We Define Ourselves by the Choices We Make
Every decision you make defines who you are. It takes work to become who you really want to be. If you live by default, without a plan, without understanding how your actions affect your future; you may end up somewhere you never wanted to be.
So how do we make better choices?
- Continuous Improvement Incrementally
- Take Control – Zero Excuses!
Awareness is vital. Becoming aware of our actions, the way we perform them, and the underlying motivations behind them. Subconscious habits dictate much of how we move through our day. In part, this is necessary, so that we can focus on more complex issues.
Awareness of habits, choices that we’re making, and the outcomes we want.
A lot of what we do in our lives is guided by habits that we have built over our lifetime. Many of these habits are unconscious, so we are performing tasks at this subconscious level without even really thinking about it. Have you ever driven to work, and then realized you do not remember the drive? The driving is on autopilot.
Habits are good for us because they help us get through our lives without putting huge amounts of mental and physical energy into completing every task.
However, there is a drawback to this because those habits are so strongly built into who we are. They dictate a lot about how we work our way through each day. Some habits are excellent for us and yet others, not so much. Changing your habits takes effort and time.
Continuous Improvement Incremental
Continuous Improvement Incrementally is enhancing and refining something gradually and steadily. Acknowledging there is always room for improvement, even if something is functioning well. It could enhance your skills, knowledge, or habits. Incrementally means taking small steps toward improvement. In self-development, this could be any aspect of your life where you feel you need to grow and improve.
By making changes incrementally, they are easier to implement, assess, and adapt to. Making changes over time can lead to significant positive outcomes.
Kaizen Philosophy: Continuous improvement incrementally aligns with the Kaizen philosophy, a Japanese term meaning “change for the better.” Kaizen emphasizes making small, continuous changes to improve efficiency and quality.
Personal Kaizen is the philosophy of life to change without being overwhelmed.
Take Control, Take Responsibility, Zero Excuses
Take control of your choices. Stop all the excuses. Who are you today? And who do you want to be tomorrow? What changes need to take place? The healthier you might mean, better food choices, and more movement. Looking at your life, ask what wellbeing means. A more work-life balance might look like taking more time to be with your family; not living for the job.
Take responsibility. It is not someone else’s responsibility to make your decisions. Taking responsibility means your health, education, job, financial, and career choices. It also means choices about your behavior and how you spend your free time.
No excuses, we often are the limiting element in our lives. You either have a mindset of I can, or I can’t.
Art by John Hain from Pixabay
Life is a series of choices and our decisions shape who we are. Acknowledging that every action allows individuals to consciously define their path.
We can correct our course
Life is complex. We need to work out a plan. We can float, day by day, unconsciously doing the same thing repeatedly, hoping for a different ending. Or we can take control of our destiny and become the person we really want to be.
Some of our choices can be like a brick wall in front of us — one so high we cannot climb over the wall. Yes, some people manage to have plans A, B, C, D, and Z if needed. They find a ladder and climb over the wall, take a sledgehammer, and break the wall, dig a hole underneath it, or just walk around the side of the wall. Meaning we can live in a self-imposed box or break out and take responsibility for our choices. No excuses.
We can choose to be healthy, to get up early, to get eight hours of sleep. If we choose not to do these things, we have defined our path.
“Our lives are fashioned by our choices. First, we make our choices. Then our choices make us.”
– Anne Frank.
We are all that we experience. Everything is a choice. Pay attention and be aware of what you’re doing throughout your day. Have a bigger plan. Visualize the bigger picture so that you can understand how today’s actions impact future outcomes.
Success is built on daily choices and activities, usually in small steps. Again, I will repeat that continuous improvement incrementally is a way to start making those changes.
Habits are our comfortable place and when we’re stressed, tired, or lazy, we fall back on those habits. Changing those habits takes time, it takes effort, and awareness. But you can change your habits. Some people make radical transformations in their life but that’s usually based on incremental changes.
I invite you to embrace a philosophy of taking responsibility for who you are today, and who you will be tomorrow, with zero excuses. As Nike’s tagline says, “Just Do It.” You have the power within you to change your life to the life you really want.
· Kaizen: The Japanese Secret to Lasting Change—Small Steps to Big Goals, by Harvey, Sarah.
· The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Covey, Stephen R.
#habits, #awreness, #continuousimprovement, #definingyourself, #habitbuilding, #kaizen, #whoami