You possess a power that can determine the quality of your life. This power is called discernment.
It is the skill (or lack thereof) to discern which people you want to associate or spend time with.
Discernment is choosing which friends to be close to.
Discernment is choosing whether or not to work for a particular boss.
Discernment is choosing which spouse to marry.
The ability to discern who is good for you to get close to and who is not is a skill.
It’s an important skill because the quality of your life is directly related to the quality of people around you.
Going through life’s adversities with friends who put you down… harms your life.
Deciding to continue working with a boss who doesn’t respect you… harms your life.
Choosing a romantic partner that doesn’t offer any emotional support… harms your life.
The inverse is true too.
When life gets impossibly difficult, but you have amazing friends there with you… your life benefits.
When your boss respects and supports you, your professional life benefits.
When your romantic partner is a true partner to you through the ups and down, your life benefits.
The ability to discern is a skill that’s worth developing.
However, many people never develop this skill.
This occurs because many people (myself included for most of my life) assume that we have no choices.
For some of us, we don’t choose our friends. Friendships kind of just happen and we get who we get.
For some of us, we don’t choose our boss. We kind of end up with the boss we get.
For some of us, we don’t choose our romantic partner. We kind of just end up with someone somehow.
The first step in developing your discernment skills is to realize that you have the inherent right to choose which people you do and do not want in your life.
You can invite those you want in your life to be a closer and bigger part of your life.
You can distance yourself from the people you do not want to be in your life.
However, if you waive your right to choose… you will never develop your ability to discern.
Recognizing that you have a choice in all your relationships is the first step to developing discernment.
Adapted from an email by Victor Cheng