You do a lot of things because you have to, not really because you want to.
Whenever something comes up you make the decision that you think is right. The one that you feel the pressure to do.
Think of how many times you’ve reluctantly done something. You responded with a deep sigh, an eye roll and “okay, fine.”
It wasn’t okay and far from fine but you sucked it up and went with the flow.
And it’s really no different when it comes to your dreams. You don’t bother to make goals for them because you don’t feel like you have the option to carry them out.
Instead they just sit in the back of your mind as wishful thoughts of what could be, if maybe you won the lotto or got a huge inheritance. You know something that would allow you the freedom to do whatever you wanted.
But outside of your wishful thoughts, you have to do what you have to do and you cannot do anything else.
It’s like you don’t even have real options, just one that you need to do and another that barely exists.
But you do have the ability to choose, you just don’t see it.
Because You Have To
When you make these pressure motivated choices you do it thinking that its the right thing to do for the whole situation.
You’re just a little piece in the puzzle so it doesn’t really matter that it might not be right for you. It’s for the greater good, so you’ll just eat this one.
And that’s fine, and even admirable every now and then, but it’s happening a lot now.
These chance encounters just keep popping up. Just one after another and another. It’s like all you do now is put out fires, other people’s fires.
You’re a one man fire crew. You’re so qualified that you could add this skill to your resume.
It’s just gotten so out of control that now these chance encounters are dictating the way you live your life. You’re rearranging your own life, working around this and canceling plans to tend these “because I have to” situations.
But do you really have to, or is the pressure just getting to you?
You get stuck living your life this way, by chance, because you feel like you don’t have a choice in the matter.
You may even acknowledge that there is another option but you wouldn’t dare choose it. I mean the whole thing wouldn’t have even fallen in your lap if the other option was a real, viable choice.
So you do it, with disdain and resentment.
But this is certainly no way to live your life. It doesn’t even put you in the position to enjoy it.
Living By Choice
Your choices determine the direction your life is going in, so if you’re not making them you’re not dictating your life.
Living by chance, not consciously calling the shots is like letting a taxi drive you around, thinking it’ll take you to your destination without proper direction. You’re just going to end up nowhere in particular.
In fact, you’ll actually be very far from where you want to be.
In order to be the shot caller in your life and have a chance at enjoying it you have to realize that you have choices (no matter how good or bad they are) and make your selections consciously.
Don’t just do things to take the weight off of someone else’s shoulders when you can barely carry the load yourself. Think about how it’s going to impact you.
Others do not have to get on easy street at your expense.
At some point you have to make choices that are good for you and your future.
If you don’t start to live by choice you’ll just continue on putting out fires and tolerating life instead of enjoying it.
I know it doesn’t sound so easy, especially since the pressure will still be there, but trust me I walked this road before.
When I was younger I had a string of jobs I hated. I couldn’t seem to get a decent job that didn’t have me contemplating driving back home after parking my car in the lot.
Actually, I think I would have enjoyed sitting in my car for 8 hours, leaned back in the driver’s seat and staring at the roof compared to going in.
Then years after dreading Monday mornings (I literally had to pace myself Sunday evenings), I broke the cycle and made consciously choices to stay on track, which was getting a better job. Suddenly I didn’t have to stay where I was anymore.
What I had to do first was reconnect with what I wanted. I was always afraid of getting sucked into a job that sound good in the interview but would ultimately end up like all the rest, dreadful.
But I couldn’t figure out a way to decipher what I wanted when glancing over the potential jobs because I didn’t clearly know what I wanted. I was only very clear on how I didn’t want to feel.
So then I discovered the specific things that I wanted for my next job. I focused on things like it not being too demanding, stressful or having to work odd shifts. This clarification made it easier to weed out all the options that didn’t fit that model.
That was basically my goal to go after. When I was looking that is.
I found that my other issue was I kind of expected it to fall into my lap.
But you can’t find a new job if you’re not looking. And I wasn’t looking because I was letting other chance situations get in the way of what I wanted to accomplish.
I was constantly putting out fires and taking on other people’s responsibilities while all neglecting myself. They got to do what they wanted but I was stuck doing what seemed like what I had to do, the dirty work.
I was trying to do the right thing, but really I was being taken advantage of.
While life does happen, and important things pop up, you have to learn to maneuver and get back to carrying out your goals.
What’s the easiest way to make that happen? Setting goals and having a plan for them.
It was easy to stay stuck in the same place with little progress. And get frustrated with the whole process when you don’t have an actionable plan.
There’s probably nothing harder and more overwhelming than trying to carry out an idea without setting up steps for yourself.
Once you have those next steps in place you have to be consistent in carrying them out.
When I was consistent about working on my plan I made more progress. No more wasting time checking out old job ads for positions that were filled and being disappointed.
And it left little time to make choices that didn’t help me grow.
With these changes I realized that I could turn things around for myself and I was not limited to living by chance. I actually had a choice on the direction that my life went in and what I spent my time on.
And all I had to do was figure out what I wanted, commit to working on it, set goals for it and consistently work on that plan. Suddenly I was living by choice and I was pleased.
I was dictating my life, not outside forces. I was living for me and not reluctantly doing that others wanted me to.
Now You’re Calling The Shots
The truth of the matter is you have choices. And your choices should not be made to please others or under pressure because those will be the forces that dictate your life.
It’s your life so you should be the one calling the shots.
Making conscious choices will allow you to enjoy the life you created. You see that, it’ll also put you in a place where you can actually create a great life!
Having to deal with random situations that you somehow get in and putting out fires will be a thing of the past.
You can finally hang up your fireman’s suit and actually live.
What’s dictating your life, chance or conscious decisions?