“When one bases his life on principle, the 99 percent of his decisions are already made.”
Sometimes I wish that quote wasn’t anonymous, because I’d like to sit down with the person who said it first and pick their brain. Because while living by principle is an amazing concept, in practice, it seems almost impossible to do.
In principle, life is simpler. You know what you stand for without any doubts. You understand why you’ve been put here no question about it. You know what the right thing to do is so you do the right thing. It all adds up, it all makes sense, it’s all there in front of you. Simple.
In reality though, life is never like that. Life is the family you love that may not support you. Life is the friends that are always there when you need them, almost every time. Life is the job, the school, the freelance that you do because you’re sure about it, except for those panic filled days when you’re not. Life is the reoccurring cycle of relationships that you can’t really stand behind but cling on to because, well it’s life. Life is, for many people, longer than it is short. It is a long series of choices but mainly things beyond our control, so when those choices do arise, we have to think smart.
For all the times life doesn’t ask our opinion, there are terrifying moments where it is all up to us. And in those moments, I’ll admit I am probably more scared than when things are out of my hands. After all, driving always seems simpler in the back seat. So what do you do when you have the wheel? When you finally get your chance after watching the turns you wouldn’t have taken? Well for most of us, we do either one of two things. One, stay on the same road and never turn or two, second guess ourselves and spin in circles.
In order to be able to call the shots, you have to spend time watching them being called. But beyond watching you have to be preparing, readying yourself for the moment you’re given some control. It means spending time thinking about those tougher questions that no one really wants to. Who am I? Why am I? and most importantly- what do I care about?
I think when we’ve answered those questions, it does become simple. I think when we work out our stuff internally, the world outside our heads becomes a lot more clear. It takes effort, it takes time but its worth working it all out first in order to do the right thing.
Today, relish in the helplessness of not being in control. Realize being in the backseat is not the waiting room, its time to prepare for the right thing.