Beauty to the Stoics was far deeper than appearances. “If your choices are beautiful,” Epictetus said, “so too will you be.”
It’s simple and it’s true. You are what your choices make you, nothing more and nothing less.
Isn’t this what we try to teach our kids? That, yes of course, we love them unconditionally and unequivocally, and have since the moment they were born, but they have this incredible power to choose what kind of person they’re going to be. The reason we read to them, the reason we tell them things, the reason we have rules and punishments and incentives in our house is to try to instill in them a good compass for making good choices.
But here’s a question for you, as we get close to the end of 2023 and the start of 2024 — Are you making beautiful choices? What’s your diet look like? What are your sleep habits like? Are you stuck in your comfort zone? Are you practicing good boundaries? Are you challenging yourself to grow and change?
Every day presents us with plenty of opportunities to make beautiful choices. There’s the little choices we have to make daily: what you eat, how you talk to people, whether you pick up the phone or a journal, what you think about. And some days, there’s bigger choices: whether you stand up for what’s right, whether you reach down to help someone who needs it, what kind of work you do, what standards you hold yourself to.
If you want a beautiful life, there’s no escaping it: you have to make beautiful choices. If you want your kids to have a beautiful life, they will need to get in the habit of making beautiful choices. If not you, who will show them how to do that??
The New Year is almost here and it’s the perfect chance to get in the habit of making beautiful choices.