I’m so grateful this article on choices and gratitude was published in
— The Huffington Post —
in the ‘Healthy Living’ section. Enjoy the read!
One of the things I love and marvel at is our natural ability to make choices.
In a split second we make choices about how we’re going to live, where we want to go, the people we want to be with, what we want to eat, how we want to look. Millions of choices that are both conscious and unconscious. It’s an incredible and powerful gift we have.
In his book – Choose the Life You Want: The Mindful Way to Happiness – Harvard Professor and Positive Psychologist Tal Ben-Shahar talks about choice this way:
Choice is creation. To choose is to create. Through my choices I create my reality. At every moment in my life I have a choice. Moments add up to a lifetime; choices add up to a life. What kind of life do I want for myself? What choices will create this kind of life?
Great words don’t you thiink?
NOW – Let’s really utilize this gift by focusing right in on your thoughts and feelings – target them – look directly at them — be sharply aware. Awareness is the key.
- What are your thoughts?
- What are the quality of your thoughts?
- How do you speak to yourself?
- How do you think about other people?
Do your choices make you feel good?
“I’m so tired… what are they doing to me… I don’t want to see emails… I hate Mondays and my boss.”
“I’m happy I’m alive… that sunrise is magnificent… MMMM hot coffee… I’m excited about my project.”
Do your thoughts have complaint in them or gratitude – irritation or wonder – peace or resentment – negativity or positivity – goodness or evil — pleasure or pain?
If you focus on the negative; the burdens of your life, rehashing past injuries and old grudges that’s how you’ll live. You’re filling yourself up with poison. You may have good reason to feel the way you do but… Do your choices and thoughts make you feel good about your life?
You always have an option. You always can make another choice and head right to the positive. You can hope for, work at and ‘…choose to create’ new results and changes that make the quality of your life good; focusing on the gratitude of your life and the people you love and who support you.
I have a morning ritual
Every single morning when I wake up I immediately choose to be grateful for something. I consciously think about gratitude in my thoughts and choose one specific thing I appreciate or like or that makes me happy and often I say it right out loud — “I’m grateful for a good sleep…. Grateful for cool, running water… Grateful for eye glasses and sight… Grateful for the internet… the sound of birds singing… electricity… friends and their help… sudden heavy rain… a playful dog… Grateful to have love in my life.”
It has a wonderful effect on me and the constancy of it makes me strong and happy.
The changes and choice for this didn’t just happen easily. As I practiced being aware of my thoughts I saw clearly my big tendency to complain and worry. I used to start my day fighting in my mind with people and the world. Worrying about nearly everything around me.
So I tried something different and began to turn my thoughts around. Where I had negative thoughts of people I thought about where I respected them, I thought about what they felt to themselves and I wanted to understand them and their choices. It didn’t mean I had to agree with them or be friends but it helped to release the negativity I felt.
I choose gratitude to counter worry and fear and irritation
Making the conscious choice to be positive and to appreciate things made a real difference in how I was at work and the way I thought about myself. I was calmer, worked more efficiently and had a better attitude with people. I felt centered in myself and peaceful; life flowed more easily; I lived with natural, positive energy and personal satisfaction. I learned that I’m in charge of how I respond to things and my good choices helped me to like myself much more and to be kinder to others.
The specific choices and awareness I made for change eventually started to happen all by itself. They became natural. Organic.
Change is difficult and it takes work. That’s why so many people don’t do it. They stay stuck. They don’t want to do the work to change and even believe it is impossible to change. That’s an excuse.
Every day we have a whole new round of choices to make and every one of them matters.
Your life is your life. You can choose who you want to be. Why not makes choices to have your life be as good as possible, no matter what your circumstances? Things don’t always happen for the best but… you can sure chose to make the best out of whatever happens to you.
Cherish the power of choice you have. Wake up each day and be thankful for life.
“Moments add up to a lifetime; choices add up to a life.
What kind of life do I want for myself?
What choices will create this kind of life?” – Tal Ben-Shahar
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AND… here’s something else I think you’ll like – Gratitude is True Power