Our future is shaped not so much by how many options we have as by how well we choose among the options we do have

We are sometimes constrained by our situations, wherein they leave us with very few options to choose from, be they financial, relational, professional, educational or whatever else. At such times, we may become resentful, especially when we see others who have many more options than we do.

While having more options may increase our freedom, it also increases the burden of choosing: deliberating over all those options is often no easy task. If we don’t choose well, we may hurt ourselves. And when we have big options to choose from, the consequences of wrong choices can be catastrophic. Moreover, making a bad choice when we had better alternatives can lead to endless self-flagellation.

Therefore, rather than worrying about getting more options, we can focus on learning how to choose wisely among whatever options we have. If we develop the maturity and wisdom to choose wisely, that inner growth will empower us to choose wisely whenever in future we have more options to choose from.

Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (09.06) gives an apt example: just as the sky limits the area of movement of the air, but doesn’t limit the movement itself, similarly, our situations, which all occur under God’s will, constrain the scope of our free will, but not our free will itself.

And we can use our free will better if we are not so fixated on our material situation but have developed greater awareness of our spiritual connection with the ultimate reality, Krishna. If we put Krishna first and strive to serve him devotionally, he will guide us to choose wisely (10.10).

By focusing on choosing wisely instead of resenting our lack of options, we all create a better future for ourselves.

Think it over:

  • How can having too many options be problematic?
  • What example does the Gita give to explain how our free will is limited and not limited too?
  • How can we use our free will better?

 

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2 Comments

  1. Perfect article Prabhuji ! Just when I needed it !

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