life is choices.

When I carefully choose what I want to pay attention to, my heart swells.

When I let the world be in charge of what I should pay attention to, my heart sinks.

 

 

Thank you Eleanor Roosevelt.

I’ve been reading a lot lately about the nature of choice.  We live in a society where there sometimes is a tendency to “blame” others for our own behavior. “The devil made me do it.”  We all make mistakes, it’s the choices we make after them that really matter.

choice/noun

noun: choice; plural noun: choices
  1. an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.
I know some people subscribe to a philosophy that our lives are just laid out in front of us with no choices…all fate.  All the time.  That’s fine if that’s working for you.  I just happen to wholeheartedly disagree.  We have free will.  We choose how to respond.  We can choose who we want to be. We can choose whether or not to let someone provoke bad behavior in us. We can choose to learn more. We choose how to utilize new knowledge. Knowledge is power in every circumstance even sometimes when it’s painful.

When I realized that every minute of every day I have a choice, even though it seems so simple, I really felt like I had been liberated.

We have the privilege of getting to make choices (good or bad) and learn from them and get up another day and make another round of choices.  We are choice makers—not constant victims of circumstance.  Fabulous, huh?

Well, not entirely, because when I began to study about the nature of choice it put a bunch of victim crap I’ve carried around back on my own broad shoulders. Wait, I can’t dump that on someone else?  Someone didn’t DO that to me, that was my choice?  I didn’t want to think about it.  Choosing is not an easy process, but that’s the way the universe operates.  I tried to unlearn and block out what I was reading.  I just couldn’t, the genie was out of the bottle and now I’m grateful.

Every moment of every day we have choices to make.

choice eleanor roosevelt lisa lillibridge

When we make choices with personal authority and ownership they can actually help us learn a lot about ourselves.  I don’t know about you, but I will spend my lifetime trying to understand Lisa.  She’s actually a total pain in the ass—however, the more I know about her, the more I know and that’s never a bad thing…even if it’s painful in the short term.

happiness is a choice

happiness lillibridge dakota 1966

After a wonderfully dense four hour conversation this morning with two very smart thoughtful friends over coffee, pastry and strawberries I learned of the book: The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky. I wanted to give you a quick visual for the basis of the book. I personally need to use this pie chart as a quick visual reminder for my own happiness and choices.

“But what precisely can we do to hasten or bolster such increases in happiness? The answer lies in the pie chart theory of happiness. Recall that 50 percent of individual differences in happiness are governed by genes, 10 percent by life circumstances, and the remaining 40 percent by what we do and how we think-that is, our intentional activities and strategies.” Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside

OUR HAPPINESS IS WITHIN OUR POWER TO CHANGE not an entirely predetermined way of life. Let that marinade in your brain a while OR put that in your pipe and smoke it. Whatever resonates more for you. It might sound ridiculous, but some little changes could net big gains in your happiness level. Maybe worth a shot, huh?

Here’s the link to the book:
http://thehowofhappiness.com/