Who calls the shots? You do.
Everyone makes 35,000 choices a day.
Most of your choices you never even think about. They’re automatic. You reach for your phone when you first wake up. You head to the kitchen and make coffee (or tea – if you have taste lol). You go to the bathroom to brush your teeth and wash your face. Your daily choices are so instinctual that you never stop to ask yourself whether or not your life is improving because of the choices you are making.
Due to the nature of our lives, after completing the same task over and over again, it becomes unconscious. Your brain decides it doesn’t have enough space to consciously remember where you put your toothpaste. Instead you are predisposed to opening the cabinet and finding your toothpaste there every morning.
Our small choices matter. Especially the ones you repeat.
Let’s say you’ve decided quarantine is the perfect time to build a fitness routine. You may take a walk during your lunch break. You drink water throughout the day. Every night, after working from home, you go outside to your backyard and workout. If you continue this for months on end, you can only imagine the changes.
Your body builds muscle. You crave healthy foods that fuel you. You drink more water. You sleep more soundly. It sounds great, right.
But in order to get there, you’ve got to commit.
In this day and age, we have social media continually showing us the next best thing. We see someone with tons of Instagram followers, someone else on their LinkedIn profile with that new promotion. Others showing off their new apartment as they start diversifying their income.
Social media can show us the possibilities of the future we could have only imagined. But social media also put thousands of choices in our faces.
Never have we been so overwhelmed and stressed about our decisions. When our parents were younger, there was less opportunity but their path was more clearcut. Now we can carve any path we want to, but choosing a path always reminds us that there is something we aren’t doing.
Social media is the ultimate reflection of FOMO.
The biggest example of this: dating apps.
We swipe left and right, scanning profiles for good pictures and clever commentary. If you don’t find that someone you meet is a good fit, there are plenty more on the app. This lifestyle is just a small way that our world is now catered towards a lack of commitment.
Another way FOMO comes into our lives is through our jobs. These days, we are so much more likely to pick up and move on from a job. Yes, there are times when we know that job isn’t for us. But there are still times where we are afraid of committing to one thing, that instead of starting a side hustle, we pick up and leave altogether. We do have this freedom, but I wonder what we miss out on when we don’t stay and maximize our joy by asking for projects that are catered to our strengths. I wonder about whether we miss out on building a solid community with our coworkers and cherishing a workplace, instead of finding fault with it.
No one wants to make a choice. Because we’re afraid of getting it wrong. There’s the fear that we’ll miss out – on this career, on this city, on these friendships, on these relationships. The overflow of options poured out on social media paralyzes us. We are unable to choose.
I think we’re all sort of terrified of committing to the wrong thing.
But we forget when we don’t decide, when we live our lives hopping around from my decision to the next, one place to the next, we don’t fully give ourselves and in turn we don’t receive anything.
Maybe no decision is a decision in and of itself.
We lose by default when we leave before we decide to commit.
Think of a tree. A tree takes a long time to grow. It takes hours of water and sunlight and tending to the soil to begin to see it grow. And the growth is often invisible. We don’t see the roots that grow and expand to take in more water.
The same can be said for our commitments. It takes time to see the fruits of our commitment. As a college student, I am still growing friendships and my commitment to different clubs at my school. As a believer, I still have to commit daily to reading my bible and prayer (which I’ve fallen behind on). As a blogger, I am still committing to creating content and sharing helpful life tips with you all.
We love instant gratification and we have destination addiction. But in order to live a life we truly love, we have to settle in and become deeply rooted. We have to commit to the people and activities in our lives daily. We cannot live halfheartedly, waiting for another door to open when we are in this current season.
We’ve got to wake up every morning, eager to make the most of the commitments we’ve chosen for ourselves. For you, this may mean removing any reminders on social media of the lives you aren’t living. For me, this looks like creating a to do list when I focus in on my priorities. For someone else, this seems to be saying no to everything that is distracting you from your best yes.
Some other suggestions are making a habit tracker and sticking to it. Perhaps having a weekly reflection time to think about your next steps weekly. If you can, go for a long drive to think about your commitments – what’s working and what isn’t. Write down the things you say yes to and the things you don’t. What do you follow through on? Continue to do that. Or change your no’s so they are reflective of what you want more of.
You decide what you commit to. You also decide how rooted you are and the type of fruit you will see in your life in the years to come.
Be like a tree planted by a stream of water. Expanding to take in as much water as you can, so you can bear good fruit throughout your life.
What are you committing to, friends? Do you enjoy your yes’s? Do you have a plan to track your commitments and improve? Tell me in the comments!