My 7 year old has a field trip today. My wife usually chaperones them but had a previous commitment so she couldn’t go.

This morning my son, Owen, aske if I could go instead. He asked “daddy, do you have the police paper that says you can go on my trip”

I replied, “no, I didn’t go to the police station to get it. I know you’re disappointed and I’m sorry.”

So he asked mom again, even though he already knew she wasn’t coming. Kids are great at that.

She replied “I don’t have a choice, I have class.” I said to her “you always have a choice” to which she replied “I committed to this event before I knew about the trip so I don’t have a choice”

I said, “you always have a choice, you are choosing to go to the event and that’s great, no need to feel bad about it”

So many people I’ve worked with feel “they have to” do something because of a mandate, order from a boss etc. a constraint is a constraint after all but you always have a choice.

If you work in a crappy company and feel you don’t have a choice, you do. You have plenty of choices. Stay and be miserable, asked to get moved to another department, quit, coast, work on a startup idea instead of doing your job and more.

The point is, you always have a choice, saying you don’t have a choice is choosing to postpone dealing with a more difficult decision.