Do you have a favourite book that you return to again and again for guidance or inspiration? For me, Tal Ben-Shahar’s Choose the Life You Want: The Mindful Way to Happiness is one. This wonderful guide inspires me to live and work better.
Ben-Shahar’s central premise is that we are always making choices at every moment in our lives—whether we realize it or not. Good or bad, we choose how we behave, react and think. It is these many small choices that make up our overall life course.
One of the important choices we face is whether we refuse to accept reality or accept reality and act on it. This is something I often explore with my clients. As Ben-Shahar says: “While we can change certain things, other things are out of our control. And if something is really out of our control, we have to learn to accept it, regardless of how much we wish it were different.”
Think of our reality as our starting point. It is a place from where we identify the areas in life that we do have choices in. It doesn’t matter what brought us to where we are now. This is where we are and who we are at this moment. With acceptance, we can focus our energy on taking control of the areas in life where we do have a choice—and there ALWAYS is a choice—to create the life we want.
There can be no dwelling on the past, staying frustrated or angry at our outside circumstances. Instead, we must accept and act on the choices that we do have. Whether it is finding success at work, in relationships or fulfilment in our daily lives, accepting our reality—and then applying the effort to reach our goals—will kickstart the positive changes we desire. (Trust me! It can be done. I have experienced it first hand and see it regularly in my clients.)
What choice are you making today? Whatever it is, I wish you much courage and strength as you create the life you want. I truly believe you can do it!