Monthly Archives: October 2010

I Choose To Choose, Of Course As Long As It’s Okay With You.

I believe in freedom of choice. The choice we have over our emotions, that is. No bold political statements here, as I will leave those for a much smaller forum and those much better suited to debate it. Freedom over our emotions is my agenda today. As human beings we have become proficient at reacting rather than acting and forgetting that we do in fact have the ability to control a large part of the outcome our emotions dictate.

Let me take a brief moment before we get to heavy to draw my distinction between reacting and acting.

Reacting is not a process. It is what some would call an involuntary response. It is the response we exude driven solely on how we perceive life. Something happens, we react. For some who get screamed at, they scream back. For others they may find it funny and yet others may be frightened and cowl. No voluntary thought process involved what so ever.

Acting involves the process of actually thinking. We provide ourselves with a ten second rule to organize our thoughts, digest the positives and negatives of our response to all parties involved and deliver our calculated response in a systematic manner.

So now you know. You are a Reactionist and not Democratic or Republican like you thought.

I believe that every day begins as an awesome day. Being here, being present with good health and the ability to pursue happiness and wealth (However you may choose to define it) are all that we can ask for. When our feet hit the floor for the first time every morning, it becomes the launching pad for the day’s events.

Then the inevitable happens. The dog did a number on the carpet and the kids over slept their alarms for school. There is no milk for the cereal and why does it always happen that you break a shoelace when you are late out the door?

Because life happens. If you are thinking that your day just turned into what you just cleaned up from your dog, shame on you. Remember life is about choices. You can choose to react angrily about what has happened so far in your early morning and consciously decide that they are all tell tale signs of what is destined to be a miserable day, or you can make the choice to decide that these are all things that just happened. They are insignificant and meaningless and go on with your awesome day.

That is the beauty of having the freedom of choice.

So you are at the office and you get a phone call. The person on the other end of the line is agitated and starts yelling at you, and of course their hostility has everything to do with you. It’s a personal attack on your character, ethics and credibility. You can feel the hair on the back of your neck stand up and finally you lose it.

Who can yell longer or louder? Who can burst a vein in the middle of their forehead first? Or probably most important in any who can out do the other phone conversation, who can slam the phone down in the other one’s ear first.

If you’re chuckling, good for you. Pretty silly huh?

My question is this “At what point in the conversation did you realize that this person was out of control, behaving like an immature child, and without being offensive, a moron?” Or maybe the better question is that if you realized all of that early on and you allowed yourself to become that destructive, exactly what does that make you?

Guess it was your choice again huh?

Did that moron just ruin your awesome day or for you is it still an awesome day that just got sidetracked for a few brief moments?

There is that freedom of choice thing again.

The funny thing about life is that it is what we make it, far more than what others make of it. For the most part, we choose when to be happy or sad. We decide to be angry and frustrated or acknowledging and accommodating. I am sure you have heard it before, life is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Robert F. Bennett once said “Your life is the sum result of all the choices you make, both consciously and unconsciously. If you can control the process of choosing, you can take control of all aspects of your life. You can find the freedom that comes from being in charge of yourself.”

Now for me, that’s pretty deep and for those of you who know me quite well, you know that I am all about finding the fun in life. So given that lets try Mae West’s infamous quote “When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I’ve never tried before.”

Since we have all become so inherently ordained to reacting rather than acting, lets choose the road less traveled. Life really doesn’t have to be as difficult and challenging as we sometimes choose to make it. As we have said, it is what we make it.

After a long and tiresome day (only after our hero deemed it to be) an executive calls home. His wife inquires if he wants dinner. The executive inquires “What are my choices?” Without missing a beat, his wife proclaims “Yes or No”.

Act more, react less. Make productive choices and enjoy life. That’s what freedom of choice is really all about.