David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer
This past weekend I was driving somewhere and listening to an audiobook that I had listened to at least once before, and a phrase really jumped out at me, “You are not defined by history, but by the choices you make.” Wow, even as I write the phrase, I feel the same awe once again. This is such a huge point because it is so liberating; however, the vast majority of people don’t seem to get it. So many people are allowing history to define them, and that is so sad. Sad because they are surrendering their very existence to others or circumstances. Sad because they are giving up on their own purpose and passions. Sad because they will never have the future they could have had for themselves and their families. Sad because the uniqueness of their humanity and personal contribution will never be realized by society.
Some will say that so much of our lives is completely out of our control, and they are correct. Some things may be out of our control, but we are not helpless. Let’s use the weather as an example. I can’t control the weather. It snowed on Mother’s Day weekend this year. My life was not defined by the fact that it snowed. I didn’t plant some fruit trees and raspberries that I had hoped to plant, but I had the choice of how I would use that day. I could have sat at home and whined to people about how cold it was and how lousy the weather was, and wonder why it couldn’t be a beautiful, sunny, and warm May weekend. Don’t all of our amazing mothers deserve a great weekend? Well, the answer to that question is a resounding yes. They do deserve an amazing Mother’s Day weekend, but the weather doesn’t determine that. Those of us who have these amazing women in our lives determine if they have an amazing weekend. Instead of planting trees and raspberries, I made Tiramisu for Sunday dinner, and my wife and I participated in a wonderful car parade to help a special young lady celebrate her graduation from Syracuse University. You see, the weekend’s history didn’t define me, my actions, my choices did.
We are living in a time of incredible uncertainty. What makes this time different from so many others in the past is that this time our personal health is at the center of this uncertainty. Health is the reason for the uncertainty and has been driving decisions that are made for us. The quote I shared is still true, “You are not defined by history, but by the choices you make.” As you face choices in the coming days, make sure you choose well. Be one of those people who are willing to let go of who and what they are so they can grab hold of the person they can become. Let go of the past and create a brighter future.
If you would like to hear more on this topic, please join Marisa Norcross and me for Episode 153 of The Next Page podcast as we discuss what it really means to let go of the past and create a better future.