Circumstances or Decisions?

Stephen CoveyThose of you who know me either personally or through my writing will know of my love of quotes, inspiring soundbites for the 21st Century. I find a handful of words used in the right order can literally blow my mind, can reduce me to tears, can inspire me to raise my game, can affirm that I’m doing OK and that all will be well….

I stood on the station platform this morning catching up on emails whilst waiting for the train. I read these words in one of the daily motivational emails I have signed up to. I read it and am not entirely sure whether the WHOOP and OH YES was indeed in my head or said out loud. As it was I almost ignored the train that stood with its doors open as I was fully immersed in the words I had just read.

“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” ~ Stephen Covey

This my friends is MY mantra, MY philosophy and MY creed.

I could so easily have been a product of my circumstances, in other words, a victim. I could have curled up in a ball, switched myself off from the world and my life, wallowed in self pity and withered up, all because of what ‘life’ had put in my path. That could so easily have been the case. For many it is exactly the case. Yes, shit happens, this is no Nirvana. We do, however have a choice. Living as a product of our circumstances forces us to look outside of ourselves for a culprit, someone to blame. This leads us to the toxicity of resentment. We blame our boss, our government, our parents, children, partner…


We choose to live as a product of our decisions. I made this choice. It was both painful and liberating.

I made some very tough and controversial decisions. Decisions that caused pain to those around me. Tough ones that caused me to really question if I was doing the right thing. Wouldn’t it have been easier to put up and make do? Yes, of course. Would I have been living authentically? Absolutely not.

The road less travelled is not an easy one. It takes courage to take that particular road. Believe you have it in you to follow that path.

Tell me about you?  Are you a product of your circumstances? Be truthful.

Why not be instead the product of your decisions?

I promise you the rewards are great.


  1. Oh Becs
    How true……I have so much to spit out after so much ingested rubbish taken in !! Last night for me too I wrote ….’Realising that life has moved on whilst you have clung to memories has made me realise that I cant change whats happened but I can steer the future ……….CHEERS’. My week has been a complete rollercoaster …My children have achieved their backsides off ,all 5 of them and I have been there to see them do it …however one person who should’ve ,wasn’t, and yes whilst being abroad with work is an acceptable(ish)excuse, not taking your mobile phone with you nor telling the mother of your children that you out of the country ISNT !
    I feel I can almost take my ‘black armband’ off and am regaining the reigns…what will be will be and it is written in the stars of our hearts where our paths will lead us next. Right now I have ditched the cobblestone effect and some smooth tarmac ahead 🙂

    • Rebecca P says:

      Andrea you are a courageous and beautiful woman. I’m so happy to hear you say this. It’s your time to become the product of YOUR decisions. Here’s to all of us choosing that path and so eloquently written by William Ernest Henley:

      I am the master of my fate:
      I am the captain of my soul.

      Do you know any of the poetry by Mary Oliver? She has got me through many a cobblestoned path. Have a look at The Journey and Wild Geese to start with.

      With so much love

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