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A Life of Choices and Chances -- Writer's Poke #203

Life is ruled by chance, but that's no reason not to make careful choices along the way.

One of the popular cliches people buy into is the idea that "Everything happens for a reason." There's no way to prove or disprove this statement, of course, but it smacks of fatalism to me. If we truly believed this, then why bother? It's almost as if everything that will happen is predesitined.

On the other hand, living by the philosophy that we can live the life we chose is equally inaccurate. What we can do, however, is live a purposeful life. We can think about the kind of life we'd like to have, and spend each day living accordingly. Chance will still help and hinder us along the way, but it's not an either/or scenario. Chance and choice can work together.

For example, when I started my college teaching career, I specifically sought out administrative responsibilities with each job I held. I didn't know when a full-time administrative opportunity might present itself, but I didn't just twiddle my thumbs and think, "If I'm meant to become an administrator, it will happen." Instead, I worked for the outcome I had in mind. This is what allowed me to become a college Dean at the relatively unheard of age of 32.

Making the right choices increases your chances in life.

Have you spent most of your life living ruled by chance? If so, why? How can you attempt to live the life you choose while also accepting the reality that chance still plays a role?

"I will study and get ready, and perhaps my chance will come." -- Abraham Lincoln


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