“Stood alone on a mountaintop
Starin’ out at the great divide
I could go east, I could go west
It’s all up to me to decide” –Roll Me Away by Bob Seger
To wake up or hit the snooze button.
To go exercise or not.
To eat the banana or the donut.
To doom scroll through Twitter or read a few pages from a good book.
To continue working at and complaining about that soul sucking job or start the search for a new one.
To go make your art or continue waiting to get picked.
Okay okay, I know, you get my drift.
Once we realize that EVERYTHING is a decision, that we have agency, that we control the single most important thing, which is how we spend our time, because as Anne Dillard brilliantly puts it, “how we spend our days is how we spend our lives,” then we can actually do something about it. We can finally hear and connect to that little voice inside. That voice that calls us to our vocation. That urges us to fulfill our potential. That wants us to make change. Make our art. Make the world better a better place.
Or…Not. That’s a decision too.
The writer Mark Manson talks about this in a recent blog post. He writes…
Feeling like we have choices gives us a sense of control and autonomy over our lives. And that feeling of control and autonomy just so happens to be one of the best predictors of wellbeing and happiness we’ve figured out so far.
And yet, despite this simple power of choice, humans have an almost endless capacity for denial.
We deny we have choices when inaction is more comfortable, when our identity is at stake, and/or when we think playing the victim will get us an instant dose of sympathy or even pity.
But denial only gives us short-term relief in exchange for long-term pain—and that’s a terrible investment in your life.
Your reactions, your perspectives, where you place your attention… all of it—it’s all your choice.
And you don’t get to sit this one out.
Not making a choice—or denying you have one in the first place—is still a choice.
P.S. – RIP Meat. Let us never stop rockin’.