Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Choices


This spoke to me today thought I would share...

"Why choosing is important

Your life is defined by the decisions you make. Choosing one thing over another, or over four others, shapes what happens next. And what happens next is your Life, with a capital L. (Hey, no pressure. I guess that explains why some people avoid choosing.) This can be a small “chocolate or vanilla” choice that changes your moment, or it can be a big “take that job in Portugal or stay here” choice that changes your life. And some of those seemingly small choices can end up being life-changing.

If there were choices you could make that would make life better, wouldn’t you make them? It sure seems so, but that’s not what most people do. And that really sucks because choosing is what allows you to live the life you want to live, not only in the big decisions, but in every moment of every day. Consciously choosing puts you in charge of your life. It effectively transforms you from a victim into a victor because you are actively deciding what you will do and how you will do it. If you choose, you are not kicking and screaming while other people run your life, and you are not stagnating in a puddle of indecision.

Contrary to popular myth, you can and do choose how you feel. You may not realize that you’re choosing, though, because over time your emotional “choices” have become a function of automatic pilot. For instance, when someone says something that seems like an insult, your “I’m upset” emotion gets triggered. But you can turn off that autopilot function and consciously “choose” how you want to feel: neutral, understanding, or perhaps even compassionate.

That doesn’t mean you won’t experience sadness — you will — or that life will be perfect — it won’t. Learning how to choose just means you’ll have the tools and the emotional wherewithal to deal with life in the best possible way.

Why people don't choose

Some people love to choose (Cool! I get to pick!), and others dread it (Bummer. I have to decide.). If you love the self-determination and power of making choices, choosing is a breeze. You feel secure in choosing, and you trust yourself to make the right choices. But if the prospect of making a choice creates anxiety, indecision, or conflict, you need to learn the skills that can help you work through those things. You need to get into making decisions. Choosing can be scary. Not choosing can be scarier.

There are all kinds of reasons people don’t choose.

They’re afraid.
It hurts.
It’s too much work.
They want to be liked.
They don’t see any options.
The options they see are not acceptable to them.
They don’t want the responsibility.

And what if your choice bombs? What if you hate it and feel like a big goober, or lose a bunch of money, or get fired for your choice? What if somebody stands up at the next office meeting and sarcastically asks, “Who was the Einstein who made that decision?” You own it, and you stay awake. You’re about to get smarter if you just pay attention and don’t block the learning with anger, a third glass of wine, or tuning out in front of the TV. Sit with the discomfort and digest your lesson du jour. If you do it right, you’ll only have to eat that meal once. Your mission is to get out of avoidance and fear and know that you can learn to make choices with confidence. You are building your “choice muscles.” You can say no to dessert. You can say yes to getting up early. You can do whatever you choose.

And hey, if you don’t like the results of making one choice, you can always choose something else."

from "Get a Life That Doesn't Suck: 10 Surefire Ways to Live Life and Love the Ride" by Michelle DeAngelis

7 comments:

MissDeb said...

Michelle---I absolutely, totally agree!!! This was so good, I had to "borrow" it and post it several different places so that everyone I know has an opportunity to read it. Hope you don't mind.
Thanks--
MissDeb

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Not at all. It spoke to me this morning I'm glad it spoke to you too.

~Michelle

Anonymous said...

This was awesome! I felt it spoke to me. Thank you for all of the great post!

Crissy

Jinkers said...

Remember the song by Rush called Freewill?
"If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice..."

Good song - and your post made me think of it...
:) kelly

Anonymous said...

I have always believed that your happiness is a choice you make. Everyday we choose to be happy or sad. Happiness is just as much of a choice as every other choice.

Anonymous said...

Michelle--I am very encouraged when I read your blogs. I am new to this journey (11/3/08 and down 45 lbs). This post especially hit home with job changes and now this personal journey. We can take control of our choices and yes, it is not always easy. That is what builds our character. I always try
to look at the cup as half full. The statement I use so often is "Attitude is Everything! Choose a GOOD ONE!" Thank you Denise

Anjanette said...

Michelle~

I just have to say that you inspire me on so many different levels~person, mom, cook.....Thanks for the reminders about life, stress (lost my mom this year so stress has been present), saying no and all those beautiful recipes that call my name in the night.....pepperming popcorn? who knew?! Thanks again and Merry Christmas. May all of your dreams come true in 2009.

Anjanette