Decisions, not conditions, make your destiny

The badger mother stood firmly on her ground, refusing to budge. There were three badger cubs behind her. Her front leg was bleeding from a bite of the fox in front of her. One badger cub had strayed from the holt and had been killed by the fox. Though she is injured and in pain, she had decided that she was not going to lose another cub that night. Her hair bristled as she made herself as large as she could muster. A low growl emitted from her indicating to the fox that she meant business and was ready to fight and cause as much damage as possible to protect her young.

Have you ever found yourself between a rock and a hard place? How did you fare when a seemingly impossible choice laid in front of you? Have you felt the feeling of ‘Damn if you do, damn if you don’t’ sort of situation? How did you react? How did you make a choice in the end? Did you make a choice in the end or did you allow someone else to? Perhaps you just allowed time to make the choice for you.

In life, you make decisions daily. You make relative easy decisions like what to eat, what to wear, and how to behave in the general public. Sometimes in life, a situation is thrown upon you that is requiring you to make a decision. You have never faced this situation before. How do you decide then? Perhaps, you suffered a physical injury, a medical condition or developed a mental illness. Maybe you lost someone close to you. Maybe the condition had a long past, an abusive childhood or a traumatic youth.

How do you move on? How do you decide what to do that would serve the best interest for you? The present can be so overwhelming and the options seemed so limited. There will be many people around you giving you the ‘best’ advice with the most sincere intentions. They truly care for you. Some advice may be conflicting. Who do you listen to?

Remember that decisions, not conditions, make your destiny. A great example would be examining the life of Nelson Mandela. How does someone who is imprisoned for 27 years not only not hold a grudge against his captors but embraces them and welcome them to lead the country together? He not only forgives his captors and also loves them like brothers and sisters, knowing the importance for the greater good. Even his family did not understand him and alienated him. When he was asked, ‘How did you endure 27 years of suffering and come out strong?, he replied, ‘I was not suffering. I was preparing. I knew it was going to be one of the two outcomes. Either I die in prison and I wanted my death to mean something to ease the suffering of Africa or I would get out of prison to lead the country. So, I was just preparing, not suffering.’ He clearly understood that it was the decision he made, not the condition he was in, that would make his destiny and also of Africa’s.

Think about your life up to the present. Is it not the decisions you made (or not made, which is also a decision in its right) every step of the journey that has led to this present day? For your career, you chose what to study, how much time and effort to spend on it, which jobs to apply for and which jobs to reject, when to quit to look for another job, where to go or relocate, when to start your own business, who to ask for advice and which advice was taken. All these choices and many more resulted in your present career. For your family, you decided who to date, who to go out with, who to marry, when to have children, who to love, whether to stay in a loveless relationship or leave an abusive one, how often to keep in touch with your family. For your life, you decided on the friends you make and hang out with, whether to travel the world or explore the richness of your own backyard, what hobbies to try, what interests to invest more time and energy into. For your physical health, you decided what food to put into your mouth, how much to drink (if you like alcohol), how much to sleep, how much to exercise, whether to smoke or not. All these decisions large or small have shaped your life up to this present moment. That is the power of decisions. Even those decisions you did not make when presented with the choice have a part to play in your present life. All these decisions can be made regardless of the condition you are in. The only disability in life is a bad attitude.

Now that you understand the meaning of ‘Decisions, not conditions, make your destiny’, how do you make good decisions? Before discussing that, it is worth reminding us that Success comes from good judgement. Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgement. In life, sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. There are no mistakes. Every time you make a seemingly called ‘mistake’ or ‘bad judgement’ call, look for the lesson so it will not be wasted.

Having said that, how do you ensure the best decisions are made? Have you ever made an incredible decision that resulted in the most amazing outcome that sometimes you do not even know how on earth did you do it? Or have you made a seemingly silly decision, one that you know you would never do usually but you did it for whatever reason at that moment? It all has to do with your state when you are making those decisions. If you are in a peak state with all your faculties in excellent working order, where your heart, mind and soul are at one and your life values are pristine, in that clear moment, you are likely to come up with a decision that will astound even you and yet feel like it is the most natural thing to do. If you are in a suboptimal (or even ‘suffering’) state, your mental capacity is compromised, you are not feeling good inside and your life values are blurred, at that time, you are likely to come up with a decision that is ‘not like you’ and probably poorer than usual. So, bearing that in mind, have a rule to never make a decision until you are in your peak state. Or learn how to get into your peak state as fast as you can before making the decision.

Know that for any condition you find yourself in, it is possible but unlikely for it to be unique. Someone else had this same condition at some point in time. Someone else had been empowered and came up stronger where others have been crippled by the same condition. The meaning that you give to an experience is the experience itself. There is no real reality, only what you perceived as reality would be real to you. That is why different people can have different perceptions drawing different conclusions of the same event happening.

The badger mother has decided enough is enough for the loss of her family, despite her condition. It is the decisions we make that will determine our destiny, not the conditions (including COVID 19) that have been thrown to us. What decision have you been avoiding that needs to be made to improve your life? What is holding you back?

‘I am who I choose to be. I am not what happened to me’.

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