The word, choice, brings its own baggage. The concept of choice seems complicated. People are quick to believe that they have to consider so many factors to make a good choice and it is hard. But it only seems complicated because people take a fairly straightforward concept of making one selection or another, then transform the options for their own individual benefit. The idea is not complicated, justifying its manipulation is.
A great example is free-choice (or free-will) versus predestination. In this classic argument, humans debate if their own decisions and consequences determine their fate, or is it predetermined by a supreme creator? Neither case exists in the presence of the other, Compromise can be cleverly suggested, but close analysis unravels these middle-ground arguments. They are ultimately mutually exclusive. Philosophically, either an individual exercises choice over their destiny or they do not.
Assuming an individual can control their choices, they still can not control their consequences. A man can jump into a raging river, he can not choose whether he will get wet. So let’s acknowledge the ability to choose, however determining eventual consequences are another matter.
With regards to individual progress, people need to accept the ability to make choices. A teacher tells a teenager that she is not smart enough to go to college. That statement must not limit her ability to pursue her higher education goals. She can choose to take the necessary high school classes, to enlist the guidance of a supportive counselor, and to learn various options of achieving a college education. A teacher who lacks vision is not the final arbitrator of the teenager’s ultimate destiny.
Often people in authority have their own agenda. If that authority figure selfishly prioritizes the status quo and the subordinate ambitiously embraces game changing ideas, then the authority figure may want to eliminate the subordinate’s dream before it threatens the authority figure’s reality. All individuals who exercise choice must have a sense of self and purpose in making any choices.
Make plans, then go through proper preparation to define clear paths to an individual’s goals. The path may need to change, or the plans may need to be altered, but do not stop progressing. Endurance is essential to effectively exercising choice. Tough choices are difficult, but so is success. Expect the path of least resistance to be crowded and unfulfilling. Consequences are the result of active choices and they are also the result of avoiding choices. So, be bold, make a choice. Regardless of religion, politics or philosophy, each individual must accept the consequences of their decisions. No one can escape that choice.