Sometimes, I don’t do what I know I should because there is a legitimate issue that arose which prevented me from doing fill-in-the-blank.
… I didn’t exercise this week because I had a stomach virus.
… I couldn’t make that deadline because the person I was supposed to interview never called me back.
… I won’t be able to see everyone who I should visit today because there are literally not enough hours in the day and I lack the ability to hold that much chai.
Then there are things I know I should do, but consciously and straight-forwardly decide not to do.
… I chose not to finish the for-work book I should’ve finished in favor of reading the new novel that caught my eye.
… I chose to watch TV instead of write.
… I chose to eat another chocolate bar when one would’ve sufficed (they come little here, alright!).
The problem comes, not as I often like to believe it does, in the times I consciously chose one thing over the other.
The problem more often lies when I pretend something I chose actually lay outside my control and simply happened to me. That’s when the dumb, eye-roll-inducing excuses begin.
… I couldn’t exercise this week because I couldn’t wake up on time. (Actually, I chose to get extra sleep instead of exercise.)
… I didn’t save money this month because expenses “got out of hand”. (Actually, I chose to spend extra money on entertainment and comfort food instead of putting it in savings.)
… I won’t be able to make that special event because I have a lot of work to do. (Actually, I chose to waste time earlier in the week and could’ve had that work done earlier but I failed to plan ahead.)
We say free will, the ability to choose, is a gift.
Yet I make a mockery of that gift every time I refuse to acknowledge that I’m using it simply because I’d rather believe my bad decisions were circumstances beyond my control.