So far in this How to Find Your Purpose series you have looked at where you are, discovered how to be open to the possibilities and how to identify the strengths and values that you have. The final part of this series is understanding the power of choice.
Now is not the time to spin out in woulda, coulda, shoulda land. What you have done up until this point is fine. Let it go and move forward with more mindfulness.
Choices Begin With Your Mindset
Norman Vincent Peale has this to say about the power of choice. “The greatest power we have is the power of choice. It is an actual fact, that if you have been unhappy, you can choose to be joyous, instead.
And, by effort, lift yourself into joy. If you tend to be fearful, you can overcome that misery by choosing to have courage. The whole trend and the quality of anyone’s life is determined by the choices that are made.”
Let’s take an obvious situation where you could use this reminder: your job. Whether it’s a boss that drives you crazy or the endless drama of office backstabbers, you have the power of choice.
You can choose to be annoyed, gnashing your teeth and let the feelings lead you to drink more, overeat and enjoy life less. Ugh those people! or you can simply choose to be happy.
How to Be Happy at a Job You Hate
Deal with workplace troublemakers with logic, not emotion.
When you interact with these apples of your ire, use what I like to call the the witness stand strategy. Answer only the questions people ask you with as few words as possible.
Do not elaborate, do not add information to sound witty or clever and do not ask a question. Yes, I will have the report to you today. No I am not going to Carl’s retirement party.
This does not mean you have to be terse, just stay detached and don’t let them suck you into their drama. They will get the point (eventually) and lessen their interaction with you because you bore them.
As a last resort, carry a file folder or binder with you and when you meet these troublemakers in the hall, say hi and pretend you have an important place to be.
Create a Pleasant Workspace
Being on a cube farm can be de-press-ing, big time. Scents, sounds and visuals can create a comfortable cubicle that you can actually enjoy. Bring items from home that make you smile such as a stuffed animal, pictures of loved ones and plants.
Bring in a lumbar pillow and a throw, a small area rug and some battery–powered candles. Get creative. Hello Pinterest.
Your Thoughts are Your Choices
Choosing is the most important activity of your mind. By making a choice, you are proclaiming your desires to your subconscious mind. Once the subconscious mind gets to know your desires, it is going to do anything to manifest them in your life.
Have you ever cleaned out a junk drawer and found a hole punch that you haven’t used in years? When you donate the item, you might have felt like you might need it in the future.
What do you know, a friend asks you to help her with wedding favors and you need to bring what? Yep, a hole punch. You were right. You knew you were going to need it and you did.
Now, what if you had let the hole punch go with the thought that it would be used by a scrapbooker or a teacher who needed that very item? Your friend would be asking for a glue gun or buying her wedding favors on Etsy. Try it. Instead of thinking something negative is going to happen, think of the most positive outcome. It may not happen right away, but you will see thinking this way will bring more blessings into your life.
Choices Equal Consequences
Everything is a choice. Everything we have or don’t have is a result of that choice.
Sometimes when the kids are fighting all day and the house is a mess and nothing seems to get anything done, remind yourself this was the life you chose — one tiny decision at a time.
2 Simple Choices to Change Your Life Now
1. Make the choice to be happy.
If your car gets a flat tire, choose to be happy that it is a problem with a simple solution — a new tire.
In the long-run your car will be safer to drive. You may not like shelling out for an unexpected expense, but it’s not going to ruin your happy.
Imagine your happy is a pink unicorn ballerina.
It’s your job to nurture this sweet, fragile unicorn with warm fuzzy-wuzzy thoughts. Lift her up with people who are positive and support you. Guard her from the Negative Nellies.
Make hard choices to protect your happiness. This could well mean shedding friends or quitting your job. It might mean saying that two-letter word, say it with me, NO!
- Professional appearance and demeanor.
- Passion for quality products and excellent customer service.
2. You are the boss — no delegating.
The second choice you can make that will change your life right now is to stop delegating your happiness.
A lot of us *raises hand* let others make choices for us. Or we make our choices according to what we think looks good, even if we go against our own wishes.
Stop it already.
How many times have you told someone you’d do something when deep down, you didn’t want to? Sure, going to a pretentious restaurant for an overpriced lunch sounds great! (I really want to just sit at home with my Kindle.)
What is right for someone is may not be right for you, and the way to know this is to listen to what your soul says.
1. Think about the times when you went against what your gut, heart, intuition was telling you.
Describe how you felt about the decision. What consequences did the decision have and how did those consequences affect you?
2. Think about the times when you went with your intuition and against what people wanted to do. How did make you feel? What were the consequences and how were they different from the example where you did not follow your gut?
In part 5, you’ll write a personal mission statement. The statement will keep you focused and help attract the opportunities you want and help you easily discard the ones that don’t fit your life. It’s your purpose, baby!