Blogpost, self-reliance

You Have NO Choices, IF…

It was one of my favorite films from the 90s. Then Russell Crowe released a movie with the same name in 2000 and almost no one remembers “Gladiator” the boxing movie. The movie is set on the rough streets of Chicago where an underground boxing kingpin rules the lives and futures of several teenagers. Most of the kids in this movie have to deal with some real life problems. (Spoiler alert) Toward the end, the main character, Tommy, is put into a no win situation where he either fights his best friend who has a possible brain injury or his girlfriend is going to be hurt by the thugs of the boss. High drama! A young Cuba Gooding Jr. delivers a strong performance where he tells his friend Tommy that he’s got “no choice” but to fight despite his injury.

The movie is obviously taken to an extreme in order to make for a good story. Everyone’s personal conflicts come together on a collision course because that’s how it was written. Our own lives tend not to be as extreme nor lacking in choices. It seems as though we are making choices all of the time because we are bombarded by variety. The truth of the matter is that if you are making a lot of choices, it means that you have very few commitments. In order to get high level results, you need to take a lot of choices off the menu.

Fitness, academia, career, marriage, athletics, and so many other commitments demand that the number of choices that you have go down. The higher level of these outcomes that you want, the more that the situation requires specific actions rather than any action. So choices reduce down to “what needs to be done.”

I hope that this does not come off as preachy because I am actually writing this post to myself more than anyone. The desire to “do what I choose” in a few particular areas has led me to dislike the results. The truth is that my desire for choice has undermined my results and put into question my commitment. Although I am not getting the results that I want, those old choice patterns has lulled me into a sense of comfort. The fear of giving up the things that I want right now is winning the battle against the desire for the things that I want in the future. At some point, it comes down to a commitment to the end product and therefore the path become extremely clear. The choices just disappear because the laser like focus allows for very little wiggle room.

Decide what’s important. Then don’t choose because it should be obvious what you need to do next!

I’m talking to me but hope it helps you too!

Pete