Every minute of every day you are faced with choices. You have a choice to work or to play hooky. You have choice of tuna or turkey. Will you buy this or refrain from that? Or, the ever-present choice of paper or plastic?
The Good of Choice
All the choice we have makes life enjoyable. We have a myriad of colors to choose from for any number of events, things and dreams. What about the choice of people we spend our lives with, fun ones, serious ones and emotional ones? What if you lived in North Korea where you have no choice on what to be, who to worship and what to believe? Life would be quite different.
The Power of Choice
Having a choice isn’t always good. Problems come from choices, too. The right to choose is free will. We can make the right choice or the wrong choice based on a set of circumstances or our worldview.
As I said, you can choose to go to work today or not. What if this would be the third time in the last 90 days you skipped work? Doing so could be grounds for termination. Considering the risk, would you make that choice? Most of us wouldn’t. Some, though, would still make that choice for short-term satisfaction.
What about a subtle choice? Say, for example, the choice to be happy? “Choose,” you ask? Who would choose to be unhappy? People make the choice to be unhappy every day. People make the choice to allow their circumstances affect them negatively.
When someone cuts you off on the way to work, how do you choose to react? Do you get angry and carry that anger with you for the rest of your drive, into work and into your work relationships? What if you choose to not react negatively? What if you choose to blow it off as a mistake, one you’ve made yourself?
The Choice of Happiness
If we step back and look at the situation, most of us would laugh and say, “We should choose to be happy, not angry.” What about other situations? What about your finances?
Many of us feel like we don’t have a choice when it comes to our finances. We all know the phrase, “I owe. I owe. It’s off to work I go.” We’ve become accustom, if not enslaved, to work for the things we buy.
Our homes, cars, clothes and lifestyle are the reasons so many of us are compelled to wake up and go to jobs that we don’t enjoy. What choice do we have? I read this article the other day and it made me think about the choice this family makes to allow them to focus on what they really want.
Are you choosing the life you want with how you spend your money? What better choices can you make to improve your financial life? Do you choose to dine out too often, spend on clothes you don’t need and drive a car that doesn’t fit with your financial goals?
How We Make a Choice
Making the right financial choice isn’t always easy and we aren’t perfect. Below are suggestions to make choosing the right choice easier.
1. Come up with choices that you do want to replace those you don’t want. For example, we’re saving for a trip to Palm Springs, so we say, “We make the choice to save money for Palm Springs, instead of the choice to dine out tonight.” “We make the choice to spend less money on groceries this week and, rather, make the choice to save $25 more for our Palm Beach ‘fun money’.”
2. Choose what you really want, not what you kinda want or want right now. Don’t put yourself in circumstances that don’t align with your financial goals. Going to happy hour may tempt you to join everyone for dinner afterwards. Boredom-shopping is dangerous. Instead, make the choice to do something free and fun outside, like go to the park or tour an art district.
People who truly enjoy life make the right choices. They make the choice to be happy. They make the choice to stay educated for better jobs and better pay. To join that group, start making choices that align with your true self, not the default choice of now.
Tell us how you choose to do the right financial things. We’d love to hear from you.