While there are outside forces that create setbacks, it is still your choice as to how you will respond to those incidents that determine whether or not you climb forward or fall behind.
Obviously, there are far more than seven choices, but those that follow will have profound impact on whether you shape your life or are shaped by life.
Growth is not automatic. You must choose to remain teachable, to work hard on yourself. When you choose not to grow, you become stale, arrogant, and will plateau.
Giving of your time, expertise, and resources without expecting anything in return is an unselfish choice. The world needs more givers. Amazingly enough, when you focus more on the wants and needs of others, more of your own wants and needs are met. When you choose to hoard what you have rather than give, you become the center of your own lonely universe. As a result, you repel both people and potential blessings.
One of the best ways to build a connection with others is to listen to them. Take the focus off yourself and put it on the other person. This draws others to you because you place importance on others. When you choose to do all the talking, you rarely build strong or sustainable relationships. You are a turn-off and people will avoid you.
Making a difference by adding value to others is a choice. Similar to its cousin, giving, making a difference goes a step further by causing you to leave others and the world better than you found it. It goes beyond crossing the finish line by yourself and causes you to bring others across the line with you. On the other hand, when you choose to live in a selfish world, absorbed only with your own problems, after you die it will be as though you never lived. You added value to nothing and impacted no one.
Doing what is right rather than what is easy, cheap, popular or convenient is not always pleasant. However, it is what builds character and maintains your self-respect. Doing what is right is a sleeping aid. It creates inner peace and makes your decisions easier since you've already decided up front what you stand for. Taking the easy way out renders you unreliable, someone who will one day end up without friends.
It is said that your body is a temple, but that many people treat it like an outhouse. On the way to get more and more, they sell out one key thing that money can't buy: physical well-being. Make no mistake about it: Exercising or not is a choice. Putting the donut in your mouth or not is a choice. The same goes for smoking. The earlier in life you decide to develop the discipline to live a healthy lifestyle, the better.
Living a spiritual life adds a dimension to each day that is nearly impossible for non-spiritual people to grasp. It gives you hope where others see defeat, energy when others are exhausted, wisdom when others are confused, and courage when others are fearful. Living without spiritual connectivity leaves an inner void. If you feel empty and if your life lacks a greater purpose, it may be time for you to choose a different and better route.