If we don’t stand for something, we will fall for anything. Essentially, our actions will either result from what we choose, or what is chosen for us.
Our days are packed full of communication and actions. From the moment we engage with our mobile device or open our emails, messages begin to stream in and affect us. We will either be triggered into action by what we engage with or choose to follow our own intended plan of action for the day.
When we look deeper into how and why we are triggered, we enter a complex world of psychology and psychoanalysis, encountering things like our ego, our hidden self and our true self. There are excellent resources and coaches to help us understand our personality and strengths. Ultimately, we arrive at a state of being more mindful and intentional.
When we consider intention and how it impacts our future self, it’s helpful to consider the difference between making choices and making decisions. A choice can be seen as the result of intentional mindfulness, and a decision can be expressed as an intentional response to consequences.
Choices connect us to our desired intention, values and beliefs and speak to rights, power and opportunity. Decisions connect us to behaviour, performance and consequences and focus on the act of needing to make up our mind about something. Neither approach is wrong, one is merely premeditated whilst the other is responsive; both can be intentional.
If we want to be successful in our choices and decisions, we need to assess our habits and our cheerleaders.
Habits are at the root of all of our worst and best decisions. It’s often said that it’s not the markets that make us wealthy, but our habits. This is true for every area of our lives – not just our finances. Our habits are so powerful because as we stand at the helm of our life, we determine the direction we will take. If there’s a storm, we can navigate around it or through it; if there’s land, we can go towards it or away from it. We make our habits, and our habits make us.
Our cheerleaders are those standing beside us to help us navigate and manage the ship. They’re our closest friends and family, our colleagues and our coaches. They’re the ones we choose to listen to, and their messages will either reinforce us or ruin us. They can help us see our blindspots and help us identify strengths.
However you want to enhance or improve your life, take the time to be intentional about how you choose what you will stand for.