You play it safe, you avoid or refuse to make a choice.  You say “whatever will be will be”, totally misunderstanding this decree.  What you fail to recognize and you are too blinded to see, is to not make a choice is really making a choice against thee! catkins ©2012

Over the holiday season I was at an event and was given a choice to pick from either a box of chocolates or my favorite, a Snickers gift box. The Snickers box had several of the Snicker choices in it, yum!  The box of chocolate looked beautiful enough, packaged in gold foil.  It seemingly held a promise that the chocolate inside would be delicious.  However, there was no way of telling what type of candy was in it.  Was it dark chocolate, chocolate covered cherries, or maybe even nougat covered with chocolate all of which I don’t like.  Some of the upper scale chocolate boxes will have a key to let you know, but this one did not so it was a mystery.  So what was I to do, go safe and pick what I know I like or take a chance on mystery chocolate.  For some that would be easy, go with what you know and like. You will be happy, satisfied and you will get exactly what you expect theoretically making you pleased with your choice.  I mean life is too short to eat crappy chocolate right? On the other hand, there maybe some goodies in the other box.

Right about now you may think I get it this is a metaphor for choice, and you would be right.  However, I am not talking about the simple choice of choosing, but the choice of discovery.  See, if I pick the Snickers, sure I have just made a choice, and a very good one because I like Snickers.  I am sure to enjoy it and feel fortunate that I got this option.  It’s safe, it’s assured, my satisfaction is pretty much guaranteed, which is good enough right?  However, if I pick the box of mystery chocolate I have made a choice that leaves me uncertain as to my future satisfaction.  There is a possibility that I may not like very many choices in there or maybe nothing at all. Hmm, on first glance this does not look like a good deal at all.  It almost seems like a no-brainer?

Well, I chose the box of mystery chocolates. I did so because life to me is all about chance and discovery, and choice is a wonderful way to experience this.  Playing it safe and choosing to go with what you know works, what you know you like, what you know will bring you satisfaction, all be it the SAME amount of satisfaction that it has always brought is NOT how we keep our life dynamic, exciting, energetic and yes fulfilling.  For some, these adjectives I have mentioned has already made them feel tired and apprehensive.  This may be a real sign to you that you are extremely settled and complacent in life.  You may have one or many issues you wish could be resolved.  “Different day, same $hit” may be your mantra.  Hopefulness and optimism have long since departed your daily mindset.  Or worse you could be that perpetual dreamer who believes that someday one day it will all get better.  You hold on to that dream, while you change nothing of how you live and employ no actions otherwise.

That box of mystery chocolate is symbolic to how I see life.  With each wrapped chocolate, I get the chance to discover something delicious, something new and untried, a chocolate that I can add to my repertoire of chocolates.  I immediately started to think of chocolate combination that I have heard of and have not yet tried.  Could I find it here? The box sparked my imagination, it became exciting to pick through my choices.  Even more than that was the fact that I had the strength to deny myself the comfortable, tried and true choice and look with optimism to the unknown.  You see at the end of the day, whether that box contained all my faves, new faves, or no faves at all is not the point.  The point is my real choice is that I was willing to take the chance with the box of mystery chocolate therefore, maximizing my choices, increasing my options, fostering my desire for growth and giving my life delicious new options.  So, the choice to choose, the choice to take a chance, the choice to discover or uncover is the ultimate choice.  Some might see my original choice as not a real choice, because one item was known and the other wasn’t.  This is the problem for lots of people thinking they don’t have REAL choices.  They discount what they don’t like, what is not readily identifiable as not a real choice.  Whether we like it or we don’t.  Whether we understand it or we don’t.  We always have a choice!!  Besides, isn’t life really just a box of chocolates!


About Caroll Atkins

Loving Designing Living!! All forms of design intrigue me. As a graphic designer, I design for my livelihood (C.A.SlyDesigns) but as a writer, I do it for my living! At this time in my life, I MUST write. LoveDesignLife, is my joy and my gift to you. If my articles resonate with you, I pray they will also help you in life much as living them and writing about them has helped me. Today, it is no longer about thinking outside of the box. It’s bigger!! It is all about “Transcending the sphere!” coined by yours truly. I work hard to accomplish my goals. However, if I ever fall short I don’t worry I just eat cake cause tomorrow is another day!!
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4 Responses to The CHOICE is YOURS!

  1. Exactly,. Very True,.
    What comes to my mind concerning choices of New things,. is that if we only choose what we are familiar with,. then how do we know what it is that we constantly say we don’t like?

    We you mentioned that you had a choice of Chocolates, I immediately thought of “Chicken Wings” for myself,. and whenever I step out somewhere to eat,. and I notice that they have “Chicken Wings” on the menu,. I have to say that I’m a little hesitant about ordering from places that I’m not familiar with,. but the only way I’ll discover if there are new places that prepare Wings the way I like, is if I take the chance to find out,. Needless to say,. More times is it that I find the Wings at new places are Garbage!,. but,. I would never know if I played it safe,..

    Very Good post,.

  2. Ayanna says:

    When I was very young, my father would say to me, “I’m going to the store. What do you want.” My world was so small, so limited, that my reply was always the same, “Chips and a grape soda.” We’d laugh about this when I was older but that fact of the matter was, all i KNEW was chips and grape soda so that’s all I could request.Today, I find that there are so many people in a similar condition. The world is vast and wide yet their minds are so closed, they don’t even know all the choices available to them. They think life has to be this way or that way, they have to go here or there, they must pick what’s behind door number one or number two. Nothing else exists to them. Exposure is everything. Taking the path less traveled and making a different choice, other than the tried and true, also requires knowledge of all the available choices.

    While we’re on the subject, Barry Schwartz talks about “the paradox of choice” in a TED Talk presentation ( where he makes the case that have lots of choices actually makes people unhappy. I don’t agree with a lot of what he presents but it did get the wheels in my head a-turning!

    Great post Caroll! Keep ’em coming!

    • Thanks Ayanna! I love your story.

      I can see where a lot of choice would make people unhappy. It would mean they have to come out of their comfort zone and pick and what if they didn’t pick correctly then they would be mad about that.

      Choice is great. When choice is stripped from you, life is miserable yet we volunteer to do it to ourselves.

      Thanks for reading 🙂

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