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FOOD FOR THOUGHT - KNOW YOU ALWAYS HAVE CHOICES


Do you know the saying "wherever you go, there you are"?  Even though you always take yourself wherever you go you do have a choice of who you'll be when you get there.  Here’s something to think about.  If you don’t realize you are doing exactly what you want to be doing in each moment or you would be doing something else, then you are not being honest with yourself.  

You may think you don’t want to work where you work or be in the relationship you’re in etc., but if that were really true you would be doing something to change the situation.  There is always another choice if you want to look for it.  The reality is it’s easier to have things remain the same.  Ouch!

Your brain is always processing information and making choices sub-consciously.  Like which hand to use to pick something up or which way to turn.  You use the same process to decide how to spend your time.  Change the criteria your brain uses to make decisions and you’ll change the choices you make.  Your personal manifesto and the plan you create from your goals will give your brain the input it needs to change your processing criteria.


What are the criteria you use to make your choices?  Have you ever thought about it before?  It goes back to looking at who you see yourself as and what you told yourself about your life up until this point.  Once you have that information, you can look at what still is true and work towards what you want to achieve.  Eliminate or replace everything else.   It’s like spring-cleaning your living space and then going up into the attic and going through all the stuff you didn’t even remember you had.  Some of the stuff you realize you want to bring out and use.  Other things you throw away because you don’t want them anymore.  Now do the same springcleaning with your mind.  


Action Step: Spring Clean your Mind



One area I did a major spring-cleaning in a few years ago was my image of my worthiness as a friend.  When I went up into the attic of my brain, the stuff I found there was really old.  I had been judging myself by criteria a child had set up! 
How ridiculous is that?  



So I looked at every piece of information and where it started. Does it fit who I am today or is this not true about me?  What I noticed was that I had taken the facts of my life and came to some erroneous conclusions.   The facts were that I only had one friend at a time when I was young, I was ill a lot as a child and missed school, and because I grew up moving quite often, I was always the new kid.  You get the picture.  

I took these facts and somehow decided I wasn’t meant to have friends, I wasn’t worthy of people liking me, and it didn’t pay to have friends anyway because I was always moving.  So for the next 20 years or so, I lived with this as my criteria I filtered everything through to make decisions about friendship.  

There were some good things I uncovered in the attic.  People thought I was funny and fun to be around.  I had told myself they just felt sorry for me.  When I looked at this, I knew it wasn’t true.  So I brought out the fun and funny part of me.  I also found I had buried the fact that people thought I was interesting and they enjoyed talking to me and getting my advice.  I had told myself they were humoring me.  So I dusted that off and brought it out.  

When I finished my spring–cleaning, I had released a lot of old misinformation about myself.  I swept out the attic and took the parts I liked and brought them downstairs to be a part of who I was.  Everything else I threw away.  That allowed me to be a good friend and let people into my life.  

I now remembered the truth about me.  I am funny and fun to be with.  I am interesting and people like spending time with me.  This spring-cleaning cleared the path for me to develop some great and long lasting friendships.  I no longer was operating with outdated criteria for deciding who I am.

You can use this process to redefine any area of your life that isn’t at the level you would like it to be.  You can actually picture yourself going up into your attic and looking at any aspect of your life.  When you do this, all your core beliefs about this part of yourself will become clear.


Action Step: Study Success


Study other successful people and see what choices they made to get where they are today.  Read at least one biography of a successful person each month for the inside scoop on how someone else achieved greatness.   Pay attention to the choices they had in their life and how they decided which path to take.  As you read and gain more knowledge, think about what you would do to get to the same place even faster.

One of the choices I would recommend you make is to have balance in your life.  It makes all of your other choices clearer.  Balance is what makes your life work.  You can live with your life severely out of alignment, but you won’t be happy.  Your successes will seem strangely unfulfilling, and you won’t know why.  It’s totally up to you what you choose to have in your life.  

For example, some people feel that public service is important.  You may not ever want to run for any office.  You may love to do volunteer work, other people write checks.  Some people are very involved in church activities, others just show up for the service.  It’s up to you to decide what you spend time on in your life and how you do it.  

No one else can tell you what you should or shouldn’t be important to you.  Balance is when your life includes just the elements it takes to make you truly happy.  


The first clue is that it usually requires some kind of boundaries on work time so you have time for a personal life. There is a great exercise for balance I’ve found very effective.  It’s in chapter 5 of Denis Waitley’s book “Seeds of Greatness”. 

By Lynn Pierce

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