Do the choices we make have temporary or lasting consequences?

It’s arguable that most of us would say “it depends on the choice”. And, this is true but let’s dig deeper.  Every choice we make has a consequence, whether good or bad, and some of those consequences are lasting.

Have you ever been called an ugly name? What seems short-term can really be a long lasting wound that impacts our self-esteem. It can even become a trigger word for us that brings back a bad memory we associate with the word. Whereas, a choice to quit high school can lead to a long lasting consequence and an up hill battle to remedy the situation. Both different types of choices both with long lasting effects.

Do you have a chain of events that you were part of that led to a list of consequences?  Take a moment to list it out.

Not making choices can also have consequences. The lack of action still produces consequences. Your choices may be made for you leaving you to deal with consequences. We’ve all had those moments, right?! “I’m just to exhausted to handle XYZ so I’ll take my chances on the outcome.” Remember the mess you may have had to contend with after your inaction?

We even choose our attitudes, our reactions, the flow of our day…it’s all a choice. We also must know ourselves, our value and worth, in order to make transforming choices. For true transformation to take place in your life, you must view yourself as worthy [in form, appearance, nature, character]. Insanity: doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.

Excuses…we all have them and we all use them

Have you ever considered how many excuses we use in a day? “Officer, the light was yellow.” “I didn’t think you’d mind.” “I was irritated so I …”

List 3 excuses you used today.

Excuses typically are used to mask our true intent no matter how seemingly small the excuse. We also make excuses for other people which can get us into relationships that can become toxic.

Who do  you make excuses for?

In 1519, Conquistador Hernando Cortez set out from Spain to capture a great treasure of gold and emeralds in the magnificent Aztec Empire (now Mexico). Before leaving Spain, he’d sold everything he had to buy a fleet of boats and he’d enlisted an army of 500 men who believed in his mission to journey with him. Halfway to their destination, hi army began grumbling and complaining. According to legend, Cortez feared that some of his army would attempt to retreat back to Spain, so he told them to burn the ships. By burning their only means of transport back to the safety and comfort of their homeland, the army had no choice but to journey forward and work their hardest to achieve success.

In our own lives, we have many “boats” that allow us to retreat to the (false) comfort of our “old” ways. We are frequently tempted to hop aboard the boats that are rowing downstream – back to the land of the familiar because it’s easier than rowing upstream toward change and unknown territory.

What “boats” do you need to burn? Meaning, are there things in your life that keep you returning to the comfort of your old ways instead of rowing forward towards success. The definition of success here is not referring to finances necessarily but rather overcoming addictions and habits to achieve personal and financial independence. Remember: addictions are not just drugs or alcohol. It is anything keeping you from going forward. It is a state of enslavement to a habit or practice. For example, I am a recovering affirmation junkie. Cortez had his men burn the boats so they were forced to look forward and make their journey in the new land a success. They had no other option.

Make a list of the “boats” you need to burn?

Quit making excuses for yourself or for others! If the people in your life are not helping to build you up, they they should not be a part of your “Board of Directors” (trusted advisers). They should not have influence on the choices you make. Get the right people on your bus, burn the boats and head toward a different future. Decide today to take responsibility for yourself!

Another twist we use on excuses is “It’s not my fault” mentality.Usually when we use this mentality it is said when the consequence did not happen just as we planned.

Think for a few minutes and then list three “It’s not my fault … scenarios that you have used in the past week.

We must take ownership of our choices and stop making excuses. Be accountable for your actions. Own the resulting consequences. Don’t blame others.

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