The Choice Is Yours

Recently, Tim Ferriss posted on Instagram a photo of two reminder cards he carries with him in his wallet. One card reads “That which hinders your task… is your task.” The other card reads “Notice the best part.”

I really like both of these. The first one in particular speaks loudly to me right now.

That which hinders your task… is your task.

I just finished reading Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture (based on his talk of the same name). He says something which I think complements this idea well:

The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.

These may also speak to me recently because of my recent context. I think these have been good reminders as work has been a roller coaster this year, and it can be really easy to get down when something goes wrong, especially unexpectedly. Which leads to the second quote:

Notice the best part.

Because it’s really easy (and perhaps natural) to focus on the negative or the problems, but this can become a problem because it then flavours all subsequent observations I make if I let it bother me.

One reminder I think I would like to add would be this one:

The choice is yours.

I like this wording as opposed to something more along the lines of “You can always choose.” Because whereas “You can always choose” implies that you may make your choice or you may not, “The choice is yours” points out that whatever your response, it’s a reflection of your (conscious or unconscious) choice.

This can be a good reminder when someone tells me what to do. Because as much as words are coming out of their mouth, and they may try to imply I have no choice, the choice is mine. My choice may align with their words, or it may not. Regardless, they cannot take my choice away from me.

This can also can be a good reminder when something triggering occurs. I think Viktor Frankl says it best:

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

At least for me, it a very powerful reminder. If only it was easier to keep it front of mind at all times.

I think I would also like having a reminder about ethics or morality because I feel very flip floppy recently. Unfortunately, I haven’t been spending nearly as much time reflecting on this as I had at UBC, and I wouldn’t know what I would best think to carry with me. I’ve made note to make time for this in the future though.

What reminder cards would/do you carry?

5 Replies to “The Choice Is Yours”

  1. “the choose is yours”, and it also carries a price. Hi Tyler, I would say, “between stimulus and response there is a space”, a space for us to dwell in the between. A moment allows us to ponder, to medicate with the interior and external part of our own. I guess, it will be a good time for us to think ethics and morality. Until we come up some response, we have found the freedom, a freedom of believing the self having the confidence to encounter the unknown coming.

    1. Allo Star. How’d you find my blog? 👻

      But yes, I agree between stimulus and response is the opportunity for us to reflect. And I also agree it is our freedom. But rather than confidence, I would argue it having courage that is needed; because as much as we can choose to respond a certain way, we don’t have control over the outcome (unfortunately, perhaps?).

      1. Umm…Courage, could be…I am glad you put this word here. Sometimes, truly, it could be our courage which brings us the confidence. And yes, no one knows what comes later after our decision, but I guess, courage with ethics and consideration will fulfill us to face the unknown coming.

        lol…well, honestly, Tyler, I want to find a time to know you more, but you always left early after the Friday volleyball games. I also don’t want to bother you during the game. I have so many to learn during the three hours. That’s why, I did a little bit search online and find your lovely blog here. I also blog, love writing, thinking, reading…

        Hope we can have a time to grab coffee and know each other more! Star~

        1. Ya, I rarely stay out after volleyball. Volleyball already ends pretty late, and I’m up pretty early in the morning. But I’ll see you at volleyball again in several weeks 🙂

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