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Life is the sum of small choices made in the moment

Whenever I pass a bookstore, I love rummaging in the bargain bin to see what I can find. Here is a passage that really got me thinking from a book I uncovered recently: “The Right Questions” by Debbie Ford: (HarperSanFrancisco, 2003, pp. 62-63) (emphasis mine)

But here is the truth: you are either moving forward or you are moving backward. There is no middle ground. You are never stagnating, even if it appears that way at times. Every choice matters. Every choice, even though it might seem minor or inconsequential, is leading you in a particular direction. Even making the choice to do nothing at all will have an effect on your life. It’s still a choice.

It’s easy to see how the big choices shape our lives and our destinies. It’s easy to deceive ourselves into believing that the small choices don’t matter that much. But a hundred small choices in the wrong direction can add up to a lifetime where our dreams are always one step in front of us. If we can’t fathom the consequence of not returning a phone call or paying our bills late, we just need to ask the first part of this Right Question: “Will this choice propel me toward an inspiring future?” If the answer is no, we must assume that our choice is leading us in the opposite direction.

Jim Rohn, the author of “Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle”, says, “Failure is not a single cataclysmic event. We do not fail overnight. Failure is the inevitable result of an accumulation of poor thinking and poor choices. To put it simply, failure is nothing more than a few errors in judgment repeated every day.” So why are so many of us unaware of the choices we make each day that move us away from our goals rather than closer to them? Why do wwe continue repeating behaviors day after day that no longer serve us? Because, as Rohn says, “the joy of the moment wins out to the consequences of the future.” Since many of our behaviors go unrecognized, not only by ourselves but also by those around us, we assume they just don’t matter. But they do. No action, no matter who small or seemingly inconsequential, goes unnoticed. Even if we think we’re getting away with something, the universe knows the truth, and, deep down, so do we. We can go on for years fooling ourselves that we are headed in the direction of our dreams. But the state of our current affairs reflects the truth about our choices. In other words, the proof is in the pudding.

This reminds me of the question I often ask myself : “Is what I’m doing now creating the future I really want?

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