New York Times number–one bestselling author Debbie Ford presents revolutionary questions that, when answered with complete honesty, change the way we see ourselves and make decisions – ultimately moving us toward the life we desire.
The realities of the life we live today are a result of the choices we made yesterday, three months ago and three years ago. But we don't wind up $50,000 dollars in debt because of one extravagant purchase. Nor do we put on 30 unwanted pounds as a result of a couple of decadent meals. And our relationships certainly don't fall apart overnight because of one decision. We are where we are because of repeated unconscious choices made day after day. If we want to understand why and how we created our present day reality, all we need to do is look at the choices we made in the past. Ford cuts right through our denial with the 10 questions that immediately reveal the true motivations behind our thoughts and actions. But more than that, by rigorously and honestly asking and answering these 10 vital questions, we regain control and have the power necessary to create the life we always wanted.
The Moment of Choice
Every day, each of us makes a multitude of choices that will impact our lives. Some of these choices are minor and will only impact the next few minutes, hours, or days, while others will completely change the direction of our lives. Some choices are easy to make; some are more difficult. Some will lead us straight to success, while others will bring us face-to-face with failure. Some will seem earthshakingly important, while others will seem completely insignificant. But what's imperative for each of us to know is that, no matter how large or small, easy or difficult, each choice that we make, individually or collectively, alters the direction of our lives. The quality of our choices will dictate whether we will struggle in frustration or live an extraordinary life -- the life of our dreams.
Our ability to make choices implies certain rights and freedoms. If we can choose, then we can determine which decisions we will make about our bodies, our health, our relationships, our finances, our careers, our social lives, and our spiritual beliefs. Choice allows us to pick, to select, to decide between paths. To go right or left. To move forward or backward, be happy or sad, loving or hateful, satisfied or discontent. Choice gives us the power to be successful or unfulfilled, to be good or great, to feel pleasure or pain. We can have chocolate or vanilla; we can work or play, save or spend, be responsible or be a victim. We can keep busy or slow down, be faithful or unfaithful, be disciplined or lazy. We can pursue a path that reflects our highest selves or one that reflects our lowest selves. Ultimately, we are the ones who get to choose.
What makes each of us special and distinguishes us from all other forms of life is our capacity to weigh our options and make conscious, deliberate choices. Choice might just be our most precious gift. When we were younger, we eagerly anticipated the moment when we no longer had to do what others told us. We saw our ability to choose for ourselves as a priceless gift. We anxiously waited for the day when we could get out from under years of our parents' rules and finally take control of our lives. We longed for the time when we could step out and become the masters of our own destinies, savoring that defining moment when we could decide when to wake up, when and what to eat, when to go to bed -- or not. As young adults, the right to choose equaled freedom. Our ability to choose for ourselves unleashed the limitless possibility of creating a future filled with our dreams and desires. Choice offered us hope. It promised us an exciting life -- a life where we were free to design and create whatever we pleased. As young adults we made choices because they were exciting, because they felt good, because they held the promise of satisfaction and gratification.
In our youth it's easy to say, "I'll make my dreams happen later" or "Next year will be my year." Youth affords us the luxury of believing that "one day" we will magically arrive at the destination of our dreams. But then something happens. Adulthood catches up with us and a sobering reality sets in: the day we've been waiting for will not magically arrive.
Our todays are based on the choices we made yesterday, and the ones we made three days ago, three months ago, and three years ago. We don't wind up fifty thousand dollars in debt because of one choice. We don't put on thirty unwanted pounds as a result of a couple of poor choices. And our relationships usually don't fall apart overnight because of one bad decision. We are where we are because of repeated unconscious or unhealthy choices that we've made day after day after day that add up to the reality we find ourselves in.
If we want to understand why and how we created our present reality, all we need to do is look at the choices we made in the past. Examining our present circumstances will show us that we got where we are as a result of decisions we made yesterday and the days before that. Likewise, if we want to know what our lives will look like in the future, we have to examine the choices we are making today. Maybe we've never considered our lives in this way. But the fact is that our futures are determined by the choices we are making right in this moment. So why, then, do most of us spend so little time really thinking about our choices? Why do we often fail to look both ways before we forge ahead, never considering all of our options and their consequences? Our lives are not a crapshoot, bad luck, or our parents', husband's, or boss's fault. Inherent in this fact is both good news and bad news. The bad news is that we are solely responsible for the condition of our lives. The very good news is that we and we alone have the power to change our lives, and we can choose to do so at any moment.
It's really quite simple: if we want our lives to be different, all we have to do is make different choices. Most of us continue to make the same choices out of habit, comfort, fear, or laziness and then wonder why we don't get different results. The truth is, we're so busy trying to survive life that we don't even realize that our choices and actions aren't translating into our hopes and dreams. We're too distracted with the "doingness" of our daily lives, so we take the easiest, most accustomed route or the path of least resistance, even if it leads us somewhere we don't really want to go ...