Unseen Passage: Choices We Make

The choices we make on a daily basis – wearing a seatbelt, lifting heavy objects correctly or purposely staying out of any dangerous situation – can either ensure our safety or bring about potentially harmful circumstances.

You and I need to make a decision that we are going to get our lives in order. Exercising self-control, self-discipline and establishing boundaries and borders in our lives are some of the most important things we can do. A life without discipline is one that’s filled with carelessness.

We can think it’s kind of exciting to live life on the edge. We like the image of “Yeah! That’s me! Living on the edge! Woo-hoo!” It’s become a popular way to look at life. But if you see, even highways have lines, which provide margins for our safety while we’re driving. If we go over one side, we’ll go into the ditch. If we cross over the line in the middle, we could get killed. And we like those lines because they help to keep us safe. Sometimes we don’t even realise how lines help to keep us safe.

I’m not proud of this, but for the first 20 years of my life at work, I ignored my limits. I felt horrible, physically, most of the time. I used to tell myself “I know I have limits and that I’ve reached them, but I’m going to ignore them and see if or how long I can get by with it.” I ran to doctors, trying to make myself feel better through pills, vitamins, natural stuff and anything I could get my hands on. Some of the doctors would tell me, “It’s just stress.” That just made me mad. I thought stress meant you don’t like what you do or can’t handle life, and I love what I do. But I kept pushing myself, travelling, doing speaking engagements and so on – simply exhausting myself.

Finally, I understood I was living an unsustainable life and needed to make some changes in my outlook and lifestyle. You and I don’t have to be like everyone else or keep up with anyone else. Each of us needs to be exactly the way we are, and we don’t have to apologise for it. We’re not all alike and we need to find a comfort zone in which we can enjoy our lives instead of making ourselves sick with an overload of stress and pressure.

Q. On the basis of your understanding of the passage, answer the following questions:

  1. The reason why living on the edge has become popular, is because of the:
    1. constant need for something different
    2. population being much younger
    3. exhausting effort to make changes
    4. strong tendency to stay within our limits
  2. Which of the characteristics are apt about the writer in the following context: “I know I have limits and that I’ve reached them, but I’m going to ignore them and see if or how long I can get by with it.”?
    1. Negligent
    2. Indecisive
    3. Spontaneous
    4. Reckless
    5. Purposeless
    6. Patient
  3. Which of the following will be the most appropriate title for the passage?
    1. Much too soon
    2. Enough is enough
    3. How much is too much?
    4. Have enough to do?
  4. The phrase “potentially harmful circumstances” refers to circumstances that can:
    1. certainly be dangerous
    2. be fairly dangerous
    3. be possibly dangerous
    4. seldom be dangerous
  5. Select the option that makes the correct use of “unsustainable”, as used in the passage, to fill in the blank space.
    1. In the long run, the …………… officials followed emergency procedures.
    1. Emergency procedures were ………………… by the officials.
    2. Officials reported an ……………….. set of events during the emergency.
    3. Officials admit that the emergency system is ………………. in the longer run.
  6. The author attempts to __________ the readers through this write-up.
    1. rebuke
    2. question
    3. offer aid to
    4. offer advice to
  7. The author uses colloquial words such as “yeah” and “Woo-hoo!”. Which of the following is NOT a colloquial word?
    1. Hooked
    2. Guy
    3. Stuff
    4. Stress
  8. What does the author mean when he says, “to get our lives in order”?
    1. To resume our lives
    2. To organise our lives
    3. To rebuild our lives
    4. To control our lives
  9. Choose the option that correctly states the two meanings of ‘outlook’, as used in the passage.
    1. A person’s evaluation of life
    2. A person’s experiences in life
    3. A person’s point of view towards life
    4. A person’s regrets in life
    5. A person’s general attitude to life
  10. The author explains the importance of discipline and boundaries in our lives using the example of:
    1. road accidents
    2. traffic rules
    3. lines on the highway
    4. safe driving
  11. What is the message conveyed in the last paragraph of the passage?
    1. Love what you do
    2. Love yourself to love others
    3. Be the best version of yourself
    4. Be yourself


  1. constant need for something different
  2. 1 and 4
  3. How much is too much?
  4. be possibly dangerous
  5. Officials admit that the emergency system is ……. in the longer run.
  6. offer advice to
  7. Stress
  8. To organise our lives
  9. (3) and (5)
  10. lines on the highway
  11. Be the best version of yourself

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