“We are free up to the point of choice; then the choice controls the chooser.” (Mary Crowley).
I had to think a long time about this quote and what it means before I could understand how it might inspire me. To me, what this quote is saying is that all freedom to choose comes before the decision. Once the choice is made, I must live with it. And, once made that choice controls what comes next.
Every day I make hundreds of choices, some large and most small. The vast majority of them I make without a lot of thought, based on my past experiences and my whim of the moment. I have to do it that way. To carefully consider every choice I make would paralyze my day.
What this quote reminds me is that the choices I make control the next set of choices to come. A simple example is the route I take to drive home from work. There are many opportunities for me to choose my route based on what streets I may take. Each time I choose a street, my next set of choices is controlled by that decision. And so it is with all decisions I make. When I choose what to work on in my life, and begin that process, then my next set of choices is governed by that first choice.
For me, the inspiration is not to obsess over small choices I am about to make. It is to remind myself to be accountable for the choices already made. With this in mind, when faced with a profound or important choice, I need to remember that when I am faced with a big decision, I must keep in mind that all choices to follow will be influenced by the answer to the decision at hand.