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We’re faced with choices everyday, but with so many of those choices being made automatically and out of habit, we may not realize that we’re constantly making choices.
Other times, it can feel as though we have too many choices. It’s been studied that too many choices have a negative impact on attention and also from a social perspective.
Too many choices can result in worries about missing out or indecision about what would be the “right” decision.
But ultimately, self-determination is a good thing and choice is a necessity for self-determination.
Often, when we are feeling stuck, stressed, or depressed, it is because it feels as though we don’t have choices.
While we don’t always have a choice regarding our circumstances, we can understand what choices are available to us and that we have the choice as to how we decide to deal with our circumstances.
Real Life Example of Choices: A Baseball Tale
As a baseball fan, and specifically as a Toronto Blue Jays fan, there have been some controversial choices made by the ballclub, as well as one of the more popular players for the Jays the past few years.
This is the time in the baseball season where there is a trade deadline.
In a nutshell, for teams that are in contention, they can work to acquire players to help get them to and ultimately, win, the championship.
While teams whose season looks to not be headed toward the post-season can take advantage of the strong players they do have to trade for “pieces” that may be more valuable in the future.
The Toronto Blue Jays find themselves in a position where the team is clearly not positioned for the post-season and a strong player in Marcus Stroman, also with whom there have been reported tensions.
Regardless of any personal opinions regarding the choices made by the Blue Jays to trade Marcus Stroman to the Mets, it’s pretty clear how Stroman had also over time made choices about how he was going to handle (at least publicly), what seemed to be, the inevitable upcoming trade.
In other words: He didn’t have a choice as to where he would be traded, but he had choices about how he, himself, was going to handle it.
As fans, each one of us are going to have our own opinions about this, but there are choices Stroman seemed to have made over the course of this season:
- Communicate publicly what his preferences were to where he could be traded.
- Using social media, appeared to give his opinions about the Blue Jays organization specifically in relation to his situation.
What’s the Takeaway Regarding Choices for the Rest of Us?
Whatever each of us may think and feel about Stroman, there are consequences to his choices. Through observing Stroman’s choices, we may be able to learn about our own ability to make choices and the possible consequences which may result.
Here’s a complete hypothetical…
What if it is that based on Stroman’s choices, he did ultimately have an impact on the outcome? (eg – Blue Jays organization not willing to work with him either on an extension or to take his preferences into consideration for the trade, or maybe other teams would think of it as a strike on him that he would air out his opinions publicly?)
Based on what appears to be some of the consequences based on Stroman’s choices, perhaps we can learn about how we can understand the power of choices for ourselves.
What we can know about our ability to make choices:
- How we use our strengths is a choice. Conversely, how we use our choices can serve as one of our strengths.
- Every one of us has choices as to how we handle a situation, and also often how we think and feel about those situations.
- Choices are powerful, and therefore, our ability to make choices is powerful. Understanding that we have choices is empowering, but taking personal responsibility for our choices and what happens because of our choices is also a key piece in having a sense of personal control.