From choosing a drink at your
favourite café to deciding whether it’s time to change
career paths, choices are a hard call for many. N. Dilshath Banu
looks at how to make wiser choices
are offered a great job, something that is totally different from
your current one, which pays you thrice the amount you get now.
Would you take the offer and make the move, or would you rather
remain in the same job as it gives you a sense of security?
say you are relocating. That means the people you called neighbours
and your daily rituals will be no more. Life will never be quite
the same. Experiencing such change is not always soothing. But you
have the choice: To move or not? To take the offer or simply say
“No thanks”? Yes or no?
it’s all about choices! Many believe that choice is a magical
phenomenon everyone encounters at life- threatening moments. It’s
always related to crucial decisions in life, like whether to choose
science, arts or commerce for A/levels? Or whether to continue one’s
studies in local universities or abroad? Or even whether to get
married early or not? But what most of us are not aware of is that
choices are not always such complex matters…
Choices can be as simple as choosing to drink tea or coffee in the
evening. It can be as simple as standing up for oneself, or as complex
as learning to think for oneself, or prepare for the future. We
must understand that even the smallest of choices has the power
to exert a great influence in our lives.
A choice is like the rudder of a very large ship. Despite the excessively
small size of the rudder in comparison to the large ship, even a
small shift can greatly alter the ship’s course.
waking moment, we make choices. Today you’ll decide what to
do with your time. You’ll choose whether to get up early and
get some exercise. Or you can decide to get up late, and spend time
listening to music or watching movies.
your lifetime, you choose the people with whom you will interact.
You will choose whether you’ll be kind and honest with others.
And you will make hundreds of other choices that will directly impact
the quality of your life, some immediately and some later.
about your decisions!
The good news about choice is that it’s not about what happens
to you, it’s what you decide to do about it that makes it
possible to successfully steer through life. Though you might feel
unable to make a choice or don’t seem to find a choice during
adversity, 99.9 percent of the time, there is always a choice. It’s
often directed by the level of stress in our life, both good and
bad. A good stress, eustress, takes the form of that little voice
telling you to try something even though it seems a little scary.
In contrast, distress – the negative stress will let you down
and cover the eustress with its gloomy clouds.
choices in life depends on our goals or the things we think are
important, and in the end choices assess our character. As a result,
each and every one of us approach making choices with a different
would choose something good in life. I would see whether the choice
I am making would benefit me in the future, and help me achieve
my goals in life. To make a good choice, honesty and responsibility
are very necessary.”
depends on the individual – there’s no absolute thing
that defines a good choice from a bad one. What could be a good
choice for some, can be a bad choice for others. But your choices
should be made, having first set your goals and moving with a target
in life within a time frame.”
the choices we make should go according to the circumstances. And
more than anything you should be honest with yourself in whatever
choice you make in life. This will enhance your personality.”
is about available options. If you have very little options, then
you have limited choices. The essential ingredients in making a
good choice are patience and common sense. But good choices are
relative. Sometimes, the good choice you make may have bad results
and some choice you thought was bad, could have good results. But
whatever the choice, it’ll define your character. Being a
Buddhist is the best choice I made in life. Buddhism allows me to
think with no barriers. It teaches me to respect others and myself.
It teaches me that I am responsible for whom I am.”
“I still haven’t come across a situation where I have
had to make a major choice. It’s important to measure the
pros and cons before making a final decision. In the case of a spontaneous
decision, I would follow my gut instincts. And I also make sure
to consult someone with experience or knowledge about my choice.
Making wise choices help build a strong character and makes a person
confident of his capabilities, and finally depicts a strong personality.”
“Choice is like having several preferences and then choosing
the option you wanted in life. It’s like passing a series
of junctions that includes some easy roads and others more narrow
and difficult. In this situation, you can stop for a moment and
pass a route, which is not familiar to you or always travel the
road, which is familiar to you. This is choice!” says Dr.
Asoka N. Jinadasa, Senior PR Consultant of Rowland PR.
to Dr. Jinadasa, life consists of a series of choices. Every moment
in life involves some kind of conscious choice, but many of us are
not aware of it. The secret of switching on to better things in
life involves the power and ability to change the choices.
value of values
Not all people have the same opportunities, abilities or are brought
up in the same manner to make the most suitable choices in their
lives. This is where the fundamental inputs come to play the part
– values such as respect, responsibility, love, honesty, cooperation,
family, friendship, etc.
Explicating further on the inter-relationship between values, choices,
character and personality, Dr. Jinadasa says that values are the
foundations of who we are. “If we take values as the foundation
of a house, for example, it’s on this that your house (life)
is built, but it’s not visible to the eye.
is the column of the house, which is supported by the foundation.
Personality is the external appearance. Personality is the manifestation
of the character through interaction with people and events. Choice
exists in all three stages of your house. You could choose what
kind of things you need to include in the foundation and in your
columns. This helps you to create the exact portrayal of the external
appearance of your house – that is your personality.”
Dr. Jinadasa, “We are not born with values. Values come as
a result of our early interaction with people. We learn from our
parents, teachers, and friends and even through the media. As a
result of good values, we tend to make good choices, and bad values
will result in bad choices that may inflict pain on others.”
often quality values make quality character. It’s true that
parents who create a good environment and who serve as role models,
enable children to make good choices. But it’s worthy to note
that there are children who come out of broken homes, live on the
streets and are without parental guidance or nurturing, who manage
to overcome the odds and win, in spite of their circumstances. And
these are the people who have left their mark on this earth through
their strong characters and personalities.
Says Dr. Jinadasa, “Freedom is delicate. Not many people handle
it properly. Many parents don’t give their children the necessary
freedom. So all of a sudden when children get their freedom, they
don’t know how to handle it and make the wrong choices. It’s
a difficult process for parents to grant freedom to their children,
as they fear that their children will get into trouble.
Granting freedom involves awareness of decision-making. By restricting
the children’s freedom of choice, parents are making it easy
for themselves by providing everything for the child. Sure, children
from such protective families will never get into trouble, but those
children do not know how to choose when confronted with challenges
often a very protected child never takes responsibility. Thus never
would they progress in terms of character and would have no personality.
It’s one of the responsibilities of parents and teachers to
build the character of children by giving them the freedom of choice
as well as guidance.”
a good choice!
The knowledge of good decision making is not a revolutionary concept,
yet how many of us are not aware that we are the masters of our
People like Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson
didn’t have special cells in their brains to be geniuses.
All these people knew that they have the power to control their
destiny and made necessary choices that would affect their lives.
Through necessary choices, they became more resilient to the apparent
defeats. They were able to bounce back after life’s shocks
may not be able to be another Albert Einstein or Abraham Lincoln,
but you can succeed by becoming a master of your own life by taking
necessary choices. Remember, you can change your life by changing
the choices you make!