Choices Have an Impact

Shaping your future begins with how well you are prepared for the present.

The present is the entirety of all of our choices. If those choices have added to, rather than taken away from your dreams, then you are doing well. Keep in mind, unforeseen circumstances can disrupt the best-laid plans.

We are molded by those choices that we make and the experiences we have – right or wrong, good or bad. Our chosen actions today, will affect our future.

Therefore, it benefits us to make good selections to improve our lives, and to save the wasted time connected with making poor decisions. One way to help us stay on track is to remind ourselves of what works for us and what works against us.

We can make quick decisions, and then they become routine. Unfortunately, we often forget those simple decisions have the actual power to influence our lives; we just take things for granted. It is important to frequently revisit what works and what doesn’t. Thankfully, some personal decisions have positive consequences too.

A PERSONAL STORY: On my way home from work, a few years ago, I made a new choice. My habit was to stop and pick up a six-pack of beer.  On the way home, I’d pop the top on one or two before arriving home. 

In a moment of insight, as I reached for the third bottle, something strange gripped me. For the first time ever, I realized that it had become my habit to leave work in time to make the stop, to pick up the beer and then head home.  It also dawned on me that before the night was over, I would consume the balance of the six-pack and go to bed slightly intoxicated.

That night, I realized my routine choice had turned into a habit. I put the third beer back and never touched another one. That flash of insight showed me a path that could have taken me to a “point of no return”.  The pain and frustration of my childhood and its cause; alcohol, amplified the sadness in my own life.  I had been choosing to spend my evenings in a fog. In that moment of clarity, I made a choice to stop drinking. Over time my life improved because of that choice and most of my emotional pain has healed.

My decision about alcohol, and another to stop smoking, has had a tremendous impact on the quality of my life.  Three sisters and a brother, as well as my dad, all died due to the choices they made regarding alcohol and tobacco use. Both of those same choices affected their health and shortened their lifespan. It caused them to suffer painfully to an unfortunate end.

How different I would be if not for these two choices. It’s possible that I would not be here at all. Each decision we make can have an influence on our life. As simple as it may seem at the time, the impact can be profound.

Take one step at a time and make wise choices every day.

Tony Ruesing