This is often the lament when something unwanted happens and you react.
A child has a tantrum…you get frustrated and yell.
Your candidate didn’t get elected…you become angry and depressed and begin tell everyone who will listen how awful it is.
Your boss doesn’t say good morning…and you assume that she is angry with you and let it ruin your day.
And you just might think that these are perfectly reasonable reactions to these unwanted events.
So back to the question: “What Choice Did I Have?”
Well, it turns out you have an infinite number of choices in how you respond to any event in your experience.
Let me give you an actual example from my life.
I love to sing. I sing in a choir; I have sung in church groups. I LOVE to sing. Singing is in my DNA and such an important part of who I am. I even have a secret ambition to be a Broadway performer.
Over the past year, though, I’ve begun losing my singing voice, and it has gotten to the point that it actually hurts to sing. I’ve done my best to push through it, tried different remedies, etc., and now I literally can’t sing more than a few notes. I don’t know what is causing it, and I don’t know how to treat it, yet.
So those are the facts my in case. Now here comes the exciting, creative part. How might I CHOOSE to respond to this unwanted condition?
…rail against the universe for denying me my dreams;
…complain to my husband, daughters, and anyone who will listen to me that life is just not fair;
…continue seeking traditional and alternative medical advice on how to treat my throat;
…meditate on what singing brings to my life and find another activity that fulfills that same role.
And on and on and on.
You get the idea.
Bottom line – you cannot control the conditions or events that occur in your life. And you probably can’t control your initial, default reaction. But you CAN control how you respond to it regardless of how dire or unwanted the conditions appear.
And this is what I LOVE about being a coach. I get to help people recognize where they have choices. And with choice comes freedom. True freedom.
So what am I going to do?
I will give myself 5-minutes to rant (albeit quietly!) about my condition. Five minutes…that’s it.
Then I will embark upon the delicious task of finding a new joy…dancing, painting, hiking, something that gives me that same sense of connection with my higher self, God, and like-minded people.
I will continue to seek medical advice to see if this is a “forever” condition or something that will go away in time.
I will awake each morning thanking my lucky stars for another day to engage in this amazing life and the opportunity to learn something new.
Now, what choices will you make?
About the Author
Lisa Evans is a former K-12 teacher/administrator, coach, mom, grandma, and lover of life. She’s thrilled support Educational Leaders align their passions, purpose, and position to enhance their effectiveness, impact, and well being.