Do you want to be happy or upset? Choose to have a bunch of friends or be alone? Live in an organized or scattered fashion?
I rarely take the time to really think about those choices. A quote from a much smarter writer spurred me to think about them more thoughtfully.
Look at the above sentences themselves. All are questions needing an answer. The answers can only come from within the person listening to the questions themselves. They are all choices. How you live answers have a lot of (good and/or challenging) consequences. Effort is required on either side of the choice you make.
It may seem easier to live as though everything is planned out already. This is an old way of thinking and one, frankly, that doesn’t work for me. It feels too much like a cop out. “I gained weight because I’m meant to gain it. The sleeve of cookies I eat each daily and my lack of exercise have nothing to do with it.” Nah….
I’m a big believer in ‘free will’ – you get to choose. If that is the case, then the ‘choose’ part is hugely important. In fact, the older I get, the more I believe it’s one of the most important things for us humans.
The Good News
Carols Castaneda, writer of 16 books including The Lessons of Don Juan, shares some good news on this point:
“The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.”
This goes hand-in-hand with one of my top five quotes of all-time:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”Viktor Frankl
Weequahic, we have a choice. Every day, every moment, every breath – we get to choose how to react. It’s simple to live this way… but it’s not easy. The closer we get, though, to putting these ideas into daily practice, the more likely are our best-selves to shine through.
So go make yours.