As I continue my trip to England and enjoy spending time with my family here, I’m constantly reminded of lovely times from the past. Like how when I was a child, every Wednesday evening, my dad would take me to piano lessons. He’d then take me to a sweet shop where I would often spend way too long trying to choose a chocolate bar. I’m forever in awe at Dad’s patience waiting for me to choose!
It got me thinking about how powerful having a choice is. Every day (if we’re lucky) we are given SO many choices! Some small – what will I have for breakfast? What will I wear? Some large. (Shall I marry my partner? Should I sell my house?)
Sometimes, though, it’s only when our choices are taken away do we realize how valuable it is – the ability to choose. The choice to walk, talk, sing, laugh, eat, move. Simple choices we take for granted every day, right up to those big life choices we make that shape our lives.
One choice I believe we overlook and maybe don’t appreciate is how we spend our time every day. Our ‘career’, our ‘job’ – the activity that we do every day that pays the bills and fuels our life. Most of us have a wide range of choices as to how we spend our days. From when we are young, we get given opportunities to take so many different and fulfilling paths.
So why is then, I wonder, that so many people choose every day to turn up to jobs that merely, or sometimes not even, tick the boxes, pay the bills, fill in time. How do they allow life to turn into a dreary drudge of existing with their days spent doing things that don’t fulfill their lives more than making money? When you think about it, it’s truly crazy. But I understand how it happens.
- We choose from fear instead of faith.
- We choose from duty instead of joy.
- We choose from doubt – based on what we know now, rather than what we believe we can achieve.
I believe it’s as simple as my good friend Robyn Pacey reminds me – by choosing from the heart:
How do you choose from the heart? You find your own center and make a choice from there
- Make time and space for SELF-AWARENESS
- Allow yourself the ritual of SELF-CARE
- Listen to your true self and follow your JOY COMPASS
- Build your SELF-CONFIDENCE
- Learn how to re-center and RECOMMIT to what you truly care about.
Make time and space for SELF-AWARENESS
Self-awareness is as simple as allowing yourself time to hear your innermost thoughts and asking yourself the right questions. Sometimes they’re the ones you avoid. The more self-aware you are, the more you can make decisions that align with you and bring you more joy and fulfillment. If you find it difficult making decisions, it means you do not really know yourself and leads to making choices to please others – more duty than joy!
Allow yourself the ritual of SELF-CARE
Self-awareness incorporates self-care. Being kind to yourself means you allow yourself time to think, to breathe, to rest, to be. Instead of filling your life up with demands, duties, and distractions, you give yourself the gift of time to yourself, to refill your energy, to re-spark your life and hear and honor your desires.
Listen to your true self and follow your JOY COMPASS
When you are more self-aware, you allow time for self-care, you are more able to listen to and be your true self – and then you can recognize and follow your JOY COMPASS. Your joy compass is always there, but sometimes we hear, but we don’t acknowledge. We ignore the obvious and take the difficult path instead of the joyful one. Choices sometimes require courage to go a different way, choosing a different path – one that is non-conventional or maybe not approved by family or friends. Allowing yourself the simple gift of exploring what it is that really lights you up keeps your life on a truly joyful path.
Build your SELF-CONFIDENCE
With a clear sense of self, you are ready to test out your choices and allow yourself forgiveness of making mistakes. You know that decisions are not necessarily right or wrong, just different. You don’t let others dictate and totally guide your life, but you have faith that whatever choice you make you will accept and move forward with. You know you can handle the outcome and that it’s only a wrong choice if you decide it’s a wrong choice. Every decision, every action you make can be re-framed as the right one and every outcome can be seen as being OK if you choose to see it that way.
Learn how to re-center and RECOMMIT to what you truly care about.
And as you are self-aware, enjoy regular self-care, follow your joy compass with self-confidence – the only thing left to do is keep doing it! Making a choice one day means you need to follow it through. Most decisions require an ongoing commitment of some kind – so your task is to do what it takes to get back to your self-assured, self-confident ‘self’ to keep moving forward and take the necessary steps to keep going. It’s a circle – you listen, you take care of yourself, you make a choice based on joy, you confidently move forward and then you do it all over again!
If we could all choose from the heart, make decisions based on courage rather than fear and choose joy over duty, I wonder how the world would look?