On average from sunup to sundown a person can make what feels like an infinite number of choices, the good, bad, kind, hurtful, considerate, inconsequential, life-changing, etc. But what kind of choices lead to us having a better day? Over the long haul do we make more positive or negative choices? That’s what we’re talking about this week: the blessing of choice.
Yes, I really meant blessing. When it comes to choosing what to do in a day in most places in the United States you are free to decide to the best of your abilities. We take this freedom for granted. That is, until we brush up against folks who are constrained in their choices. Afghan women for example, who have to do as they’re told by the men in their families, every single day. So yeah, making positive choices in a more mindful manner can lead to a better day, especially when we keep in mind the millions of people who don’t have our options.
What are these positive choices? It starts from the moment we roll out of bed. But, before we get started, yes, it takes more effort to be mindful, to police our thoughts, to not follow through on knee-jerk reactions — so much more effort. Negativity is easy. Being indifferent is easy.
Let’s say we’re facing mind-numbing hard work — at home or away – little choices like letting another driver go before you, facing fractious toddlers with patience, not gossiping about co-workers, smiling when you can, sharing your favorite treat — these all lead to you having a better day. How? you say. It all comes down to how you think of yourself at the end of the day. When someone asks, “How was your day?” What’s really being asked is: honey, did you choose wisely today? Did you let other people dictate your emotional response? Did you create loving and kind moments, or the opposite?
Maybe we can think of making positive choices like a challenge. A challenge to make better choices, our own meaningful choices, whatever those might be.
[Img.Src: apple, banana, cupcake, salad.]