Choice and Lifestyle

Choice and Lifestyle

As I am on a layover in San Francisco Airport bridging between holiday vacation with my family in Arizona, USA and returning to where I reside and work in Seoul, Korea, I couldn’t help but to tend to fleeting thoughts that happen to surface in moments of transition.

The subject on my mind is with regards to lifestyle. I firmly believe that lifestyle is largely a matter of choice, provided capacities that enable us to exert a level of control on our present circumstances.

There is no denying that I have been exceedingly lucky in the “geographic accident” of where it is that I was born (a good piece on this is “Lottery of Life” ), as well as the excellent job my parents did in raising me (my parents don’t always receive express appreciation and acknowledgement). It is also very true that my parents’ socio-economic background and family support contributed significantly to the opportunities that have been afforded to me.

Provided these favorable conditions (for lack of a better term), I have indeed chosen to continue in pushing myself outside of the comfort zone in my efforts to develop and seek the better of myself. There are certainly trade-offs to such decisions, giving up other material goods, lifestyles, relationships, stability, etc. – a whole range of what economists call “opportunity costs.” As my high school economics teacher would frequently say, “there is no such thing as a free lunch” (which he would like to refer to as “TINSTAAFL”). While there is an undeniable truth to this euphuism, I am conscious of the choices that I have made so far in my life, which have somehow – through a mix of “right place, right time” situations alongside meeting the right individuals, putting forth my best efforts, and a number of other factors/variables – led me to a very pleased disposition.

I further think that lifestyle choices are not strictly reserved to a macro-scale, but are rather the result of continual micro-level decisions and reactions to any events and occurrences that take place in our lives; it is bottom-up. No matter the thoughts that we may have, life still unfolds, things continue to happen. As hard as it is to accept (definitely for me), unless thoughts are put into action, then they may have little, if no, effect on the external environment. Hence I would reason that it’s best to try to take control of one’s thoughts and react positively if and when possible.

Boarding has started, time to go!

Happy New Year!

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