I am in control of my life

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Photo by Andrea_44

I was recently reading about someone who had a 90 minute commute to work and felt that they had no choice in the matter. I would never waste that much of my life (3 hours a day!) traveling to work for someone else, especially as I have children who I want to see in the evenings. It’s very important to remember that we ALWAYS have a choice in what we do, from tiny choices that are made many times a day (e.g. drinking water versus pop), to huge choices such as having children or moving to a new country.

I have a piece of paper that I wrote in 1999 on a noticeboard in front of me. It says “I am in control of my life” so that I never forget that.

Here are some choices I’ve made:

– I moved continent (from UK to Canada) and I could move back if I wanted to.
– I quit a well paid job recently and went indie. In fact I did the same back in 2005 when I stopped making business software.
– I could move to Poland or Ukraine or Malaysia and live cheaply, but I choose not to.
– I found a place for a family of 4 + cat in Point Grey for $2200 a month. Still not cheap, but much better than the average price around here.
– I choose not to have any more kids.
– I choose to drive a car, I could ditch it and save $500 a month on auto loan/insurance.
– I chose vegetarianism and healthy eating 20+ years ago and it has kept me slim.
– I chose Aikido 14 years ago and kept doing it every week no matter what.

Life is full of choices including radical ones. People are often blinded by their current life situation and blame external circumstances, but that is victim mentality. Making “better” choices is not always easy. It takes time to develop the awareness that you have a choice and the willpower to make it.

What choices could you make today that will improve your life?

4 Responses to “I am in control of my life”

  1. Ash Matheson Says:

    As the guy what had the 90 minute commute, I’m going to comment 🙂

    I *did* make a choice. I left BC. Because I *had* to. I couldn’t afford to live there anymore.

    Yes, I could have made a choice to stay in Vancouver, and never, EVER own a house, unless I wanted to live even further outside of Vancouver (I even hear house prices in Mission are through the roof). But that’s not exactly a *smart* decision.

    Mind you, I still have a 90+ minute commute. But I can now actually afford the place that I’m living in.

  2. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Thanks for commenting Ash. I’m glad you’ve made some choices to move to a more affordable area and I hope that one day you can do something about your commute. Are you able to work remotely for a couple of days a week?

    I’m a family man myself like you, and parents do have to work pretty damn hard to keep it all going, but I try to optimise my choices for the best life/work balance. Ultimately though I wish it was all life and no work 🙂 I think a common mistake is thinking it needs to be all work so that life can come later – I used to think that, but I’ve changed my tune.

    We have a house in England that we could sell to try and buy over here but that would be so dumb because we could probably only afford a garden shed here, so meanwhile we rent. We may end up moving somewhere cheaper and quieter in the long run because we both work at home and so, in theory, can live anywhere.

  3. JC Says:

    >I found a place for a family of 4 + cat in Point Grey for $2200 a month.

    Is that just for renting? If yes, you might not be living in the right place for starting an indie bussiness (unless the wife as an excellent job there).


  4. Jake Birkett Says:

    Yep just renting, kids are going to school here and my eldest son is in a special class for bright kids. Luckily my wife is earning some money, but not enough to cover all our expenses, so I have to succeed as an indie. As you know I’ve been indie before so it’s not like I’m starting from scratch and need a big learning curve. Also there are tons of great indies in Vancouver and so it’s a good place to be to learn stuff and partner up. In the future we may move somewhere cheaper once everything is ticking along nicely.