The greatest control we have in our lives is the power of choice. We are who we are today based on every single choice we have made up until this very moment. Every day you have the choice of what to eat for breakfast, how to greet your co-workers arriving at work, the choice of smiling, the choice of reminding yourself, “This is going to be a great day.” Making positive choices and how we choose to respond to our environment plays a major role in how we feel and impact how our brain functions. Our choices wire our brain, over time, to think in a positive way or choose to see the negative.
Take “Sarah” who constantly chooses to participate in gossip and looks at the glass half empty, more than likely she may be feeling more stressed & depressed than her co-worker, “Beth,” who chooses to focus on the positive things happening and looks at the glass half full. The difference between these two people is the power of choice. We all have the good, the bad, and the ugly hit us throughout our lives. When you are making positive choices you make it a lot easier on yourself to deal with the bad and the ugly.
Think of happiness as a choice: the choice to reprogram your brain to look at the positive. “There are two core truths about positive emotions. One is that they open us. They literally change the boundaries of our minds and our hearts and change our outlook on our environment,” Barbara Fredrickson, Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a leading researcher of positive emotions.
We know negative things happen and the majority of the time those things can be out of our control. However, we need to choose a positive response. Have you ever noticed that the people who are the most pessimistic seem to be highly stressed? These people who choose to be more negative always seem to be complaining they have no time, that their job sucks, and that they are just so tired. I believe there is a correlation between people who choose to be negative and their idea that they have no time. I also believe there is a correlation between people who do not take care of themselves, physically and nutritionally, and they seem to always be stressed about money and seem stressed 24/7.
Once we can take responsibility for our choices and own our choices we can then begin to see why we are where we are in life. Remember to look beyond the glass (half full or half empty) because more than likely there is a full pitcher waiting. Things are never as bad as they seem and if they are then being optimistic will help pull you out of whatever bad is going on.
Challenge: Every night over the next 10 days write down three positive things from your day. See how you feel day 11.