When you refuse to simply live and die like an animal, and begin to inquire into the nature of reality within and around you, you become a conscious being.
Knowing yourself is the only conscious evolution that is possible to you as a human being. Everything else in life simply happens, whether you are conscious of it or not.
Life is more of a happening than a doing. Just by virtue of having been born, you will go through the process of life. Living, having children, growing old and dying are all nature’s way of getting things done. Your intelligence and awareness are not necessary for this.
Even in those moments when you can clearly see that it is you who is making the choices, if you observe closely, you will see that there are many factors beyond your control that are shaping your decisions. In one sense, choice is just an illusion. You cannot choose unless the circumstances necessary for those choices fall into place. Very rarely do you pause to observe this phenomenon.
You want to believe that life is your making, because it gives you a sense of purpose and hope. If you are brutally honest with yourself, you cannot deny that almost everything that has happened in your life, has simply happened. If you have so little control over your life, then what is it that you can actually choose? What separates you from everything else in existence? What makes you special?
The only thing you can choose in life is your conscious evolution. The moment you decide to become aware of everything that is happening in your life, you begin to grow. Making a choice to consciously evolve is the only thing you can do.