You Always Have A Choice

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The choices begin the minute you open your eyes in the morning. When to throw back the covers? What to wear? What’s breakfast? What will you choose to do with this day?

There are phases of our lives when it seems that we do not have a choice but indeed we always have a choice.

Stuck in a job with a nasty boss? in a job that no longer challenges and feels or is rewarding? a job that doesn’t pay enough?

Stuck in a relationship with someone who does not show respect for your time or your feelings? in a relationship you no longer trust is healthy for you?

Stuck in a rut of “overwhelm?” Your mind telling you, irregardless of reality, it is impossible to meet the deadline, impossible to break an addiction to the Internet, to alcohol, to your excuse of CHOICE.

Stuck in a situation that appears “beyond your control?” Even a literal prisoner has a choice.  Even a person born to a beginning of poverty has a choice.

In fact in many situations we may have as many as

FIVE CHOICES

for your consideration:  Choose!

  1. Remain a victim to the situation.  That is your choice.  You choose to stay in the job, stay in the relationship, stay in the mindset that you can do nothing.  You choose to be a victim.  Feel it.  What emotions come up?  Know many happy, carefree “victims?”  I know this sounds harsh, but even victims of mental and physical torture have a choice. They choose to not seek help. They choose to “give up,” or to “never give up.”
  2. Change your perspective.  Consciously view the situation differently.  What – is – the reality here? You have too much work to do in the time you now have left, okay,  you can choose,  keep plugging away, deliver the assignment late, live with the consequences and the lesson that you will feel much less stressed next time around, if you take the lesson from the situation and get some advice on time management.
  3. Change the situation.  Set a boundary with the person who is showing disrespect. Show up differently. From a place of balance and emotional control break the ineffective pattern and see what happens.
  4. Accept the situation.  That is a choice.  It is your choice to accept that you are stuck, stuck, stuck and that you are choosing to accept the toxic boss exactly as she or he is, accept that you are not going to succeed in completing work you said you wanted to do, accept that you are living in the paralysis of an addict. Tough choice.  Own that you are choosing it!
  5. Leave it.  Yes, escape.  Brainstorm, wrestle with every angle of the situation and make a choice to consciously take even the smallest action to leave the negative mindset, to find a more uplifting job, to distance yourself from the person who thinks you exist to bully or demean or blame.

History has taught us that even prisoners of war have, as they were able – made choices: to distract their minds from the brutality of their existence, to not give up on the possibility of a change, of freedom, of a better life.

What is the reality of your situation?  At some point in our lives all of us have been “victims” of something or someone we could not control.

And then we had a choice.

 

 

 

 

Work with What You Got

talent-development-is-exploring-different-skills-and-perspectives-qrfbd3-clipartYou – got – it.  Perhaps only you.

A clever sense of humor?

A gift for storytelling and capturing an audience?

An unusual ability to listen and hear a deeper meaning beneath the words?

An eye for design?

An ease and talent for playing the guitar or singing?

An ability to problem-solve and see projects through to completion?

What you “got?”

Are you honoring it?

Or, taking it for granted?

When did we all start wanting something just a little different, just a bit “better” than what we “got?”

Was it playing with that first Barbie or Ken doll?

Wow – look at Barbie’s waist! Not to mention that chest!!

And Ken, he doesn’t have – red – hair…  He’s – blonde – and he’s handsome…. Why can’t I be like – Ken?  

Was it hanging with the mission-driven pre-med crowd?

Gosh, they know what they are doing…. they’ll make a lot of money….science is so assuringly concrete and exact and free of subjective judgment…. At least, it seems so….

Sure, in a lifetime, many of us will have opportunities to explore what it is like have a different hair color, to expand our skill set and learn how to succeed in fields of expertise that do not come naturally to us, to take a stand-up comedy class or write or paint or sing or dance – to surprise even ourselves.

All good.  As long as the exploration brings us joy and a sense of fulfillment, is self-empowering, not self-negating.

Sometimes the quest or yearning for something else, something more, something different comes from human curiosity.

Satisfy your curiosity – carve out time to read about fresh topics, henna your hair, train as if you were a potential Olympian, eat as if you were model-thin Barbie, but along the way, appreciate what is natural, easy for you.

Ignoring – or – taking what you got for granted – makes the “work” of life more work and just may rob the world of the talent, the genius, the person that is you – and you alone.