Most credit newsreel broadcaster, Westbrook Van Voorhis, in his series from the early 1930’s, “March of Time,” with first coining the now clichéd expression that “time marches on.” Regardless of attribution, it’s not like the concept is a new one – indeed, time does march on. The most distilled interpretation might argue that while we can chose to stand still, the world waits for no one. Deadlines come and go. People age and opportunities pass. All can and do occur without interaction or intention from any of us.
So the question isn’t really whether we have choices to make, it is more whether or not we chose to make them. And then, isn’t the challenge whether this forced choice is one that we embrace or one that is thrust upon us? For me, it the quandary is summed up thusly: Is the choice something that I have to do or is it something that I want to do. It seems like a minor, perhaps even inconsequential dissimilarity, but when approaching the challenge of accomplishing a task doesn’t it make all the difference?
Apply the concept to our daily routine. Is it the issue that one is required to clean their house or is that they seek to have a tidy home? Is the matter that one has to do the required reading or is it that they desire to obtain knowledge? Is it that we have to do the grunt work instead of taking the marquee role or is it that we’re eager to get the hard work behind us so that we can move on to higher reward functions. Do we have to practice or do we want to improve our game? Can we ever get to success without intention? Maybe in order to be the best, we have to want it.