In the 2nd Harry Potter book, “The Chamber of Secrets,” Dumbledore told Harry, “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” But do we realize how much power we truly have over our own lives? Whether you believe that choice is God’s gift of free will or not, it is our ability to choose that separates us from other species. We were designed to make choices. It is our job to choose wisely. It is also our job to accept the consequences of whatever choices we make.
If we choose to wear a sleeveless dress on a 50-degree day, we accept the consequence of being cold. If we choose a salad for lunch instead of a hamburger, we accept the consequence of giving our body healthy fuel to get us through the afternoon. We choose to take the back roads rather than the interstate. We choose Coke versus Pepsi. We choose, we choose, we choose… all the time.
Last month, I presented a 100-day challenge for happiness, the #100happydays project. I’m still going through my challenge, but at the end of the day, it’s about choosing to be happy. In fact, every month in this column, I present our readers with a challenge, which boils down to one thing: a choice. Whether you accept the monthly challenges that are presented or not – that’s your choice.
Unfortunately, it feels as though our society has turned into a never-ending blame game of collective finger-pointing. And while bad things can happen, we have the free will to choose how we will react to things. That gives us a very liberating kind of power…should we choose to accept said power.
How can your choices change your situations? Consider these ideas to help you as you face the many choices we make each day:
- Count to ten before you choose. Thinking first saves some incredible frustrations later.
- Trust your choice and stand by it. Indecision and self-doubt make choosing hard for some people. Have confidence in your decisions and move forward.
- Set a deadline. For those who have a hard time with choices, give yourself a time frame to make your choice.
- When your choice affects another, think of how they will feel about it.
- Make a list of pros and cons if you’re really struggling.
- Ask others, if you need advice.
- Following the Golden Rule of “Do unto others as you’d have done to you” can often make the choice an easy one.
- Remember that, if you choose to go down the wrong road, you can always choose to turn around.
The choice is yours. We have the power to choose what we will do and how we will react to each and every situation we face, both the good and the bad. Seek out choices that uplift you and inspire others. Let positive choices define you. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.” Choose wisely, because it’s all up to you.