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This week, I had a candid conversation with someone I had worked with about choosing our paths. He opened up to me about his personal experiences and how that has affected the decisions he’s made in his life. One point that really stuck with me was when he stated that he “felt like he had never really chosen his path.” He had spent most of his life reacting to the opportunities that came into his life and never actively seeking anything. One of the only choices ‘he felt’ that he had made had ended in failure and as such he never really tried again.

His story really spoke to me. As a coach, I know that we all have to make choices.

Our path in life is never straight. We sometimes have to go through difficult, winding experiences that bring us everywhere except where we want to be. Some choose the route that was laid out for them. They take little to no risk and play safe their whole life. Others choose the road less travelled. They take risks and it may or may not lead them in a straight direction. No one option is better than the other.

Here are a few things I’ve learnt about choosing paths:

You Always Have A Choice Even In The Absence Of One 

I often hear the expression from people that “they never really chose their paths”. They accepted whatever opportunity came into their life and kept moving forward in a direction that they never really put any thought into. However I believe that the statement might be misguided.

We all have a choice.

Even when we feel like none exists, the absence of one is in essence a choice as well. The choice to not act was made instead.

I know that as a global world, there are parts of this earth that don’t enjoy the same freedoms that I have and vice versa. I am not speaking to that because I know that I am blessed. But I also know that even in the absence of choice: our rights being infringed upon or our lives being put in danger because of actions taken by someone else, choosing peace is necessary.

I don’t only mean peace in the terms of global relations but being at peace with oneself. With where you are in your life and with who you have become.

And if change is necessary, do all that is in your power to change that course.

I also realized that trying to choose my path required that I understand 3 things:

My Intentions
I had to learn to create my intentions from the beginning. I had to get clear with myself as to what I truly wanted in that phase of my life. I understood that if I seek for things that aligned with where I envisioned myself going I would be better off.

My Limits
I had to understand what I was willing and unwilling to accept. What opportunities could be gained or lost as a result of my decisions. I had to set my limits and understand where my boundaries lied.

Accept My Journey 
We all have a choice whether we play it safe of dream big. I had to accept that everything that has happened in my life, thus far, has been a learning opportunity. Being able to accept that allow me to move forward.

I recently say an interview where Kevin Hart, the comedian, was talking about his chosen path. A point he made stuck we me. He said “you have to fail to win”.

Sometimes, people see choosing an option that doesn’t bring them exactly where they want to be as pointless. However when you look at what you can learn and how you can grow, you’ll see that that option is exactly what you need at this moment in your life.

Each phase of our paths requires making choices.

Choose the path that works for you in your life. A path that ignites action in you and keeps you moving forward in a purpose driven direction.

What has been the hardest part of choosing your current path? What have you learned thus far?