Choice Points/Life’s Signal Markers Part 2

Yesterday we touched on the topic of Choice Points/Life’s Signal Markers…The truth is simple, life is a series of choices….Which choice we make influences not only the direct result of that particular choice, but also all the subsequent choices we make…It is like a cascading series of dominoes toppling, a kaleidoscopic blurring of images, people and places, actions and reactions, results and consequences, rewards and punishments that only become clear to us after they are all over and done with….

For example, from my viewpoint of now being retired, with the leisure to look back and reflect on my life, it is all too clear how and why I ended up in the here and now…It is all a matter of perspective, a means of stepping outside of your body and looking at yourself as if you were an outside party, a third person…It is like that poem by the Scottish poet Robert Burns “Oh would some power the giftie give us, To see ourselves as others see us.”



Yet that is the hardest part! We are all such busy people, caught up in the mix of day to day life, entangled and ensnared in the mesh of work world and school and classes and tests and projects and bills that must be paid we can only see things right in front of us, and react to stimuli as it happens….We seldom allow ourselves the luxury of taking this third party, outside viewpoint…We feel we don’t have the time, we are too tired, too exhausted, we will deal with it tomorrow, any excuse will do….

Yet this is EXACTLY what we MUST DO! It is a critical part of our life, it is perhaps the single most important thing that we CAN DO if we want to escape the treadmill of the rat race, the frantic day to day scurrying around to work and appointments and school that dumps us all off unceremoniously at the end of our usefulness into the scrap heap of retirement…

For most people, one way or another they get through their school years, they decide whether or not to go on to college or take night classes or whatever, and they gather together subconsciously all the education and life experiences they can, and then they are thrust or driven to form relationships, which are really the focal point of a person’s whole life….The relationships you make in school and work will affect, alter and influence all the things that happen to you in this world, not only in your personal life at home, but also in your outside existence as a worker bee…

For example, how many people do you know that are unhappy with their jobs, hate their bosses, despise going into work every day and punching that time clock, but still continue to do it? They do it out of force of habit, they do it out of economic necessity (after all the rent and bills must be paid), they do it because it is the path of least resistance, but they still do it, and hate every minute of it…They may even bring their misery home and let it affect their family life, further compounding an already bleak situation…



This is sad, because what they need to do at some point is to be able to just say STOP! They must find some time, make some time, create a quiet zone, a safe place around themselves, inside their heads, where they can take a good hard look at their life from the outside, from the viewpoint of the third person….

Once they see the traps they have ensnared themselves in, seemingly trapped in a dead end job with a jackass boss, and/or perhaps a personal relationship gone sour, then they must have the inner courage and conviction to consciously break the pattern of helplessness and hopelessness, of just scraping by, of living from pay check to paycheck and sinking ever deeper into consumer credit card debt and then coming home to a sterile, loveless home life…

I am not saying it is easy, it is perhaps one of the hardest things to do in this society, but once they decide to break with their old habits and patterns and actively seek out and find a job that they truly enjoy, they will be able to look back on their past existence to leave their jobs as a wage slave as a no brainer….This will be one of the major Choice Points of their life!



It is not impossible, people do it all the time! Maybe now is the time to take those night classes, to get a degree or certificate of proficiency in some profession that you like and is better paying…Maybe now is the time to dust off and polish that old resume and actively seek employment elsewhere, submitting your new improved resume all over town….

Maybe now is the time to call up some of those long lost ignored friends and acquaintances from schools or past jobs and let them know that you are looking…It can’t hurt, in fact you are only hurting yourself by staying in a miserable job you hate, and the benefits far outweigh the risks…

Let’s face it, America today is a nation of resume padders and job hoppers anyway so get on the bandwagon…The old concept of finding a job and staying there for 40 years and getting a gold watch on your retirement day is dead and buried….Corporations today do not feel compelled to give you any loyalty, so why should you give them any back?

The new generation, the Millennials, scoff at the very idea of a long term job commitment, preferring to maximize their opportunities through new job concepts and housing like Uber, Lyft and Airbnb apartments…There are exceptions of course, but I am talking here about someone trapped in a traditional, full time job they hate….

It would help immensely if your partner in a relationship backs you up fully in such a crucial, critical manner….In fact, it is almost mandatory….America today is comprised of two income families, it is the only way to get by economically, and of course your partner ideally should want you to better yourself, because by maximizing your income potential and making yourself happy, you are also revitalizing the relationship….

But maybe you are trapped in a loveless relationship, and are getting no support, only flak and hassles from your significant other, and can no longer count on their giving you any support at all? Maybe you suspect they are cheating on you? Then this too is the time to step outside yourself, take a good hard look at your personal relationship from the outside as a third party…If you think it’s fixable, maybe through counseling or just a heart to heart talk by all means do that, pursue every avenue to renew and revitalize your personal relationship….




But if it is already too late, then you must summon the inner emotional courage to break it off and seek a new relationship…..This is certainly not uncommon, in fact, recent statistics show that about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher. This too will be one of the major Choice Points of your life!

It is difficult, but not impossible to extricate yourself from a job you hate or a spouse who no longer gives you what you need, emotionally, financially or physically….Sometime the best thing to do is “Just walk away, Rene,”as the old song goes…It’s your life after all, and you only get one shot at doing it right…

Whatever you do, don’t end up being a complacent drifter, a helpless, hopeless victim of circumstances…There are always choices to be made, you just must muster up the inner strength and conviction to examine your particular situation and try the technique of stepping outside of yourself to get a third person view of your own life situation and what your options truly are….Your decisions on the critical Choice Points in your life will determine the very fabric and context of your life, for both you and your loved ones…..You just need to get outside of yourself to see things clearly….



Just remember as Sir Issac Newton once said “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”…Sometimes, not making a choice is the worst choice of all….

For more information on Robert Burns, see › Home › About › Robert Burns

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