope of the choices we can make. Often we sacrifice the opportunities to better our mental health, physical fitness and spiritual awareness for financial independence: the state of stability based on money and financial gain. You must be imaginative, deliberate, and determined to break away from the conditioned influences set by any culture or society. Knowing this, I have had to make hard choices, but each one was an opportunity. Each challenge gave me the ability to shape and guide my own future in a direction I could find reward in; a future where reward is not directly dependent on financial independence. This has helped me articulate the difference between perspective and perception. I spent my childhood shaping my experience in ways that often seemed puzzling to those around me. Those hard choices needed to be made, or I wouldn’t have been engaging the world. When you stop craving your own path of doing and thinking, you give up your choice to steer your own future. Let's make the choice to move forward together, and create a world where we all earn respect.