It’s what creates our lives, though we may attribute that to things beyond our control. And, of course, there is a certain degree of that also. But choice we can control.
How are choices made? I used to think that a choice was made after much deliberate contemplation, weighing of pros and cons, and careful consideration. And yes, that’s part of it. But recently I’ve felt that the choices that were made in action were made somewhat impulsively. The only true choices were made in a moment.
After all, something being done is really only what happens when action is being taken, and what is a choice if no action is taken? If someone “makes a choice” to eat an orange a day, but then eats an apple a day instead, or only eats an orange some days, has he really made that choice?
I experienced in myself a dynamic conflict regarding choice-making. I made the “choice” to skip lunch one day. Not a good choice, seeing as how my metabolism is not suited to skipping meals. I made it about three, four hours staunchly being congruent with my choice, and then, in the space of about a second, I crumbled and got a hot dog. So much for that choice.
So, a choice is more than just an intention. It’s an action. The true choices are the ones made when we crumble, when we’re vulnerable, or when we’re strong. In a certain moment, that’s when the choice is made. The preceding contemplation leads up to it of course – my firm decision not to eat lunch was leading up to my equally firm decision to get a hot dog – but the choice is made in the heat of the moment.
Choices = Action = Life.
Thoughts? Outbursts? Have you ever “made a choice” that was soon (or later) to be replaced by a new choice in the heat of the moment?
2 thoughts on “Heat Of The Moment”
So often my preferred choice or intention is thrown over in the space of a millisecond leaving me pondering whether I truly made this choice or, was it my neurochemistry that took over and drove the bus? My intention was to set out for Nashville but somehow I ended up in the Cumberland River.
A deluded or deranged person might make a decision to burn their house down based on some faulty reasoning or voice in their head. It could be argued that they made a definitive choice and yet undisputed that they were of diminished capacity. Through a series of deliberate maneuvers, some effective and some not, I will eventually free the bus from the mud of the river. The deluded person will merely burn up in the house on fire.
Of late, I have begun to think of the old pencil and score card method that used to come in board games. I work towards accumulating more little stacks with slashes that reflect my desired outcome and less little stacks of my undesired outcome. The more I try, the more I increase my odds for self determination. When that desired number increases significantly over and above the undesired I am reasonably assured that I will move on to a very comfortable “auto pilot”.
Truth is, success is built on the back of many setbacks and necessary failures. This can be soul robbing if not put into proper perspective. Although I may possess a large ring of keys and only one key unlocks the lock, I am still obliged try them all. Persistence, Courage and Self Forgiveness are essential navigation tools for “me of great shame and frustration.” John Wayne said that “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.”
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor Frankl
Exactly, Dee Dee! And it is in that space that we become more of ourselves. I find that the mind is most conscious there. The mind can be stimulated, too, as it is when a decision is made out of emotion or “diminished capacity.” And we can act out of response, “going with the flow” of things and letting our truck slide into the Cumberland River. But neither of these states are truly where choices are made!