Wisdom from Space – “So Choose Wisely”

I came across a quote from Chris Hatfield, best known as the Canadian commander of the International Space Station. “Your life is not what you set out to do; it is not what you thought you might do. It is just the sum total of all the little things that you choose to do next. So choose wisely.”

Profound and succinct. I love it. It sticks in my mind. I can imagine one of my favourite means of communication, the bumper sticker – So Choose Wisely.

I try and often succeed, to consciously be the best version of myself I can be. I quickly forgive myself when I’m not successful. When I pick an option, I ask myself this question? Would the person I want to be, make that choice?

For example, some time ago, when I was out shopping for groceries with my adult son, we exited the store and opened the trunk of the car. It was then that I realized we had a large item on the bottom of the cart that hadn’t got charged.

I had two options to choose from. I knew the person I wanted to be would return to pay for the item. It was irrelevant that my son was with me, or if we could have gotten away with it. I wanted to behave consistently with who I wanted to be.

I returned to the store and paid for the item. As my son and I were leaving for the second time that day, he remarked that he knows where he got his good values from. Despite the heavy rain falling, it was a really great day.

As older adults and seniors, we can continue to have a deep and profound impact on those around us.

Give some thought to your values. What would make you proud to have as your legacy to pass on to the next generation? How would you describe your ideal self; honest, loyal, friendly, helpful, respectful, accepting, tolerant, kind, and more.

How would you integrate your values into the numerous little things you choose to do next?

When somebody in line ahead of you is taking more than their fair share of time to do their business, how do you want to be remembered at that moment? Can you behave with tolerance given that you don’t know what else they are handling that day?

Such situations can be frustrating and, in some circumstances, get us to anger. Pretty normal thoughts. But you choose how you translate those feelings into action. So choose wisely.

With practice and increasing your self-awareness, you can get quite good at it. It slowly becomes a natural part of who you are.

Act like the person you want to be.

My thanks to the Edmonton Journal, writer Craig Kielburger, for inspiring this topic.

My thanks to St. Albert Seniors Association: 780-459-0433 for making this Blog possible.

Glenn Walmsley
Volunteer Blogger: – for those with a curious spirit