Your home, your fault. Your job, your fault. Your weight, your fault. Your happiness, your fault. Your attitude, your fault. Your productivity, your fault. Your finances, your fault. You’re responsible. You are you by your choice!
You may argue, “I didn’t. . . ” whatever you have to say. I run into this issue quite often when parenting my children often when they are not making a choice. Here’s what William James says about that:
“When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.”
Choice Responsibility in Parenting
It happened this weekend, one of my son’s (17 years old) commissions (look at Smart Money Smart Kids (affiliate link)) as another more proactive name for chores and brining up kids with good money skills) is to clean up the rec room. My daughter (9 years old) had her commissions done for the day and was recreating in the rec room setting up the stage for conflict. She struggled with owning the entirety of her mess and was using her mean voice and yelling enough to attract my attention–Note to self: I need to be more sensitive to this so that I can engage earlier to make these situations positive learning experiences. She finally cleaned up her mess to clear the way for him EXCEPT for a section of Legos in a corner of the room.
Not bad, doing just fine to cooperate and get along BUT she was blocking the bookshelf and the box of musical instruments. So my son started tossing items in her direction and asking her, surprisingly kind and with a “please”, to put then in the proper bookshelf of box of instruments. She began throwing them back into the room and struggling with her nice voice and volume. I issued a few reminders and finally gave the ultimatum, “You need to go upstairs until your brother is done with this room.” Not the best practice to use the ultimatum so after refused compliance to the ultimatum, I created the choice: “Would you like to walk upstairs or would you like me to remove you from this room.”
Here is where refusing to choose to leave the room, is choosing to be picked up and taken out of the room. A few years ago, she would’ve been removed. Here’s where the problem comes in for “adults”. When we don’t choose, the resulting choice doesn’t thoroughly describe itself to us. It just happens. The choice can exist without any revelation of what actually happened (kinda like money when you don’t have a budget and you wonder where it went).
Be Responsible in Your Choices
What am I trying to say? Recognize that every choice, including the concept of not choosing is a choice that you controlled, you determined, you took. The fruits or pains result from your choices. The choices you make are your responsibility. The consequences, positive or negative, of those choices are yours.
Do you need to be more mindful of your choices?
Can you recognize a recent situation where you didn’t choose and what the actual choice was that you “didn’t make”? If you can’t find any, dig deeper. You can do this. If you find something, please share it in the comments below. Here’s a simple one to get you rolling. . . “I didn’t choose to turn off the TV and ___.” This may be the biggest suck of changing our life because we don’t like change. We content ourselves with doing what we’ve always done. This equals choosing to stay the same. . . being responsible to stay the same. . . or is that irresponsible? We accept our routines and loose track of our vision.
Be responsible for your life. Be responsible for your future. Don’t be the same! Stretch yourself with stretch goals.
Complete this statement in the comments: “By not choosing __(breaking out of a routine)__, I chose __(a missed life opportunity)__.” Write ten of these down in your journal then pick your best (actually the worst one) and share it below. Don’t let another choice pass you by without connecting with your vision and your life plan.