I am writing this post at 8 am on a cold Monday morning, after rushing out the door for an early morning meeting. There was no time for exercise or a healthy breakfast this morning. And I had to take the subway during the most crowded hour of the day. After all this, my meeting was cancelled at the very last minute. And so here I am, alone in a downtown café.
In the past I would probably have become frustrated with this start to my week. I had given up things I valued (like a good breakfast and exercise) for nothing. But today, the smarter and wiser me knows that I have a choice. I can choose to be frustrated or choose to see this time as a gift. I now have some unexpected time to do some concentrated work.
The perspective we take is our choice.
We choose what to focus on. It might feel like a small thing to choose to view my morning as an opportunity instead of a waste of time, but it is these everyday small choices that dictate our attitude and behaviour. We often think that it is only the big decisions—marriage, jobs, moving, etc.—that affect our lives, but when you add up all of the small choices, they have a profound effect on our life journey.
Often my clients come to me because they feel stuck and unsure of what they want to do in the future. They don’t know what steps to take. They believe that by finding the right path they will no longer feel stuck, that their present uncertainty will go away and all will be well. And for some, it is true that a few key questions and exercises can help them envision their dreams and set them on their way.
For others, however, it is the conscious act of making smaller, daily choices that sets them on the right path. These choices allow them to feel okay with uncertainty and to befriend change. This, in turn, helps them identify that next step or find new meaning in what they already have in their present life.
“Before we can change anything, the first thing we need to do is decide wholeheartedly to choose to choose.”Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, Choose the life you want
We need to believe that we have a choice to make in most situations in life—either in our external circumstances or internal world—and pay attention to those opportunities, however small they may seem. Choosing is not always easy, but it gives us a sense of control and it brings control of our lives back to us.
So, this morning (and every morning), I choose to choose.
I choose to use the time I gained this morning to write this post and share what I have learned. I choose to accept that I am human and will not get angry with myself for not having breakfast or exercising this morning (even though these things are important to me.)
Will you also give yourself the power to choose to choose?
As 2017 comes to an end, how do you choose to act in your daily life? I would love to hear about the choices you are making today.
Until then, I wish you a wonderful day.