You Always Have a Choice

I love memes about first world problems. I’m just as guilty as anyone else when it comes to feeling sorry for myself about shtuff that really doesn’t matter. It’s not our fault – no matter what your circumstances in life may be, you get accustomed to them pretty quickly. What that means, though, is that even if you came into a bunch of money (or other form of success) all of a sudden, it wouldn’t necessarily change who you are or how you think. It wouldn’t make you happy. Because you’re stuck with who you are. This is awesome, because it means you can be happy without winning the lotto or marrying a supermodel.

Do you ever feel stuck? Like the world is out to get you? Well, it is.

Just kidding. Well, kind of. It sucks when you feel like you don’t have a choice. Most of us talk like we don’t have a choice all of the time (“I have to send this bride a proposal”). We talk like we’re slaves to our wedding clients, our kids and our dogs.

I’ll prove it. When was the last time you said, “I have to” or “I need to”? Was it today? Do you have things right now that you “should” be doing? Does that make you feel bad? It makes me feel bad. I hate being forced to do things. That’s what started the whole Boston Tea Party situation – people being coerced into doing things they didn’t want to. And look how that turned out – a lot of perfectly good tea gone forever. Of course, we’re talking about you (not other people) making yourself feel like you have to do stuff. I mean, nobody is actually telling you “You have to write a blog post this week…or else.” Though I would consider hiring someone to tell me that.

When you begin to live on purpose… life opens up.

One of the most powerful things I help coaching clients realize is just how much choice they have in every area of their lives. How would it feel if you knew you had a choice? When you begin to live (and act) on purpose, instead of doing things because you “have to”, life opens up. It becomes fun again. And easy.

Okay, okay, I don’t expect you to believe me (it can’t be that simple, right?). So let’s try an experiment. Pick something you “have to” do that you don’t want to do (something that doesn’t feel like a choice). What would happen if you didn’t do it? Would someone call the cops? Would you die? Even if you did die, you still have a choice. If you’re making the choice not to die – good choice!

This concept is deceptively simple. Don’t be fooled. Realizing that everything you do is a choice changes everything. It puts you back in the driver’s seat. Try it out today. The next time you feel like you “have to” do something or you “need to” do it, remind yourself that you really don’t. And then choose.