Reflecting on what I wanted to write about in this blog my mind kept coming back to the number of people I’m working with right now who feel stuck in their jobs. The extraordinary thing is that some of these people are self-employed and arguably in the driving seat of their own destiny. I’m constantly amazed by how often I meet business owners who are desperate to find ways to have greater meaning, fulfillment and energy in their lives.
Of course its not jut people who own their own businesses who are looking to create change in their lives. Every day I meet people at various stages on their journey who feel lost and compelled to change direction. So here I find myself yet again writing a blog about choices. The fact is life is all about choices – no matter what our dreams or the challenges we face along the way, the choices we make in every moment of every day are what define our reality.
It’s easy to point to examples of people who have made monumentally poor choices that have led to dire consequences. Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran chose to smuggle drugs from Indonesia and will mostly likely pay with their lives. Andreas Lubitz chose to fly a plane full of innocent people into the French Alps, creating unimaginable pain and suffering for so many people and ending any chance he himself has for a happy ending in life. These choices are so obviously wrong most of us will avoid making them.
What at times might not be quite so obvious are the every day choices we make that in the moment may seem inconsequential but in fact impact us greatly. All of the choices we make, big or small collectively define the person we are, the experiences we live and outcomes we create. Never before has that been more clear to me than yesterday when I had the enormous pleasure of attending my dear friend Michele’s wedding.
When I first met Michele eight years ago she was struggling with a lot of things in life – most importantly her self-belief and love. Her health was suffering and the depth of Michele’s loneliness was obvious to anyone close enough to observe. Today Michele is a shining example of someone who has made different choices in her life and as a consequence is thriving. While I cry at most weddings this was a particularly emotional day. Everyone there understood how far Michele has come and how much she and Neil deserve to have found one another.
Watching Michele as she beamed and glowed on her special day took me back all those years to the woman she used to be. Michele made an important decision – to thrive. That choice made every thing else she did to nurture her mind, body and spirit matter. She then chose to find the courage to confront her fears. Getting out of bed each morning, walking, eating well, volunteering, writing and spending times with friends were choices Michele made that allowed her to step up and out of the hole she found herself in.
Only Michele was able to take the steps she needed to – only she could make the choices in every moment that turned her life around. We all have the power to take back control and create the lives we truly want. How we choose to think about ourselves and our circumstances, how we choose to feel and ultimately how we choose act are what determines the path we go down and places we find ourselves. Life can be undeniably challenging but we always have choice – even when that’s hard to see. Among the most important choices any of us can make if we are to thrive in life include:
- Choose to Thrive
- Take ownership
- Take action
- Be mindful
- Be happy
- Have courage
- Let go
- Love yourself
- Be grateful