We all want freedom of choice. America is the land of choice. Go to any Wal-Mart and you’ll find many choices of cereal, clothing, razors, makeup, coffee, motor oil, and just about anything you want. Options are good.
What we often don’t like is the consequences of our choices. I want to eat three packs of Peanut M & M’s and drink a Dr. Pepper every day while playing video games on my phone and not gain weight. My 50 pounds of extra weight is testimony that consequences follow actions.
Some years ago I had a friend who’s stepson was rebellious and would get angry whenever my friend tried to correct him or teach him. The young man would not listen to his mother or his step dad’s guidance, instruction, or teaching. He wanted to do his own thing. This went on for several years. One day I happened to meet the young man in a store. The young man was with an older, hard looking, tattooed 20 something man. When I got home I told my wife that the young man was probably headed to prison soon if he didn’t get involved with some better company. Sure enough a few years later the boy was in prison.
A close family member of mine was not the best student and didn’t catch on to academic things very quickly. He struggled in school and often didn’t understand difficult concepts. However, he was committed to doing what was right and would get after his friends and family if they did anything wrong or dishonest. After barely graduating from high school he served a two-year mission for the LDS church, married a very good woman in an LDS temple wedding. He now has a good marriage, five children, a four-year college degree, a master’s degree, and a successful business. He is still as committed to doing what is right as he ever was. He is a tremendous influence for good through his work and family and is a joy to be around.
Carlfred Broderick, a marriage and family therapist, has said that marital infidelity often comes out of the blue like a scheduled airline. Infidelity and other tragic actions rarely just happen. They are the result of a long series of smaller choices that lead to a predictable end. An end that is as predictable as a scheduled airline. (https://www.lds.org/ensign/2017/01/marriage-technology-and-emotional-infidelity?lang=eng&cid=email-shared)
Success is the same. Good luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
We cannot change others but we can choose who we associate with and how we spend our time and money. We can choose associates that lift us up and encourage us to do good things or we can associate with people that drag us down and abuse us. We can learn skills or play video games. We can work or watch TV. We can use credit cards and pay interest or we can live on less than we earn and have interest work for us.
Gravity does not care what we think of it but is it is there and it is constant. Success and failure are similar. If we choose well we will reap joy. If we choose poorly we will reap sorrow and misery.
As Tony Robbins says, we get what we tolerate in ourselves and in others.