I was recently working with a coach for my business/personal development, and one exercise he gave us was to notice what we choose. The exercise was a powerful reminder:
We have way more power than we ̶t̶h̶i̶n̶k̶ ̶w̶e̶ ̶d̶o̶ admit.
Immediately, as I got ready to say “I have to run” at the end of that meeting, I realized “I’m choosing to go now… because I want to keep my promise to be somewhere else at a certain time.” So I changed my language: I’m going to go now. And it felt weird, and good at the same time.
What if we took ownership of our choices? How many times a day do we claim to “have to” but really choose to do something?
As the coach mentioned, even taking care of our kids is TECHNICALLY optional. All choices have consequences, but we do, in fact, CHOOSE. And it’s sort of a freeing feeling to ̶f̶e̶e̶l̶ ̶l̶i̶k̶e̶ realize, I have more power over my time, and my day than I ̶t̶h̶o̶u̶g̶h̶t̶ ̶I̶ ̶d̶i̶d̶ admit.
I keep striking through “thought”, and changing it to admit, because I think that believing we have no power over much of our time, frees us from responsibility for the way we spend our time. I want to remind myself, that even believing we have no choice, is a choice.
I don’t really want to admit I chose to burn myself out. Who does?!
But the reality is, in an attempt to feel valuable, important, meet others’ needs (“later” always seemed soon enough for my own), make people happy, or even get people to like me, I chose it.
I have mentioned StrengthsFinder before. In my top 11 strengths, 10 of them feel sort of forward moving to me, they have a drive to them. I kept seeing this image in my head, and finally had to make a graphic for it.
I may be wired this way, but I still get to choose. And being aware that I am, in fact, choosing, creates a pause if I choose to take it, and consider why am I making this choice.
What if, even for one day, we all acknowledged the myriad choices we make. We choose to oversleep, to be late, to eat the crappy food instead of the healthy food (probably due to choosing not to plan/prep for the right food), we choose to take time to pray and meditate, or we choose to rush off into the day choosing to believe we don’t have time. We choose to worry instead. We choose to be tired, by staying up too late, and leaning on things like caffeine.
Wait a minute… I choose to be tired?! Yup. Sometimes, I do.
There are things I don’t have control over. Health issues, life stressors. We can’t control the choices others make.
But there are so many more things I DO have control over. Especially all those things pertaining to Spring, and how she responds to those out-of-control things, and what she does with the time that has been given to her.