You’ve probably heard that the only two constants in life are death and taxes, right?
My wife once wisely corrected this in a pretty profound way and replied, “Actually, the only two constants in life are death and choices. You can always choose not to pay your taxes and go to jail.”
Death and choices. That’s life!
When it comes to choices, we’re a little obsessed with what we should do next. And because our western way of thinking is pretty binary (either-or, black-and-white), we often live under the mistaken assumption that at every crossroads, there is only one right choice. All the other options are wrong and lead to destruction.
But that’s not really true. In fact, what you should DO next is always the secondary question.
So what’s primary? Who are you BECOMING?
When you know who you are supposed to be becoming, what you should do next gets easier to figure out.
I know that I’m supposed to become someone who is wise, mature, strong, and compassionate. Therefore I need to make choices that move me toward that goal, even when those choices are less convenient than the alternatives. Even when those choices lead me through testing.
The truth is, every single day of the rest of your life, you will make choices. And those choices will line up, one after another, to move you toward a particular destiny (which isn’t a single destination, but rather a fully mature you).
In other words, today you are making choices along a trajectory. It could be that you’ve made some missteps and find yourself having to make hard choices to steer back toward your destiny.
I promise you you’re not alone and I can guarantee you that the best time to start making different choices is now. Let me challenge you to do a bit of journaling, or at least list-making, about who you believe you are supposed to become.
And don’t make the typical mistake of thinking solely about your professional identity. You are far more than any work you will ever do. Think deeper. Ask yourself questions like:
- What strengths do I need to enhance in my life?
- What weaknesses do I need to work through?
- What pain do I need to process in order to move forward?
- What are the character qualities I admire most in others?
- What kind of person do I really want to become?
Once you know who you are supposed to be becoming, life gets a little more simple. In fact, it’s as simple as this one thing… Do the one next wise thing that aligns you with your best future self.
Between birth and death lies an ongoing string of choices, and you’ll know what to do when you know who it is you are supposed to become.
Photo by D Jonez on Unsplash.