Here are some of the most common things people tell me they have to do:
Go to work
Feed my kids
Clean the house
Wear a seatbelt
Brush my teeth
The problem is that you don’t have to do any of these things. They are all chosen.
You choose to go to work so that you don’t get fired
You choose to feed your kids because you love them or, at the very least, would prefer not to deal with CPS
You choose to clean your house because it is uncomfortable not too, or maybe because of CPS again
You choose to wear a seatbelt because you don’t want to get a ticket or go through the windshield
You choose to take showers so that people don’t give you dirty looks or bully you on Facebook
You choose to brush your teeth to have acceptable breath and not get cavities
You choose to pay your bills so that you don’t destroy your credit and get your electricity turned off
You choose to pay your taxes so that you don’t go to federal prison
Everything is a choice.
You even choose to sleep to some extent because it feels good and so that you don’t die like that guy in China.
You choose to keep breathing everyday so that you don’t die. This isn’t a simple choice for some people. I have pre-printed contracts for people to sign promising that they will not choose to quit breathing between appointments.
Acknowledging choice is important.
It is easy to fall into the belief that we are trapped on a rail and that we are being dragged through life with all these things we just have to do, but they are all chosen. You don’t really have to do much of anything except die someday.
What would your life look like if you acknowledged that everything you do, you do by choice? Are there things you might not do if you honestly considered them as choices instead of forced obligations?
Now, this isn’t me telling you to stop doing the good things you do, but an encouragement to take ownership of choices.
This allows you to recognize the power you have in your own life, and to address things you are doing that might not be healthy.
Seriously, keep breathing, sleeping, going to work and feeding your kids.
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I write, podcast and make videos about living in freedom through mindfulness, intentionality, compassion, and equanimity.
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