Friday, May 12, 2017

Its My Choice

Don't you feel that individualism has slowly and steadily permeated all walks of our daily life and everywhere this same bomb is exploding in our faces - 'its my life.' Well I certainly experience it and nothing wrong about it. I call this a bomb because like bombs they might be dropped at a particular coordinate but the impact area is far and beyond. It not only hits the target but also affects the surroundings. This simple 3 word sentence can change the entire meaning one attaches to everything - for better or for worse but it does. Not to forget this sentence has embedded within it a very important fact - taking decisions or making choices or calling shots etc.- whatever the nomenclature. All point towards the person who is responsible for doing this - ME, MYSELF and I. You can't escape.

A couple of weeks back I had read it in the news paper how Shikha Sharma (CEO - Axis Bank) during her convocation speech at IIM(A) quoted Dumbledore's advice to Harry Potter - "its our choices Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities" - with respect to importance of choices in defining success in professional life. This quote is what got me thinking as to why only professional life? Our professions are not dissociated from our personal life so the choices I make touches everything that makes me, me. I as a person am a sum total of all that I choose to do, read, hear, see, think, feel, create etc etc and perhaps more if not less. This advice holds true for everything that happens to me from the time I wake up till I hit the sack. 

Choices I make should reflect what I am made of and what I am made from should influence my choices. Period. A fairy tale story book ending may not be there for everyone but that should not stop me from attempting to write the story of my life the way I want. Its very important and I say this because I have personally experienced it. This however doesn't take away the fact that we need to have good listening skills and an open mind to accept the learning which comes with experience shared by others. My mother always told us that before taking a decision think 10 times, if required may be 100 times but once you have made a decision - stand by it. Even if you are proven wrong you know it is the best you could do and accept in order to move on. Many a times in life we feel that we have been forced to make choices and hurled in directions we ought to have found on our own anyway. However, if you look back you will agree that those forced choices were the best possible ones even if we had been given freehand or if there had been no compulsions in the first place. This is what I tell my child and with every passing day my belief has reaffirmed it to be the best piece of advice I can pass on to her. 

In my 4 decades of living and learning I have come to accept that there are no right or wrong choices when it comes to life. Every decision has its own destiny. Every decision or choice has its own trajectory and meets its own end. There are always more than one possibility for every situation. All situations that I face or have encountered in my living years never gave me the luxury of trying out all possible scenarios in "a controlled and simulated game like setup" before narrowing down on one most suited/safest choice to make. I chose the one I thought was the best possible among all the available options in my real life situation. There were hits and misses and many times clean bold with stumps and bails flying in the air for all to see but still there are no regrets. I made a choice and that's where the story ends. Life circumstances play their own games, with their own rules but that should not stop us from throwing a spanner every now and then by making the choices which we can. Rest assured life will go on whether we like it or not. So be proud of the choices made today.

I read this book "One" by Richard Bach (of Jonathan Livingston Seagull fame) in my impressionable growing up days which explored aspects of quantum mechanics - quoting from the book - "every instant the world we know splits into an infinite number of other worlds, different futures and different pasts...alternate worlds sliding alongside this one." Discounting philosophy, for me the book opened the realm that there could be innumerable possibilities for every decision that we take or do not take, in shaping our life and if only we could meet those "others" of ourselves in alternate worlds, then perhaps we would appreciate the decisions that we take for ourselves in this life, NOW. 

Everything has a context and we should perceive it within that framework. If our decisions are based on values instilled in us, believe me no matter how drastic or distant the context or paradigm shift, the decision we take will always turn out to be the best possible for my situation. We should strengthen the personal values that we pass on and more importantly demonstrate to our children. We could strive to make sure that its the value proposition of every decision that should shape their choices and nothing else.   

My present is the best one that is possible and my past is the best one possible and my future will be the best one possible because that will be the best possible choice. There is a lot of truth in the saying 'every cloud has a silver lining'. When I was faced with life threatening diseases, circumstances (which I have had more than anyone could desire for in a lifetime) my first instinct had always been to take the oft beaten route of 'why me'. However I stopped myself from this 'victim syndrome thinking' and considered all those things that could have happened to me if not this. I feel gratitude for all the possibilities that did not touch me. Anything which cannot break you, ends up making you stronger. It all depends on how you perceive any situation or person. The best of intentions and knowledge cannot save you from what may or may not happen. Choice is the only tool in our hands to shape ourselves. Nothing right or wrong about any decision. Rest all will take its natural course as a consequence. 

The only thing that can give you sane and peaceful moments is the conviction that this is the best I am choosing for myself. I have tried it and believe me 'its my choice' has always been the best possible choice. 

A Mother                 


  1. Quite positive ... living a life without regrets !!!

  2. Having lived a life without regrets is how I want to remember myself.