The choices you make make you

During our life, we constantly make choices. Even when we know that our choices are consequential, we may not realize how consequential they are. Why? Because we consider only the external consequences of our actions, not their internal consequences. 

We may think of our choices like choosing a particular turn at an intersection while driving. But our choices are more like choosing the structure and design of the house in which we are going to live. These choices determine whether our house will be sturdy or flimsy. 

Our choices don’t just shape where we go externally; they also shape who we become internally — they determine the structure and strength of our inner house. Our inner house is made primarily of our subtle body which can be referred to in shorthand as our mind. We are essentially souls who are occupying homes made of our minds and our bodies. 

We often carefully choose the kind of food we eat, knowing it will shape our physical body. But we don’t carefully choose the kind of thoughts we entertain, the kind of desires we enjoy and the kind of intentions we cultivate — we forget that these inner choices will shape our mind. And we make all these choices based on our faith. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (17.03) states that we make our faith and our faith makes us, and thus we make our fate. By making wise choices, we make ourselves wise. By making firm choices, we make ourselves firm. By making spiritual choices, we make ourselves spiritual. 

When we thus understand how consequential our choices are, irrespective of whether they have external visible consequences or not, we become more judicious about choosing the components that build our inner home: our thoughts, desires, intentions, actions, essentially our faith. 

 

Think it over:

  • With two metaphors, explain what our choices are like and aren’t like.
  • What shapes our inner home?
  • How can you ensure that your inner home is sturdier?

 

***

17.03 O son of Bharata, according to one’s existence under the various modes of nature, one evolves a particular kind of faith. The living being is said to be of a particular faith according to the modes he has acquired.

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  1. JAPA leads you to proper choice

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