Ever feel like all your life experience, all your hard work, all your preparation, all your obsessing over details, all your fanaticism has been leading up to one opportunity? One moment in the sun, one glorious display of your expertise. The moment you have been waiting for, the moment that you made a difference. I will remember and be remembered for this one moment. All I have to do is reach out and grab it….
Of course not. That’s crazy talk. Moments come and go, and some are more critical than others. But if a life is summed up by one moment, I think I missed mine years ago.
That being said, there are weighty moments that we face a few times in our lives. When the stars align, and it seems every force external and internal are pushing us towards a singular point in our lives. Oh how we toss and turn thinking of the pros and cons, the short and long term effect, the people affected, and who we’re pleasing and disappointing in the process.
These moments are generally related to vocation and relation. School/work/career/retirement/etc all fall into vocation, while friend/family/spouse/kids all fall into relation. And these are two HUGE parts of our humanity: what we do with our lives, and with whom we do those things. It makes sense that we would assign gravity to these moments, and take them seriously. The future of our happiness and those that matter to us will be directed by our choices in those moments. BUT- are we not also directed by the small choices we make daily? I was reflecting recently on how I came to weigh 235 pounds, the highest of my 30 years. Was it a one time decision that I made? “I’m going to get pleasantly plump!” I think not. It was myriad daily choices of diet and (nonexistent) exercise adding a few ounces here and a pound there, and I wake up and notice my rotund nature. And I think that is the reality of the issue: Our choices, whether big or small, ultimately direct who we are becoming.
This has changed how I view my life, my day, and what I view as the cause of and solution to all my problems. There are things, situations and people I can’t control. But I can control how I choose to respond. If someone does something stupid and I am affected by it, is it worth my stress, my worry, my health, my happiness to respond in rage and anger? Maybe. But probably not. By making this choice a thousand times over my life, I am seen and known as a calm person, one who does not respond emotionally. (There are other factors in play too, but this is a focused example)
So who do you want to be? What do you want to do? It really is up to you. And the one moment you may have to reach the stars and grab hold of your dreams will not be a coincidence. It will be a choice; or more accurately, the sum of a thousand choices. Today I choose my destiny, just like every other day.