You Have A Choice
Over the past few weeks I have been listening to people’s stories. Stories about how they dealt with problems in their daily lives such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Depression, car accidents, job loss, trips to exotic places, and more.
I started to think about some of the motivational speakers I have listened to and how they overcame circumstances in their lives, which led to their success in certain areas. You too may have seen or heard some of these people. People like Terry Fox, Nick Vujicic (pronounced ‘Vooy-cheech’ , Lance Armstrong, Carolyn Waldo, Kurt Browning, Patric Chan, Joannie Rochette… and others.
The reason they had a story to tell was that they made a choice. A choice to overcome whatever obstacle they had to face. There are many others who were in the same circumstance, but you don’t hear about them.
Each of us has a choice to make every single day. We have choices about what we eat, what we will wear, whether or not we will go to work, how we will get to work, whether or not we will exercise, eat healthy meals, visit friends, watch tv, what programs we will watch, etc. etc. etc. And the choices we make will determine whether or not we achieve success or simply stagnate.
If we choose to feel sorry for ourselves because of something that has happened in our lives, we won’t grow and we won’t learn from the experience. If we keep on complaining, no one wants to listen and we lose our friends. We can act positively, or react negatively. Our attitude is 100% our choice.
Like you, I have had to make many choices in my life, some have worked out and some did not, but every time I made a choice I learned a lesson.
For instance, in 1979 when my husband left me in February our house had frozen pipes and no indoor plumbing. I had a 6 month old baby, a 4 year old and a 6 year old. I had a choice. To go home to my parents (who really had no room for me) or to stick it out until the plumbing thawed. My in-laws were super fantastic and fed us every weekend and let me do my laundry at their house. I pumped water from the well and heated it on the oil stove. I learned to survive and I remained close to my in-laws, even to the point at being with my mother-in-law when she died with my ex’s new wife on the other side of the bed.
I was invited to attend a group of divorced and separated women. The first meeting I attended I heard several stories about what a “rat” the person’s spouse was. Each woman seemed to dwell on the rottenness of their spouse and no one seemed to want to move on. The first meeting was my last. I did not want to waste any more time on a dead relationship, but wanted to move on to the future. I chose to go forward, not stagnate.
My husband and I had reconciled, but in 1986 when I found out that my husband had continued to cheat on me, I had a choice – to stay with him or ask him to leave. Although life was tough as a single mom with 4 kids, I learned to cope and thrive.
In 1987 I had a choice to make – stay home with my young son, or take a position with a brand new service – Youth Employment Service. After weighing the possible outcomes, I chose to take the job, which has led to my current employment.
When I decided to take post-secondary education I had to make a choice on whether I would attend classes at night, go to school full-time, or take distance education and study at home. I chose the latter and graduated in 2000 after 13 years of studying. I attended my graduation with almost my whole family. My dad had died in 1999 and my granddaughter was with her mother, but the rest of the family was there including my best friend who flew in from Seattle.
When I lost my job just after New Year’s in 2000, I had a choice to make. Go home and cry and whine about how unfair life was or call all the people I knew to let them know that I was unemployed and looking for work. I chose to call people and drop in to visit people I knew and I had a job 6 weeks later.
When my employer decided that I would only be working 4 days a week, I had a choice to make – find some additional employment that would fill in the financial gap or fall further into debt. I chose to look at options and chose a part-time job doing career counseling over the telephone.
When the opportunity came to run for the office of Toastmasters District PRO (Public Relations Officer), I chose to take it. I remember reading years ago that the best way to find out about an organization is to become part of the Executive and because of this I have served on the Executive of every club from CAPS in 2000 to Toastmasters since 2003, as well as my local church.
When my blood pressure rose 4 points while I was sitting in the doctor’s office thinking about work, I had another choice to make. To stay with my current employment or to resign. I decided to resign and I have been self-employed as a Career Counsellor since 2011.
There are always choices to be made as daily life goes by. There are changes in our world and changes in our lives. There are those who come and those who go. There are those who enrich, and those who drain. There are thoughts which improve our daily grind, and there are thoughts that depress us and bring us down. Each decision you make changes you in some way, positively or negatively.
You have a choice about what happens in your life. The possibilities are endless,
but you must choose which way you will go. Choose wisely!
To your success