Two Questions

Bill Abbate

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What an amazing time to be alive! Never in history have more choices been available to the masses.

You can choose to have practically anything you want delivered to your door at the click of a button or touch on a screen. Pizza, groceries, almost any book ever written, a boat, a car, and so much more! The choice is yours for the making.

But what choice do you have for those things that can make a difference in you and your life? Are they available for delivery too? Read on to find out!

Choices and opportunity

Choices, choices, choices. So many decisions to make. How can you choose with so many options?

Imagine a hundred years ago when choices were minimal. As recent as the 80s and 90s, there were far, far fewer choices available. Amazon didn't come into existence until 1994! I remember my first purchase on Amazon, a radar detector, back in 1999. At the time, I wondered if Amazon would catch on!

The almost unbelievable thing about choices is they extend far beyond material goods. With so much information, experience, and opportunity available today, what we choose can now impact not only what we own but who we are and who we are becoming!

Yes, what is available to us today extends beyond simple goods and services. We have opportunities never dreamed of a mere 50 years ago.

Living in the information age with so much technology has created new ways to work and earn. If you so choose, you can make a living from anywhere and create products out of thin air. You can also sell products without worrying about manufacturing, inventory, offices, staff, or any of the trappings of "normal" businesses.

Yet one area of choice has been with us for as long as man has existed. More recently, especially in the past 100 years, books have been a significant vehicle for learning about these choices.

What choices? The most important choices a person can make. They are fundamental choices that affect every other choice. Choices about who you are, what you do, and who you are becoming.

All that is required to make these choices are the right questions. Let's examine two questions that will help you make the best choices in life!

"It's choice - not chance - that determines your destiny." Jean Nidetch (1923-2015)

Let's start with the first question.

What do you choose to DO with your life?

Have you ever thought to ask yourself, "What do I choose to do with my life?" Few people do. Yet imagine giving it serious consideration.

The answer will be life-altering. This choice directs every significant choice in your life! If you never ask yourself this question, what will become of you?

Imagine being in a small boat with two oars somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. You have enough food and supplies for a couple of weeks and believe if you are smart, you have a chance of surviving. But what if you choose to give up and waste your life?

With no land in sight, you could row your life away and finally expire, with no result other than becoming fish food. Is that any way to go through life? Yet that is what too many choose, leaving their life to the world of the unknown.

One night while looking at the stars in the sky, you recall something from school about the North Star. You remember sailors navigated by it for centuries before modern technology. Since you are somewhere in the Atlantic ocean in the northern hemisphere, you realize you may have a chance.

After noticing one star is in the same position each night, you determine it is the North Star. Using it as a guide, you begin to row westward for as many hours as it is in sight. When it disappears in the daylight, all you can do is attempt to continue in the same direction, hoping you do not stray too far off course. All the while, you pray for cloudless nights.

So long as you continue rowing west, you have hope that you will eventually find land and survive.

Isn't life just like that? So long as you have something to guide you, you can make progress when you put forth the effort. But when the guiding light is out of sight, the best you can do is estimate where you are going.

If you never seek the answer to the question, "What do I choose to do with my life?" you will float aimlessly through life. Yet, even a partial answer to this question can give you some direction. If you continue seeking a North Star question, you may one day see land and find the answer.

Seek and never give up. Your life depends upon it! More on North Star questions in a moment.

"Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. "William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925)

Let's now look at a second fundamental question in life.

Who do you choose to BECOME?

Like the first question, who you choose to become directs practically every major decision in your life. I recently found an old quote that set me on the course to give some thought to this question.

"The most profound choice in life is to either accept things as they exist or to accept the responsibility for changing them." Don Koberg (1930-present)

Do you accept yourself as you are? Do you accept the responsibility to change who you are? "Well," you may think, "I am fine with who I am. I don't need to change a thing in my life." So, what you are saying is you accept yourself as you exist. No changes needed.

That is one way to look at it. However, let me point out you are still making a choice—a choice not to choose. So long as you have breath in your body, you choose and choose regularly.

I recently read in Psychology Today that the average person makes 35,000 decisions a day! In this case, decision and choice are synonymous since whenever you have a decision to make, you choose to accept it or not.

The difficulty with life is that whenever you choose to accept something as it is, to leave it alone, your life, for example, atrophy sets in. Atrophy leads to death. Yes, it's true we will all die one day, but hey, I'm in no hurry to get there! In fact, I prefer to flourish and grow as long as I can. That is what life is for a human being, moving forward, not back, growing and thriving, not dying before your time.

"We have no choice, we must all die. How we live, however, is entirely of our choosing." Simon Sinek (1973-present)

What you decide to do with this question affects every other choice you make! Your decision about who you are becoming determines where your life goes and each decision after. It's best to consider this choice thoroughly, so that your other choices align with it.

Final thoughts

By seeking the answer to these two fundamental questions, you will determine the course and outcome of your life. This can help you create the life you want.

A few supporting decisions, or "North Star questions," that help in answering the two fundamental life questions above include:

  • What do I do with my time?
  • What inspires me?
  • With whom do I surround myself?
  • What do I learn?
  • How do I grow?
  • Where do I want to be in my later years?
  • What do I want to be said about me when I am gone?

Ask yourself these questions regularly and give thought to the two fundamental questions. Your mind will not allow a question to sit unanswered. Your unconscious mind will work on the answers for you. Having even a partial answer will at least provide something to navigate by in your life.

Choose to give each of these questions serious consideration. You and those you love will be forever thankful you made a choice!

"Your choices decide your fate. Take the time to make the right ones." Robert Kiyosaki (1947-present)

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA
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