Happiness is an Inside Job
In re-reading one of Richard Bach’s books recently, Jonathon Livingston Seagull, this phrase struck me and I thought I would share it with you.
“Life does not require us to be consistent, cruel, patient, helpful, angry, rational, thoughtless, loving, tolerant, wasteful, rich, down-trodden, gentle, sick, considerate, funny, stupid, healthy, greedy, beautiful, lazy, responsive, foolish, sharing, pressured, intimate, hedonistic, industrious, insightful, capricious, wise, selfish, kind or sacrificed. What life does require, however, is to live with the consequences of our choices.”
What a great reminder! We do actually choose every action and emotion we have – whether we realize it or not. When bringing this to people’s attention from time-to-time, they often tell me that someone else has caused them to feel or act in a certain way. Well, as much as I wish it were so, it isn’t. Oh yes, there are times I would sure like to blame somebody else for my circumstances or feelings I’m having about something, but I can’t!
Then there is the person who assures me “I had no other choice”. Ah, but yes you did – you just did not like your options from which to choose. In those situations you must take time to weigh each option carefully and then choose the one that is best for the situation.
If each of us would embrace that last line of the quote – “What life does require, however, is to live with the consequences of our choices” – choose to be responsible for your choices: your actions, words, beliefs, thoughts, behaviors; what a positive impact it would have on you and the world. Think about how much less conflict there would be in your life, fewer petty quarrels at home and at work.
So I offer you a challenge: over the next 30 days you will choose 1 out of every 5 days (that’s 6 times) to be totally responsible for your choices – thoughts, actions, behaviors, words; make notes of your days and observe how the days are different for you.
Let me know how it goes and always remember, Your Chatter Matters.
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