One of the great quests in life is to define who you are as a person and decide for yourself what measures of success you would like to define it with. We are granted but one “entry ticket” to this great theme park of both fantastic amusements and purpose called Life, and it is our singular choice as to how we spend our time and to what purpose we use the time that is available to us. It is our choice to either pull up a park bench just inside the entrance gates and spend all of our time watching people stroll by, or run to see how many rides we can experience before the park closes on us for the day. That choice is ours, and ours alone to make.
If we don’t make that decision for ourselves, society will define us instead by default. Society is organized in multiple and overlapping ways to push and pull you along the paths of least resistance over time for its own benefit and purposes. Your family defines your earliest boundaries and gives you an initial direction to embark on and start your journey. Schools continue the molding and defining of who you are and begin to set limits on who you may eventually become. Other than for the purposes of an orderly and law abiding society, there is no reason to allow anyone or anything else to define who you are, who you want to become, or the path in life that you choose to follow to get to the destination of your choice. Only you control the choices in your life, and by default, you alone should choose how to measure the success of your choices – no one else should be allowed to do it for you.
Most of everything we do results in choices; to turn left or right, do this or that, and how quickly or slowly it all gets accomplished. Over time the accumulation of many small decisions provide for our pathways, and pathways have the ability to take us far afield through pastures, across streams and into far distant forests and mountainous terrain. Looking over our shoulder from time to time will allow us to reflect on what path we are currently traveling, and where it is taking us. It is our decision at any time in life to leave the path we’re currently traveling along and transition to another well worn trail or blaze our own path through terrain that has never been traveled before. To change one’s mind and direction in life is simply another choice, and should never be given to others to critique – only we alone can know and be responsible for the choices we make – and know why we made them.
Do you want to be an Artist? Or a Musician? An Engineer? Teacher? Poet? Stone mason? Day Care provider? Pilot? Friend? Husband? Wife? Dad? Mom? Do you want to be honest? Loyal? Loving? Caring? Do you want to travel the world or live your life quietly in your own home town? Perhaps athletics is your desire in life? Or coaching? Volunteering? Tutoring? Do you see your world in vivid color, shades of grey or purely in black and white? Do you like things in a linear or spherical presentation? Or both? Or neither? Perhaps a random distribution is your preference?
Do you choose to be challenged with new and distant horizons, or would you rather maintain a consistent and knowing routine in your life? All of these are choices and there is so much more opportunity in our world. Every possibility under the rainbow is there for you to pick from, until you choose not to pursue it as an option. The beauty of it all is that we can design the lives we want to live, picking and choosing from all the options available to us until the day the sun sets on our visit to this wonderful world of adventure.
At the end of the day we can reflect on it all, and measure the purpose and success of our efforts and choices in life. Or we can live our lives under someone else’s direction for us, by their measures of success or failure and for their purposes or intent. That person may be a parent, spouse, teacher, relative or anyone else who attempts to influence our life for their own personal intentions. Don’t fall into this trap – be yourself, define yourself, measure your own success and failures, travel under your own internal compass headings, turn when you want, pause for a while if you wish, smell the roses, listen to the birdsong and babbling brook, watch the setting sun and study the stars. God has provided you with this unique opportunity we call life…only you can get out of it what you wish to, and put into it what you decide to give back. Live it well, choose wisely, follow your heart, lead with your feelings and feel the wind in your hair. It’s your life – live it. 🙂