Life is the sum of all your choices.
1913 – 1960
When I was young, I was fascinated by the magic words that storybook heroes could use to change things. All they had to do was say the magic words and their world would immediately change. Now that I’m older, I realize that those tales were simply fantasies. But there are a couple of words that really can change your life: they have near-magical power if you use them correctly.
The words themselves are quite simple: “I choose.” The magic is in how you use them.
I suggest you start each day by saying, “I choose _______________.” Fill in the blank with some positive goal you want to accomplish that day. For instance, “I choose to respond to what happens today rather than react.” So instead of a knee-jerk reaction to things that happen, you consciously consider the best way to respond to each event during the day.
Another example would be, “I choose to greet everyone today with a smile.” Unfortunately, we often walk around with a frown on our faces, too caught up in our own thoughts to take the time to smile. Changing that frown to a smile will literally change your world; people will react differently, reflecting positive feelings back to you.
Yet another example would be, “I choose to make today special.” It may sound like a platitude, but today is the only day you have. Make it count.
Here are some other behaviors you can implement: choose to be more agreeable, more positive, more grateful, more productive, more accountable, more focused, or more aware of the consequences of your actions.
When we start the day with “I choose,” we’re declaring our intentions. According to Peter Gollwitzer, an expert on the psychology of intention, forming intentions almost doubles the chance of actually following through. Deciding and declaring how you choose to behave goes a long way toward ensuring that it occurs.
One of our strongest desires is for autonomy: to have control over our lives. No one has the power to control all the circumstances in their lives, but we always have control over how we respond to events in our lives. Becoming more conscious of your choices should help you make better decisions in any given situation.
By taking control of your behavior, you can make better choices, and in time, that will change your life — just like magic.
Every human has four endowments — self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.
Copyright © 2015 John Chancellor and Cheryl Chancellor