Choice or chance? Are you leaving your destiny to chance, or pro-acting what will raise the possibilities of these choices to be better supported by chance”?
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Jean Nidetch left us with a great quote: “it’s choice not chance that determines your destiny”. How true has that been for you? Just reflect back on your life briefly – have most of the things that matter to you “just fallen into place” or did they follow some choices that you made?
I find this quote can be viewed quite spiritually, but also on a very practical level. I believe that this can form the basis of one of the most fundamental of our attitudes towards “the business of life”.
One of those beliefs, isn’t it? So that means it can be right or wrong, depending on what you believe, right?
When my parents “took a chance” and chose to migrate away from war destroyed Germany in the early 1950’s, they made that choice for me. However, when we decided we wanted to migrate to Australia 30 years later it was a choice my wife and I made. (Of course in doing so, that choice was also made for our children )
At that time it was taking 2 years to process a visa for a migration from South Africa. There were understandably no organizations prepared to make a commitment to an expensive senior resource and have to wait 2 years for them to arrive. It looked pretty bleak. We either had to find a sponsor company or we “give up”.
But we had made a choice and a committed decision to live in Australia so we just held on to our belief that “if it was meant to be, it would be”. In time a whole series of co-incidences eventuated resulting in my old company offering to sponsor our migration here.
Choice or chance?
Let me pick up the serendipitous word “co-incidences”. Were they “co-incidences” or were they “destiny at work”? I have written about this in numerous blog articles, where I suggested that by writing down what we want (in the form of a goal), we make a commitment to an outcome, thereby invoking a bunch of “movements of providence” (as Goethe so aptly put it” so many centuries ago), “that would never otherwise have occurred, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man (person) could have dreamed would come his way”.
I also frequently referred to “The Law of Attraction”, which I interpret to say that:
a) you need to define what you want,
b) put it out there” that you want it
c) and then allow it to manifest by supporting it with all the positive and supportive “thinking vibes” that you can.
You see, our above migration example of my family helped me add to my belief, that if you make a commitment, or a choice, and commit to it (preferably by writing it down as a goal) then we raise the possibilities of the choices we made to “better happen by chance”.
So in case you think we are wandering off here into “Spiritual la-la-land”, let me take us back to every day life realities. For a number of years both Ford and Holden have been laying-off over hundreds of workers in Australia amidst much outcry over “those poor people”. In fact, in recent times all motor manufacturing in Australia is scheduled to close down completely, making 1000’s of jobs redundant.
This is a very blatant example of where these people had left their future and their career to “chance”. The “writing was on the wall” that the era of “gas guzzlers” was over and that at escalating oil prices, fuel prices were doubling, resulting in many consumers changing their choices to smaller and more efficient engines. I know I did. Sales of large engine cars plummeted. A number of their more alert colleagues had seen this coming and changed organizations or jobs or industries ahead of the redundancies and on their terms. They exercised a choice.
Now just before you say to yourself: “it’s OK, I have a secure job”, please be reminded that merger and acquisition activity is still alive and burgeoning all over the world, and the “most secure companies” can become a takeover target at any time, which usually result in redundancies. If you have chosen to stay within the conversational employment model, then it is no longer a question of “whether”, but “when” it will be your turn, and in today’s economies, also a question of “how often?”. So I believe that if you are “driving your own bus” you would always have a “plan B up your sleeve”, so that you aren’t exposed to chance and that you are always able to exercise your choice(s).
Ironically, in my coaching and mentoring work I often use the “chance” aspects of the above material to help clients define what they want and to make some commitments towards those desired outcomes (choices), even if they don’t at that point know how they are going to achieve them. They “put them out there” in the form of writing down some “results goals”.
Then we spend some time focused on figuring out numerous possibilities and perspectives and mapping out different paths or scenarios that will get them there in the form of “activity goals”, so that they can map, monitor and measure the choice(s) of activities that will help them “stack their chances in their favour”.
So why not take a good look back on your life’s work and reflect on the bigger picture things that matter(ed) most to you? Why not consider how much or how many of those were “left to chance” and how many you actually invoked by making some choices?
If you are anything like me, you will be amazed at the “thin threads” that emerge where you can “join the dots”. Perhaps that will be a motivator and a catalyst for you to make some choices, write them down, initiate “chance affecting your destiny” and use the energy and “co-incidences” to help you drive your bus to where you really want it to take you?
And if you admit to yourself that this may “be a little scary”, why not engage a coach to assist you? That’s what we do best.