The hard choices we "must" make daily.
I’ve expressed in my previous post how I feel about happiness. It’s a choice.
There are other seemingly fundamental life elements that fall under the same category of being “choices”.
Love, greatness and impact.
Just like happiness, love is a choice. A hard choice.
After several attempts of finding the right definition, I have learned that the best way to define love is to piece it together from my own personal experiences. Experientially, love is as follows:
Love is being present with the person you happen to be in the moment, listening to them, not judging them, trying hard to understand their emotions/feelings as best as you can, accepting and forgiving them, wishing them to heal and feel well. Love is offering the best of what you have and seeing them for the best of what they may be able to offer.
Admittedly this is a high bar but like many things in life, the higher the bar, the better the ascend to the top would feel. The path to pure non-judgmental love is a journey of a life-time and it’s a trip worth taking.
Another such hard choice is greatness.
We are all born with the potential to be great. Yet it is buried deep inside our own self-judgements, insecurities and limiting beliefs. We tell lies that we can never “be that person” by putting our own imposed limitations to our greatness. Meeting your true identity requires giving up on the false attachment to your comfortable self. You have to choose discomfort, suffering and pain over comfort, laziness or risk-aversion. Greatness is developing mental calluses against society’s judgment but more importantly your own self criticism. Greatness is not avoiding suffering but pushing through it to see the other end. And that’s why it is a choice.
Another hard choice is impact.
By this I mean choosing to leave a positive impact on this world through your work. Many people want to choose a comfortable career, the one without many risks or the one which aligns well with their natural tendencies. But to leave a meaningful impact on this planet, you have to choose to put your talents to test daily. If you love writing, you have to write but also create work that people want to read. If you love being a painter, you can’t just paint in silo but wish to help someone heal with your art. Just doing your work is easy. Creating impact is hard. Steve Jobs didn’t just create an iPod, iPhone or the Mac. He viewed each and every product decision as expression of care. That is why he left a huge impact on the world. Because people sense care. People know what Mr. Rogers did to their children for 30 years of TV. He used the work, the medium, the platform as an expression of care. The ones who wake up and simply go to work will eventually be worn out by the meaninglessness. The greats know that. Hence, they choose to make the hard choice of turning their work into an expression of care and keeping making that choice daily.