It is estimated that we make 35,000 choices every day. In fact, the average person will make around 1 million decisions over a lifetime – and unfortunately will come to regret about 150,000 of them – about 15%. A famous quote says, “Life is about choices. Some we regret, some we’re proud of. Some will haunt us forever. The message: we are what we chose to be.”
Although many of our daily choices are made unconsciously, it’s the life-changing ones that carry consequences and change our lives. Whenever we make a choice, whether we realise it or not, to gain something, we will lose something. And all our choices have consequences.
Right here, on this very spot, ill-fated choices were made. Life and death choices. This is arguably one of the most famous trees in Australian history which still stands as an enduring reminder of the pioneering spirit and extremely harsh conditions of the Outback.
The explorers Burke and Wills were the first to cross Australia from south to north. It’s the story of poor planning, extreme hardships, miscommunication, dire circumstances, and unwise choices that led to the death of Burke and Wills. Although it has been deemed as the first successful crossing, it was fraught with disaster, and Burke and Wills paid the ultimate price.
Their experience makes me think of the choices we make every day. Wouldn’t it be great if we could somehow find a way to make better choices – if there was some guideline on how to make better choices?
It’s easy to think your life is defined by what happens to you. But the truth is that your life is defined by the choices you make. And once you make choices, your choices make you.
It’s undeniable that we don’t always make the right choices. But what happens to you is not nearly as important as the way you choose to respond. Some people are built up through difficult situations. Other people are broken by them. Why is that? It’s because of the choices we make and how we decide to react.
The choices you make today determine where you will be tomorrow. Wise people are always asking: What do I need to do today to get me where I need to be tomorrow? What you do with your choices today will determine the person you become tomorrow.
Is there a guide to how to make choices? Yes. Seek wisdom from God’s Word, the Bible. A general guide to follow comes from the Bible book of Philippians 4:8 which says, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”