It’s a Matter of Choice

Roberto Estreitinho said, “We consume much more than we create, we read much more than we think, and it should be the other way around. We have to make sure we consume the things that truly matter to us, but only so that we have time to create something that matters to someone else.”

He has also said, “ ‘Follow your passion’ isn’t good life advice. ‘Craft and follow your purpose’ is”

So how do we know what that purpose is? How do we follow it? Over the past couple of weeks I learned a little bit concerning this matter through different experiences. Little choices reflect how much I get done in a day, focusing on what matters most gives me the most satisfaction when my head hits the pillow at night, and I am ultimately the one who controls the way that I feel.

As I was walking home from Spanish, in which I probably had just failed a literature quiz, I decided to listen. Step after step, I heard something new by listening to the people around me. I walked past a girl that was rambling on her phone and I knew this because I could hear her from half a mile away. As she got closer I heard, “He made me do this and he made me do that and he continued to make me feel miserable.” Can I knock some sense into you? Please? Thanks. This had me thinking for a week straight about how someone can make someone else feel a certain way.

It’s just not possible. No one can make you feel down; people can make you feel happy or sad but ultimately WE are in charge of our feelings. I hate the phrase “Fake it ’til you make it.” but hey, it’s true! The way we act and tell ourselves to feel will ultimately reflect how we feel.

James E. Faust said, “Tomorrow’s blessings and opportunities depend on the choices we make today.”

Choices. No matter how old or young you are, they exist, probably thousands a day! I thought that maybe I should actually count how many choices I made in a day but after struggling to decide whether or not to hit the snooze button three times this morning, I threw that idea out the window and decided to just guess way more than a thousand. Our choices matter! Thomas S. Monson, the Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said it best when he said that “Decisions determine destiny”.

Agency is the ability and privilege God gives us to choose and to act with accountability and responsibility for ourselves and not to be acted upon. Agency is to act with accountability and responsibility for our actions. All of us are here on this earth which means we willingly chose to follow God’s plan. Satan is still banging his head against the wall and trying to get under our skin because we didn’t choose his plan. We are FREE to choose.

So, you ask, how do we choose what’s best?

Ponder that one.

In the movie Alice in Wonderland, Alice comes to a fork in the road and says, “Let’s see, where was I? I wonder which way I ought to go?” The Cheshire cat appears and answers, “It depends on where you want to get to.” Alice responds that it doesn’t really matter and the cat interrupts and says “Then it really doesn’t matter which way you go.”

This instance would have been drastically different had she had a goal in mind.

We all have goals. They could be those New Year’s resolutions that we try to start every year. They could also be our weekly goals of trying to write in our journals more or drinking more water or trying not to strangle the girl that annoys the heck out of you in class (This is totally hypothetical…). We can also talk about our ultimate goal, the goal of all goals, the cherry on top: returning one day to live with our Heavenly Father. When we have goals, we are more likely to choose wisely. Our goals reflect our decisions. Life isn’t a result of chance but a result of choice.

If we don’t have a goal, decisions don’t matter and life has no true purpose. Life without purpose isn’t very desireable, we all have purpose and we all matter.

I think what I’ve learned is that decisions matter. We are free to choose and that is so amazing! If we make a bad decision, we can ALWAYS start over. We cannot choose our consequences for our mistakes but we will always be led first to choose the right. It’s what matters most, so choose it.

The key to my happiness is choosing the right. All of our decisions matter to the Lord but He won’t yell out every single decision that we have to make. I like to compare it to the annoying sound my car makes when I have to put my seatbelt on. The Lord will try and try again to protect you but in the end, it’s your decision. In the end, it’s my decision if I want to be safe or not, and although I can try to force other passengers to protect themselves as well,  it’s their choice. If a choice is good, if it helps us be better, if it allows happiness to exist, chances are, it’s probably right. A good choice helps motivate those around you as well. As an apartment we’ve started to say apartment prayers and we’re also starting to study the scriptures together through a plan that we found on Pinterest (Insert halo above my head.. but seriously it is really nice and we skipped last night so we’re not perfect). Your good decisions can create so much happiness and it can even affect someone else’s drive to be their happiest! Back to Estreitinho’s quote, discovering what matters most in turn can help others discover that things that matter most actually do exist.  I feel more and more grateful for the love that Heavenly Father has for me and for the challenges He sends this generation because He knows that we can defend what is right. I’m making little changes in my daily decisions (like not pressing the snooze button and not complaining about the cold and actually studying for my Spanish quizzes) and although every day is different and every day I am faced with something new, even something trying to control the way that I feel, I’ll be striving to choose what matters most.  Although happiness always exists in my life for some reason, I’ll be trying to conquer the negative feelings sent my way with goodness.

For those big decisions that sometimes haunt your brain… take the advice of Carole M. Stephens:

  1. Trust God
  2. Trust Christ
  3. Trust in the whisperings of the Spirit
  4. Trust in the counsel of living prophets

The fact that we have so many decisions in life can be oh so frustrating but, having the ability to choose is OH. SO. GOOD.

It’s all part of our Heavenly Father’s plan and He wants us to be happy. It is, after all, The Plan of Happiness. Happiness is a choice. Trust Him. Be happy.

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