The greatest superpower every human has is the power to choose.
However, we are not aware of how powerful and transformative that power is.
I’m not talking about our ability to choose which shirt we are going to wear or which job we are going to take. Yes, we all have that ability, but I wouldn’t say those choices are necessarily transformative.
What I mean is that we have the ability to choose how we feel. In other words, you experience only the effects of your choices.
We live in a world created by our own thoughts. We choose which thoughts we believe, and therefore we create our life.
Yesterday, my son was mad at me. He threw a toy to me and it hurt. My first thoughts were in line with how disrespectful he was, how dared he, etc. But I decided to let those thoughts go. I didn’t buy into them. Instead, I remembered an article I read some time ago about how the brains of children are still not developed, and their frontal cortexes are not mature enough to control their impulses. I chose to believe this. The result is that I felt calm almost instantaneously. I felt sorry for him because I could see he was sad for hurting his dad. Although that’s only the story I made up in my head, it made me want to connect with him.
By choosing which thoughts I believed, I was able to connect with my son throughout the afternoon instead of having an afternoon full of anger and resentment.
We all have the ability to choose every time, in every situation.
Another example: the other day I had a session with a client and she didn’t see the point I was trying to make; the session was not great. After the session, I could have decided to believe one of the following:
- That she was not smart enough,
- That I was not good enough, or
- That the connection just didn’t happen this time.
In the past, I would have chosen the second one, and I would have punished myself and felt like I should have been able to find another way to make a living. I would have brought those thoughts into my next sessions, which would have affected how I performed because I wouldn’t be able to fully be with the next person. Instead, I would be engaged with my own thoughts of self-pity. And that would help neither me nor my client.
This time, I chose to believe the third option; the connection just didn’t happen. My next thought initially would have been, “Who is responsible for that?” but I could see how that question was not going to be the most helpful one and so let it go. Another question arose in my head: “Is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening again?” I mentally reviewed the session and saw a few things I could have said differently. And another one question: “Is there anything I can do now to help my client see what I was trying to show her?” I searched the Internet and found a couple of videos that illustrated my point and sent them to her.
Can you see how, with all the options I had, my choices led to what I experienced?
This happens in our lives all the time, in every situation with everyone we encounter.
Choose wisely and create a life you love.