Three Choices We Have In Life
January 31, 2021
Take a moment and think about this question. What are the three choices we always have in our life?
I picked up the answer to this question as a nugget of wisdom from a Biography, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgensen. Naval Ravikant is an Indian-American entrepreneur, investor, and a brilliant mind. This book captures a collection of Naval’s wisdom and experience over the years, shared as a curation of his most insightful interviews and reflections.
Now for the answer to this question that Naval shares.
In any situation in our life, we all have three choices.
- You can change it.
- You can leave it.
- Or, you can accept it.
You Can Change It
If something is within your control and influence, go right ahead and do what you have to do to change the status quo. Nothing complicated about this choice.
You Can Leave It
The second choice is also relatively straightforward. Everything that you come across in life does not have to be something you take upon yourself to do something about. Let’s take an example. You are driving on the highway, and someone cuts across your car dangerously. You can choose to get emotionally entangled in that situation or choose to ignore the provocation and drive peacefully. It is about being emotionally nimble not to get sucked into matters that you are better off ignoring or passing.
You Can Accept It
The last choice is what is tricky. If there is something outside the sphere of your influence and ability to change, make peace with the reality- That you cannot do anything. Learn to accept the situation. Unfortunately, acceptance is something we all struggle with as it directly relates to our ego.
Acceptance is that sense of maturity to be okay with whatever the outcome is. It is to be balanced and centered. It is to step back and recognize that you don’t have to sweat all stuff.
How To Become Better At Acceptance
Resistance is the enemy of acceptance. Resistance is the stress we build up within us because we are unhappy with the present situation and wish it were different. There are a few hacks I use to be more accepting. I don’t say I am successful all the time, but they certainly help in many situations.
- I remind myself that there is a bigger power guiding everything in my life. Whatever happens, there is a grander design.
- I remind myself of all my past sufferings and the growth and improvement I have experienced from those experiences. There is always a silver lining in the suffering.
- I change my perspective. Real example- Midway, in his undergraduate program, my son decided to shift his major. I was all wound up. Is he doing the right thing? But wait, why was I getting hyper about my son’s choices. He is the one in the hot seat. Not me. My job as a parent is to support him on whatever choice he takes.
Life is all about executing choices and it’s good to remember that everything boils down to these three choices.
As the last word, while it is good to contemplate mental models and intellectualize how we deal with the options, in the grand scheme of things, it’s also useful to remember that we are all going to die one day and none of this will matter.
So, deal with your life choices from a state of Zen and Zest. Be positive, happy, and have fun. Dish out love and be a source of happiness for people around you.