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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

You Do Have A Choice

Very often we say we have no choice when what we really have is a very difficult choice. You've no doubt heard yourself or someone else say things like "I have no choice but to work 70 hours a week" or "I have no choice but to go to this meeting." In such situations, "I have no choice" really means "the choice is too difficult to make, so I'll pretend it doesn't exist."
Such thinking can be a trap. You can pile up one "no choice" on top of another until your life seems completely out of control. But no matter where you are, you do have a choice about almost everything you do.

You have chosen the path to where you are right now, and you have complete control over where you are going from here. Yes, the choices will indeed be difficult, but there's nothing to be gained by denying them. The next time you catch yourself saying you have no choice, stop and ask yourself if that is really true.

The way to improve your life is to make the choices which will take you to where you desire to be. Have the courage to look at those choices. Carefully consider their implications. Decide to take complete control and make the choices which will move your life forward.

-- Ralph Marston

I once lived in a box. Life had me boxed in. I was suffocating. My spirit was crushed. The longer I stayed in the box, the more I forgot what life outside the box was like. It was a pretty bleak existence.

The worst part was how I had given up all power and control over my life. I felt I had no choices, no options, no path out of the misery I was living in. Feeling as if you have no choices, I think, is the fast track to depression. Feeling hopeless and unable to change anything in your life is a pretty difficult place to be. Every time I tried to make some small, incremental change, it seemed it was taken away from me, or I was shot down, or sabotaged.

I have learned, though, that "hopeless" is an artificial state of being. WE ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE. ALWAYS. We may not want to make it, and even deciding to NOT make a choice IS choosing!

No matter how bleak our circumstances, or how big our challenges, we can choose to change our attitudes, our outlooks, our minds. We can choose to read positive things. We can choose to listen to positive music. We can choose to make very small incremental changes right now. Today.

If we can't change everything, why not at least change SOMETHING? That's how I got where I am now. Changing one small thing at a time until it almost becomes second nature, and then changing one more small thing.

If health/weight loss/fitness is a goal, then today, why not choose to drink more water as a first step? Every morning drink some water. Then later in the day, drink another glass. Do that for a week or two until reaching for water becomes second nature. Then replace one soda with a water. Do this for a couple of weeks.

People say to make small changes BECAUSE IT WORKS. They say take the steps instead of the elevator or park farther away from the entrance at the mall because a few steps here and there over time MATTER.

My little thing this week is drinking less cream/half and half/creamer in my coffee. I drink between 3-4 cups of coffee per day on average. Today, my first morning coffee is completely black. And it's OKAY. I actually am enjoying it. Later in the day at work, I am sure I'm going to use creamer. But this week, I'm making this one small change. It's not going to make or break my progress. It's not going to help me lose more weight this week or even this month.

What it does is give me a sense of control, a sense of choosing one more thing that will help my heart, my health, my life, over time. And it feels good to do that.

Find one small thing you can choose to do today to make yourself feel better, stronger, and healthier. You are worth the effort.

When we choose self care, no matter how small, our true self rejoices and we can't help but feel better. So why not choose THAT? :-)

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