Choices are often tiny little decisions in our lives that seem, at the time, insignificant or unimportant. It is often only once the actions of our choices have been played out that we see how important a choice truly was. Today, I’m celebrating the choices that lead to this moment – right where I am right now. The amazing people in my life, the wonderful clients I get to work with, the family I treasure. The choices I made created my world, my day to day.
Every action we take in our lives requires a choice; on many levels the choices have become so automatic, that we forget to acknowledge them for what they are. We are on auto-pilot and often missing the amazing choices we’ve taken along the way. What choice did you start with today? Whether or not to get out of bed, whether to be in a good mood or a grumpy one, whether to have an amazing day or a stressful one. All choices we make before we’ve even chosen what to have for breakfast.
Take ten minutes today to acknowledge the choices you took that lead you to here. Celebrate the tough decisions you took, the sacrifices you made, the self belief it took to get to where you are. I’d love to know the choices you’re most proud of.
In Monday’s blog I suggested you choose your theme tune for the week – a piece of music that helps set your mood. Today, I would like you to add something visual to the mix. Choose an image that helps you focus on a dream or a goal, something that connects you with a choice you made to work towards something important.
This image is on my desktop at work and reminds me everytime I look at it of our plans to own a small woodland with a home nearby. We strive towards this every day and make choices that impact our daily lives to help us make our dream a reality. Having the image as something I see constantly, helps me connect with the choices and enjoy them. We can so easily become disheartened when progress takes time and every time I look at this picture I smile and feel uplifted – and all the more determined.
What picture will you choose and where will you put it to remind you why you’ve made those important choices?
Sometimes we struggle on when it is not the right thing to do. Sometimes we convince ourselves that we simply “can’t miss this appointment” or that “they’ll think less of me if I take a day off”. Sound familiar? And when we hear this little voice in our head, we make a choice; often the one that we believe will please others, but are we pleasing – or even looking after – ourselves.
Making a choice to take time off when we are unwell is a sensible choice on many levels; I remember being sent home from work, aged 19, with a terrible cold. “What were you thinking?” my boss asked me – and the answer was too ridiculous to say out loud! “Do you want to give everyone your cold!” I learned an important lesson. However, this is one of those skills we learn that stops working if we don’t use it. If we get into the habit of pushing ourselves to go into work, or get up and do that project at home, then when we really should be putting our feet up, the choice can feel almost impossible to make.
I made that choice today. I decided to have a day with my feet up and I know it is a good choice. An uncomfortable choice, a difficult choice, a challenging choice and the right choice.
I love listening to music and it is always on in the background, while I work or play. I love to start my week by choosing my theme tune; the piece of music that is going to set the tone. I have a diverse taste in music so making a choice means looking through tracks from ACDC to Sheryly Crow, from Tim McGraw to The Stranglers – it’s a tough choice and one I love making.
This week, I’ve decided on this fabulous track from Michael Buble – I choose to feel good today. What track will you choose?
Today (April 15th 2012), Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button both lost their chance to win the Chinese Grand Prix, thanks to errors made during pit stops. Both in strong Positions at the time they made their pit stops, they saw any chance of victory slip away. And how did they choose to react? They let it go.
Despite the adrenilin pumping round their bodies, the cameras in their faces as soon as possible (in Schumacher’s case actually during the race) they stayed calm. Schumacher’s first remarks were “I just want to be sure my boys are ok and not blaming themselves. This is the name of the game.” He just chose to let it go. His maturity was noteable; indeed, I wondered if the Schumy of old would have been so willing to move on, to see that letting it go was in his own intersts.
Next time you feel like you’re about to snap, that you’ve just got to have you say, that you’re going to say something even if nobody else is, stop and ask how it serves you. What will you really achieve – other than getting the last word. Next time take a leaf out of Michael and Jenson’s book and let it go.
Choice can feel uncomfortable and challenging and we often choose to put off making difficult choices. Too often people talk about regrets which are really choices they didn’t make. As my husband celebrated his 45th birthday last week, we reflected on the lack of regret in our lives and how even the choices that had not worked out as we planned had been the right choices for us.
This fabulous song from Tim McGraw reminds me to embrace choices every day and make sure I never look back with regret. I hope you enjoy the words as much as I do.
Today I choose to be positive and up-beat. Today I choose to see the best in everyone in my life and allow them their moment in the spotlight. Today I choose to love my life and be grateful for every moment – even the difficult ones. Today I make my own choices about my attitude, like every other day, and I can own the outcomes.
If this all sounds a little simple, that’s because it is. It is a simple matter of choice. Making the choice is not always simple in itself of course, but that is up to you. Owning our right to make choices is a big step and one that requires practice. Start your practice today by choosing how you are going to react to people in your day. Will you allow them to influence your mood in a negative way? That is your choice. Will you decide to allow yourself to be positive whatever their mood? It is your choice.
I let someone “get under my skin” yesterday – that was my choice. It took me a few hours to take responisbility for the fact I had chosen to react in the way I had – my choice not their choice. They do not control my reactions, I do. As soon as I acknowledged this, I was able to make the choice to let it go; to not let it get me down, to rise above it and own my choice to decide it was not important to me.
Today, choose to recommend someone that matters to you. Give some time in your day to talking about them and what makes them outstanding at what they do. It is easy, when times are hard, to focus on our own needs and wants; by choosing to focus on someone else and taking the time to recommend them, we can have a positive focus to our day.
I choose not to carry business cards; I am easy to find on-line and would rather take someone else’s card and follow up with my details. Instead, I carry a card file with the cards of the people I value. The people I choose to recommend. Nothing gives me more of a buzz than the opportunity to talk about them and create opportunities for them.
Yesterday, I added a new card to my file – the card of a man who is passionate about our environment and makes stunning eco furniture. His name is Tristan Titeux and he is changing the world’s attitude to recycling, one table at a time! Today, I choose to recommend him – and I recommend you connect with him on Twitter.
When did you last learn something new? Not just a new idea that you overheard in good conversation, but real learning of a new skill or learning how to become great at something you’re good at? This week, I am choosing to spend two days on a Social Media programme – learning new skills and improving existing ones. I choose to learn to allow me to grow, to embrace new ideas that will help my business or personal growth.
We have to make a choice to learn and make it part of our routine. I often hear people talking about budget cut-backs at the moment, and Training and Development are so often impacted. Seems ironic to me. If we choose to learn from our challenges and mistakes along our journey, we can learn not to repeat them – and here we are cutting back on learning.
Choose to learn and you choose to evolve, to move with the challenging times and embrace new opportunities and possibilities. Making learning part of our routine ensures we give it time in our schedules. Will I have to catch up on work because I’m out of the office for two days? Of course! Is it worth it? Yes. I’m in month two of a three month programme and am already seeing results. I’m choosing learning.
Have a great day
P.S. The fabulous Social Media programme I am on is here & well worth choosing!
We just had a lovely long weekend in the UK. Fabulously relaxing and four days of time for ourselves. Feeling refreshed? This time, choose to continue with that feeling; rather than returning to work today and fretting about how much you now have to do in a four day week – enjoy it. Allow all the positive feelings you created to continue through the rest of your week.
We can choose this. Being “busy” is a choice. You had to say “yes” to things to be busy with them; you had to choose to take something on for it to occupy your time. You can choose to tell someone that you have enough on and the extra thing will need to be done by someone else – yes – you can. If you choose to.
So, this four day week, choose to enjoy how positive you feel and let everyone around you enjoy it to.