Where you are today and where you choose to be in the future is always the result of the cumulative effect of many small choices. The consequences of our decisions add up. One doesn’t suddenly become a successful athlete, a holy man, a wealthy (self-made wealth, not inherited) woman, a happy person, a skilled craftsman, or a good leader.
Are we affected by outside circumstances and the choices of other people? Of course, we are; these things are beyond our control, but we always get to choose how we will REACT to them. Even in concentration camps, people made choices – good and bad – read the wonderful book by Viktor Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning. I’m reading it for the third time.
As you read in Jeff Olson’s excellent book, The Slight Edge, you will know that EVERY CHOICE – from the mundane to the momentous – IS IMPORTANT.
Every day, we are faced with choices. I recently said to someone that every choice that involves money is either a choice for freedom or a choice for slavery; whether the choice results in debt – setting yourself to be controlled by the worst kind of people – or radiant wealth – the ability to choose what we do, when we do it, how we do it, and with whom we do it, and every choice regarding health is either a choice for jaunty fitness – a glowing feeling of strength and ability – or onerous obesity – being enslaved in a deteriorating prison of ugly fat – or a multitude of other consequences.
There are many other options – whether we choose to be true to our personal, honorable values and beliefs or to submit to the dark “political correctness” of the rat race, the weak majority. Remember, sticking to the proven facts is not racism but realism. Whether we choose right or wrong, to help or to hurt, to forgive or to hold resentment – these choices face everyone.
And your spiritual life underlies everything – it is the foundation of one’s life. Remember Bob Dylan’s song, “You Gotta Serve Somebody“?
“Choose you this day whom ye will serve” Joshua 24:15 – we choose. Choice is unavoidable. Jesus said in Matthew 6:24, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.“ Mammon doesn’t have to be money – it can be anything that takes us away from God, that is substituted instead of God. And true happiness, true fulfillment, is only to be found when we live according to God’s will, as laid out clearly – it never changes – in the Bible.
Finally, in The New Intellectual, Ayn Rand wrote, “There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil. The man who is wrong still retains some respect for truth, if only by accepting the responsibility of choice. But the man in the middle is the knave who blanks out the truth in order to pretend that no choice or values exist, who is willing to sit out the course of any battle, willing to cash in on the blood of the innocent or to crawl on his belly to the guilty, who dispenses justice by condemning both the robber and the robbed to jail, who solves conflicts by ordering the thinker and the fool to meet each other halfway.
“In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit. In that transfusion of blood which drains the good to feed the evil, the compromiser is the transmitting rubber tube . . .
“When men reduce their virtues to the approximate, then evil acquires the force of an absolute, when loyalty to an unyielding purpose is dropped by the virtuous, it’s picked up by scoundrels—and you get the indecent spectacle of a cringing, bargaining, traitorous good and a self-righteously uncompromising evil.”
Let’s all make consistently better choices. Jeff Olson wrote, “There are two kinds of habits: those that serve you, and those that don’t. Any time you see what looks like a breakthrough, it is always the end result of a long series of little things, done consistently over time.”