Week 12 – Pick and Choose

[The theme song for this blog post is “The Choice Is Yours” by Black Sheep. Yeah, this blog post has a theme song. I’m changing it up. The revolution will be televised.]

Over the last month and a half, things have gotten a bit hectic. Between midterms, basketball, creative writing, my business, this website, and a plethora of other things, I simply haven’t been able to do everything which as much vigor as I would prefer. I’ve had to pick and choose what activities I give precedence to, what I let my thoughts dwell on, and when and how long I fulfill other personal and external commitments. This is an important thing to master, because it’s applicable to every walk of life; regardless of age and background.

My parents instilled this in me multiple times throughout my childhood. At least once a month (and likely more) I’d hear some variation of “you have to pick and choose what you want to pursue.” (Oh, before I forget, I know the phrasing – pick and choose – is a little weird. But that’s how it was enforced in my brain and, frankly, it sounds better. Don’t judge me.) As usual, my parents are right. Due to time and physical restraints, it’s just not possible to do everything full bore.  In addition to wearing you out, it will cause you to perform below average across your many activities. That part of why (as mentioned two weeks ago) it’s okay to say no to things. Sometimes it’s even necessary.

But picking and choosing doesn’t just pertain to determining what you are and aren’t going to spend your time on.

Possibly my favorite of their picking and choosing quotes, my parents would tell me that “you have to pick and choose your battles.” Once again, they were right. Picking your battles doesn’t just mean choosing what to spend time fighting for, but what you are and aren’t going to fight for in the seemingly insignificant parts of life. Your peer just made an ignorant and offensive racial comment; do you confront them on it now, later, or never? The person at Starbucks misspelled your name; are you going to get indignant and verbally show your disappointment, or will you keep going about your day? Your mom wants you to be home by ten; are you going to stop playing basketball with your friends and adhere to her request, call and ask for permission to stay out later, or just come back later and suffer the consequences?

Picking and choosing is something that we all do on a daily basis, whether cognizant or not, as it pertains to things both significant and not. And these decisions aren’t bound to go away anytime soon. As a new adult still trying to navigate this taxing life, I’m making the decision to be cognizant to the best of my abilities as I pick and choose pursuits, battles, and so much more. And I recommend you do the same. For there’s no doubt in my mind that doing so will enable you to make the most of your time and energy on a daily basis, and therein make the most of your life.

Until next time.

– JP

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