Your choices

cheloneJanuary 2, 2006

I discussed steve o's theory of CHOICE with the helpmeet this morning. We tend to agree with that premise that personal choices greatly influence our successes/failures in life.

What choices have you made that have most influenced your present circumstances? Here is what we decided has most affected our lives:

1.) Learning the difference between "want" and "need". A commitment to deal with "need" before indulging "want"..

2.) Our decision to remain childless.

3.) A willingness to "make do", "wear it out", and live below our means on a day to day basis. An unwillingness to get sucked into the "consumer mentality".

Lest it all sound too grim, it ISN'T. We lack for nothing, in fact, we have more now than we ever imagined we would. And neither of us could really define a time when our circumstances went from "lean" to "plenty", it just sort of happened.

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jamesqf

More than just learning the difference between want and need, it's deciding what those wants and needs really are. Thinking for myself, not deciding that I either need or want something because it's heavily advertised or popular. Doing that, I've found that most of the things I really enjoy don't cost very much at all. I'd rather read a book than watch a movie, hike or bike instead of owning expensive RVs and other motorized equipment, prefer my own cooking to eating out...

I have just about everything I want that can be bought for a reasonable amount of money (that is, short of e.g. starting my own space progam :-)), yet I spend only a fraction of my income.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 11:36PM
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steve_o

Hmm ... interesting question!

I'd say traveling and living elsewhere has been pivotal. It has helped me apply perspective to my life. I believe we have a lot to learn from other societies and cultures -- even from those in other parts of the U.S. Not that we have to be like them, but our observation should at least drive examination of our own lifestyle and an understanding (if not agreement) of why "other" people do what they do.

I've also decided (pretty much unconsciously, I think) to be happy. You can grit your teeth and curse the fact that it's snowing outside again or you can enjoy the quiet and simple beauty that snow brings. You can be frustrated by a traffic jam or at least accept that you can get around by yourself and can sit there listening to nice music. I don't mean to be a Pollyanna about it. It's harder to find the good in, say, having a chronic illness. But it's choosing to look at the glass half-full that reduces a lot of the stress and frustration in life.

BTW, the theory of choice is not mine. I came across it in a series of books written by Neale Donald Walsch -- the "Conversations with God" series. At the time I read those books, I was going through a divorce and spiritual turmoil. The first book, especially, had a tremendous resonance with me. Highly recommended reading, even if for no other purpose than encouraging you to examine your own beliefs and why you hold them.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 9:40AM
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