The Choice Is All Yours
But will you have the courage to make it?
There are probably some statistics somewhere that could inform us of how many decisions we make in a day. Breaking it down into conscious, habitual, reactionary and more. But, for the sake of these couple minutes let’s agree that we make a lot of them.
To get started, I’m going to make a quick substitution and replace decision, with choice. We all have this incredible power that is choice, and we’re not using it to its full potential.
So, what is choice?
Academically defined, it is the act of selecting or making a decision between two or more possibilities. Sometimes, choices are limited, simple, left or right, dark or light, other times a bit grander, like quit your job or move across the country.
Still, these choices are a bit more segmentable than the camouflaged ones I want to focus on.
This past year I began evaluating the choices I’ve made and taking ownership of the outcomes. Through this exercise came the confrontation of outcomes that I disagreed with, and the realization that I had made those choices, and it was up to me, completely, to either adjust my perspective or part ways with things.
It began with a shift in the language I use.
For too long compromise and accepting have been promoted as empowering actions in the relationship to oneself, or others. Compromise and accepting wear a mask of resolution, when at the core they introduce an imbalance. It can be admired, heroic even, to agree to something for a greater good. But what if we could achieve these same outcomes, and truly feel that the destination has been reached through a course of strength. The strength of our choice.
Hear me out here. When making a choice, I began to ask myself: am I choosing this because it is in alignment, or am I sacrificing?
With choice, I am able to own the process of making my decision. With choice, I am able to evaluate all the inputs, the factors, known outcomes, and either choose for, or choose against. By using choice, and giving power to this decision-making practice, I don’t feel the disappointment that comes from knowing I compromised.
Yes, under the umbrella of choice inherently is accepting what may come, or even compromising your initial desires, but through the act of choosing, we remain aligned and are able to own what comes next. As the keepers of our choice, this shift allows us to lead lives with complete intention.
Now, how exactly does this work?
Let’s look at a few examples:
Work, when you have to complete a task that at your core you don’t want to. Are accepting this is just “part of the role” or have you chosen to remain in this position?
Vacation, if several members want to visit Rome, but you’ve had your heart on Florence, are you compromising because you’re the minority or are you choosing to visit Rome?
Weekend, if you had planned a day trip to a local farm, and a testing out a new recipe as a night in, but you’re tribe is pulling you to abandon this and paint the town. Are you sacrificing your desires, or choosing friendship?
The truth is, you can choose to continue that work or you can choose to change your course. You can also choose to stray and visit Florence and meet the group in Rome. You can even decline the invite out for the night, or you can choose to spend time with them and move your kitchen session. Choices are everywhere, and it’s up to us to recognize we can completely own the power of them. There are many different entry points of choice in our lives, and not all are equal, still, they are ours.
If you can begin identifying where you meet choice in your life and allowing your perspective on them to shift, you just may unlock levels of freedom, levels of joy, and notice the amount of intention you’re living with.
As an exercise, I encourage you to evaluate where you are compromising, or accepting, and where you are choosing. From here, attempt to either to shift some of those compromises and acceptances into choice, or acknowledge they are out of alignment and release them.
You can even begin by saying it out loud: “I chose this”, or “I am accepting this” — there’s a definite boldness in choice.
Can you feel it?
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