The Art of Choice: A Way of Living

Jordan Weinstein
6 min readAug 2, 2023

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Shibuya, Tokyo by Isamu Ogawa

Have you ever wondered how ONE choice can change your whole life?

No, I’m serious. One choice… it’s wild when you think about it.

A singular moment. Where one decision takes place, and you move in a specific direction. A direction that leads you to one place and then the next…

It’s the first domino falling.

“Choice” is arguably the most powerful energy source we all possess. One SO powerful it has allowed me to begin writing this first public article from Tokyo, Japan.

I am no longer there as I release this; it’s been a whole damn month since leaving…(I REALLY procrastinated posting this, lol), but that’s beside the point.

Why was I in Japan in the first place? And more importantly, why should you care?

Well…

If you have goals in life, dreams, and ambitions, you must learn to master “the art of choice.” It’s the only way to live. And if you don’t master this art, life will do it for you.

the art of choice

In Japanese, phrases exist to express different “arts” & “ways” of life.

書道 shodo — The way of writing (calligraphy)

茶道 sado — The way of tea (making matcha)

柔道 judo — Gentle way (matiral arts)

I’m sure you can start to see the theme here. All the words end in the same sound. “道” do (sounds like dough).

In Japanese, the Kanji above translates to “way.” Each phrase represents the way of doing something — the idea of pursuing the process of an act.

Removed from the result itself.

And with each process, the phrase embodies a skill that can be developed.

“Choice” follows this same idea. Let’s call pull some inspiration from the Japanese and call it “the way of choice,” just like the above acts, making choices is a skill that can be acquired. And you can start now.

But first. We need help.

Of course, the skill of making choices can be acquired, but we are human beings. And we tend to have the habit of making life complex, yet it’s pretty simple.

We are always looking for quick fixes or secret formulas, but at the end of the day, life follows this process.

Our lives are the compounded result of the choices we make, day in, day out.

Simple, right?

Okay, maybe “life” & “simple” should never be used in the same sentence…but let’s play with this idea for a bit.

the rules of choice

1. we do NOT have 100% control over our lives.

This is a fact. You didn’t choose…

- where you were born,

- who is your family is

- the ethnicity you are

- the early experiences you had as a child.

- etc.

These are the objective aspects of our lives. You made no choices in these moments. This fact is often known as the “cards you were dealt.”

2. objective reality doesn’t matter

Okay, now that you know this fact of life, you must learn that it DOESN’T matter. What’s done is done.

Sitting back and dwelling on the aspects of life you had no choice in is a waste of time.

Let me say that one more time…

Sitting back and dwelling on the aspects of life you had no choice in is a waste of time.

The past is the only certainty we have. But the present and future are now up to us.

3. choices are a universal constant

Not making a choice is making a choice. Mind melt…right?

If you choose not to make conscious choices in life, they will be made for you. Plain & simple.

Choices are constantly being made, whether made by you or not.

Now that you know the rules, how can one begin pursuing its way?

how to master choice

Now, I will not sit here and tell you how you should make choices because it won’t mean anything. “Choice” is a personal matter with which only you have a relationship, and I don’t plan on being a third wheel.

But what I will share with you is a story about my relationship with choice.

It all started with my one-night stand with despair.

About four years ago, I was in a dark place mentally. It was my first year in college, and I was attending a local community college. Isolated from the usual path in school, I suffered from a lack of clarity and purpose. An existential crisis, if you will.

I had no idea what I wanted to do, what type of life I wanted, or who I wanted to be. I was lost.

All I knew was what society wanted me to be. And often, society is the loudest voice for our choices.

It wasn’t until I was forced out of my environment and “choice” arrived in a state of despair. I remember it vividly…

It was a random weekday night at my childhood home, and I hit my breaking point. I burst into tears, suffering from lacking direction, punched a hole in my wall, and it all came out.

I completely let go of the bottled-up feelings. Vulnerable to the people around me, I voiced my fears & doubts about my life. About my uncertainty about where to go, and in this awareness, the way of choice was staring at me.

two ways:

1. let this “bull” of uncertainty throw me deeper into fear.

2. pull myself together, grab the horns, and change my direction.

I chose option 2 with no idea what was next, but I decided.

Fast forward a few months, and the following occurred. I became an avid reader, discovered my passion for finance, and began working with a mentor. I started to focus on my health. I was working out, eating right. My life took a 360-degree turn.

I was a changed person…

Today, I run an online business, make my schedule, am around people I enjoy, travel, and…okay, wait, let me stop there.

I am sorry.

The above paragraphs are so fucking annoying. I told you a quick story about a challenging time in my life. Then I went through a “mindset” shift, and BOOM, I am running a business, traveling, etc.

Don’t you want to punch me in the face right now? Because I want to.

I made it sound so damn easy… it’s not.

But that is why I am going to stop here. Right at the juicy part when you want to punch me.

conclusion

I said in the beginning life is “quite simple.” Well, I lied, it’s simple when I write about it, but life is anything but simple.

It’s a complex, nuanced, and very individualist experience.

But no matter how messed up and hard it is, I stand by this fact.

Choice is universal & is the most powerful source of energy we all possess. It is an art. A way of life.

In my future writings, I plan to share more about my mission. One that embodies the idea of creating more choices & opportunities in the lives of others. And I will share exactly how I intend to do so…

A mission that aligns with my vision of infusing greater fulfillment into the world.

This is my 生き甲斐 (ikgai), which in Japanese can translate to life purpose…(if you’re paying attention closely, maybe a little teaser of why I was in Japan)

As I close out this writing, I will leave you with your first choice.

Release your fist, and don’t punch me yet. Come along on this journey because I believe many opportunities lie ahead.

So without further or do, let us begin.

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Jordan Weinstein

Devloping my ideas of finance through philosophy, culture & personal exploration.