Life by default is not the life chosen but the one your left living.
Growing up from a rather poor family in terms of material things, we could not buy the latest clothes and/ or toys. Most of the time, I would spend my time fantasizing of all the toys I would like to have while thumbing through a Sear's catalog that my grand mother left in the living room. Early on, statements like "hold back so everyone can have something to eat" or "care for the things you have because we can not get another", became a hallmark of my early childhood. I even got a subscription from my Uncle in California called Unique Homes, which inspired thoughts of a dream life, far removed from what I was living at this time.
My father was a published poet, a military veteran and a graduate from Temple University. My mother was educated in the ways of unconditional love and spirituality. As we went through life, I saw both of them make choices in their lives based on the best educated guesses they had available to them. These were not particularly wrong or right choices. They were just choices with outcomes and effects. As with all decisions and choices that we make, many will not turn out as we planned. But all were destined to be carried out. I never faulted them for their choices, they made what they thought was the best choice at the time.
When I stuck out as a young man, I joined the military and I went to the University who had annex on base in Hawaii. But I traveled extensively meeting people from all over the world with very different perspectives on life, money, religions and cultures. What I noticed was that those around them had shared views. Also they were similar in their nature or beliefs. Which gave credence to my mother's statement "you are who you associate with" as she was commenting my friends at the time. So the question became, "Are we a product of our environment or a product of our associations?" This began to arise within my mind relentlessly. Who do I identify with or who do I want to be most akin to in this world? These are the challenges of a youthful mind. One who is attempting to choose an identity looking outwardly instead of listening inwardly. So I began to make choices of my own. Some of these I wished I hadn't, but in the end they were my own.
With every person that I would meet, they each gave me a small clue on how they arrived at decisions they made in their life. At least so they said. As it turns out the ones I was most attracted to were the ones that I wanted to aspire being. Each of them was inspired by another person themselves. A author, a particular book or formula passed down from a generation or two. All of the self made men, like myself were formed by a thought process of another and immolated into another form. I found modern time authors like David Ogilvy, Dale Carnegie, Zig Ziglar, Wallace Wattles, Emerson, Earl Nightingale, Jefferson and countless others who spurned on some of the greatest minds of my current generation. It was then clear to me and perhaps now to you, that the most successful people that I met where making more choices. They were making more choices grounded in a knowledge which afforded them a higher chance of probability of success. They were utilizing another set of rules, laws and guidelines that I had never been taught growing up.
Through my experiences with the people I met during my investigation on what inspired them, I found that they were making more choices than I was daily. They were not living by default. As you get older the choices seem to dwindle a bit because you may have lost the edge of youth, but gained the wisdom of life. This is simply not an absolute. You can begin to make more choices even now. The more choices you make the more your life will take on a different form. It will not look like your former life for long. Now, you may be satisfied in some areas of your life. More than likely, not in all areas of your life. So begin to make choices that pertains strictly to this area and watch it take on a shape you did not think was possible. In reality it becomes possible.
If you made it to the end of this rather lengthy article and would like for me to send you a book that changed my life, use the contact page and send me a message. In the body of message, type "Dino, I want change". I will then send you one of my favorites to you.