Friday, November 12, 2021

To Choose or Not To Choose...


8:30 am and here I wait at a local coffee shop waiting for an old friend and fellow men’s instructor so that we can catch up and enjoy the fellowship. Even though we are now attending different men’s groups and haven’t spoken to each other except over a text here and there, when he gets here it’s like we were never apart and just picked up where we left off. We caught up initially on mutual friends, fortunes, and a few failures. Ultimately, we wound up discussing our current groups, the studies, and the mentorship aspect we’ve adapted and dole out taking the conversation into the good and bad choices we as guys make throughout the day. Afterall, each of our lives are made up of choices we’ve made over the years.                                                                              

We agree that life a matter of choices. We make choices every day at most every step and turn we take. From the time we open our eyes to a new day to the time we close our eyes to end that same day. Some choices are so routine that we can make them without even thinking about it, while other choices, take processing time and consideration to make sure we make an intelligent and educated choice. Although decisions we make may not be that hard sometimes, I believe that when our emotions get caught up in the choices we must make, it’s more difficult because as men, we aren’t necessarily fond of displaying our emotions especially when it comes to deeper feelings. We shy away and maybe prefer not to make the choice or perhaps delay the choice. Why? Because we want to consider the options so that we can logically place them in a comfort box where it is much easier for us, since we all have some sort of comfort box. Decision-making may not always be tough, but the circumstances, or the people associated with those choices, make it hard because of the emotions involved around those choices.

What’s the point?  I’ve found that assertive people often make difficult decisions during the worst of times and people that decide not to make a choice, get stuck along the way. This is part of the reason some people are successful while others are not. The deal is that choices come our way daily, easy ones and hard ones, they keep coming and as men, we need to be able to take them on and make the choices that move us forward. Certainly not backward. There’s not much difference between men who are assertive in their choices and men who postpone or are slow to choose, but there is one distinguishable mental strength between the two and that is an internal risk factor that doesn’t permit them to make a choice based on their emotions or feelings. Instead, they are calculating, process oriented, and once all known factors are considered, they make the choice. Come what may, they make a choice. Even not choosing is a “choice”.

I believe we all understand there is a variety of circumstances we face daily, maybe even moment by moment, but there is no getting around the fact that we have to make choices. From medical decisions to which restaurant we want to eat in, these require choices. Honestly, when you think about some of these choices, we just go with what we are feeling at those moments. For example, what do I feel like eating, and based on that, you choose the diner. When the decision is harder like a medical procedure we must endure, we compile all the data and facts we can to help make that decision but in the end we choose something. In essence I’m just saying that we cannot escape choices.

So when you are faced with something to select, consider many things that are important to you. How does the decision affect you, your family, and is it something that can be moved down the road to have time to process for a period or does it require immediate action? I guess when we bring it down to a simple level, we want to think before we speak. If you have time, of course, but if it needs a right now answer, choose as best as you can given what you have. These are the things we later call experiences which contribute to maturity in choosing.