Subway used to have a campaign where a little kid would be told all these things either he has to do or he can’t do. From chores and homework to picking out food at the grocery store. You can’t help but feel the poor little guys exasperation as he has no say in anything.
He then walks through the doors of a subway, he sees the sandwich maker; lo and behold he is asked what would he like. Of all the things he finally gets to choose what he wants. The whole point of the ad was at Subway you get to choose what you want, you get to have a say in the construction of your sandwich. Such a thought appeals to our innate desire of choice and of control.
Think about it, how many of us like to be given options, even if they’re terrible it’s still nice to have options. Having options is empowering, who doesn’t like to feel like they have some semblance of control over their lives? Although, I also believe choices are not just empowering they are also powerful. Choices we’ve made and make will shape who we are and we become: later today, tomorrow, and for the future. I think it adds another element to the age old nature versus nurture debate and it can’t be ignored.
I know I sound like a broken record, I always tell my interns when I repeat something I think it is really important. We can take a wild guess on how important I think the power of choice really is, and it leads us to a scary revelation.
When we realize how powerful choices are we can begin to comprehend the responsibility we must assume. To quote Spiderman’s Uncle Ben, “With great power comes great responsibility”.
Let’s be honest when crap hits the fan because of a choice we’ve made it’s no fun taking ownership, and it’s a lot easier to seek recognition when something goes well. Yet, I find that when I own up, take responsibility for all of my actions, because I CHOSE to do something, good or bad, growth happens. Isn’t that the goal?
Mistakes happen, good things happen, and most of the time we tend to be somewhere in between. Let’s take ownership of who we are because when we assume the responsibility and realize how our choices affect us we can then seek to not just change but to continually become better. Yes it’s easier said than done, but no one ever said it’s impossible.