You ALWAYS have a choice
I’m awake, but I don’t need to be.
Doesn’t it feel different when you’ve woken up of your own accord as opposed to being rudely awakened by whatever your preferred device is?
If something external has been given the task of waking me up, closely followed by the realisation that I do actually have to get up, now, and get going, then my mindset takes some cajoling to get into anything remotely resembling a positive state.
It’s all to do with choice.
Doing something because I choose to do it is infinitely preferable than doing it because I have to, even if that something is the same thing.
Having a choice makes me feel like I am in control, my own person, and no-one is telling me what to do. It’s a good feeling.
…we always have a choice.
Not necessarily the obvious choice, of actions or paths to take, often events happen to us that are beyond our control. However we always have a conscious choice over our responses to these events.
Your choices can affect your whole demeanour, how you behave around others, how you are perceived by the world at large and, crucially, how you feel.
How would it be if you chose to feel calm more often for example?
You’re running late for work then get caught up in a tailback on the motorway caused by an accident. Aarrgghh! Why does this always happen when you’re already late?!
You can’t do anything about the fact that you’re stuck in a jam, you can’t turn round on the motorway. You can’t do anything about the fact that you’re now definitely going to be late for work.
You won’t be the first person to be late for work and you won’t be the last.
These things are beyond your control.
What you are in control of is how you respond.
Instead of responding by getting angry and frustrated you can choose to respond by staying calm. You can choose to feel grateful that it’s not you that has been involved in the accident. You can choose to take a few deep breaths. You can choose to find some soothing music on the radio or you can choose a rousing song, wind all your windows down, sing along and get your fellow travellers to join in! (Actually, you could keep an ABBA CD in the car for just such an occasion. No? Just me then…)
The important thing is to recognise when these moments arise and enjoy the feeling of having a choice. Take back the control that belongs to you.
What could you respond to differently today?
(Previously published on alittlebitofpeaceandquiet.com Jan 18, 2015.)