The choices we make, and the actions we take, affect our future, in this life and the next, but what is important to remember is that you always have a choice.
If you read the suttas, the Buddha and his disciples come across various different teachers with various different beliefs, many of which were deterministic, fatalistic,nihilistic, you’re stuck in this, no choice or way out.
But the Buddha says no, the Buddha says you have a choice, and your choices matter! always remember you have a choice… that is your kamma, your kamma is your action, your action is your choice. You might not think you have a choice, but you always do.
an old ancedote of mine to go along with the above :
“Another post about the power of this practice. Yesterday I had two incidents occur close to each other that arose aversion and righteous indignation in me. I found myself at breakfast doing the normal running things through my head like a broken record as is common during these mind states, and I began to notice how the aversion and ill-will in my mind grew and grew.
because of this practice it was at this point that I remembered I had a choice. I looked at my mind and what I was allowing to happen, seeing full well that it would lead to a miserable day, not because of what happened to me, but because how I reacted to it and stewed over it. I reminded myself I have a choice, I looked at the situation, realized I would only be hurting myself to let this keep going, took it as a lesson, and let it go. I stopped feeding the “anger eating monster” of the Buddha’s simile.
This happened while sitting there waiting for breakfast, and in a matter of a few mind moments I went from an aversive mindstate to one full of metta with a smile on my face seemingly out of the blue.
remember, you always have a choice, even if you can’t see it, it’s still there.