All You Own Are Your Choices – Use Them Wisely

I have a friend with high blood pressure, a low tolerance for the unexpected, a quick fuse and a teenager.  This is not a good combination.  When the child or any random person in their universe does something that aggravates my friend I get a call.


My job is to listen but more importantly to continue to repeat the phrase, “I know, just take a breath you can get through this.”    It is my little contribution to keep his child and unsuspecting inconsiderate people safe and him out of the hospital from stroking out.


Somewhere along the lines he never learned to use his own little voice in his head to calm himself down and I have since been appointed.  We’re working on making the choice to let it go rather than get upset about it – whatever it may be on any given day.


We all have that choice but we rarely use it, which is a shame because it is a freeing choice.


My best friend is the most positive and optimist person I have ever known.  If you all think I’m a happy shiny person you would need shades around her.  This is one of the things I love about her: she can see the positive in the most annoying or upsetting, no matter how small.


She does this as a choice and it did not come easy.


Every day something can happen that can really throw a monkey wrench in an otherwise great day.  At that moment, that very instant that you have a physical reaction and immediate negative thought it is the golden opportunity.


You cannot help your natural reaction.  The other day I was driving home and a woman darted in front of me coming within just a few inches of my front bumper and then immediately braked.  My natural reaction was not a happy one.


But in the very next instant I chose to say aloud that I was glad it was me she cut in front of instead of a car full of teenagers, a mother with her young child in the car or an angry driver with road rage.  They might not have been paying attention but luckily I was and was able to avoid an accident.


It was a conscious decision to let it go.


For the next mile that we crept along in traffic I found it ironic that she did not let one person into our lane, actually taking great measures to ensure no one would get in front of her.  I felt sad for her, how lonely a life that is completely and selfishly centered on oneself.


Once I got home I enjoyed some time out on my deck in the sunshine with my crazy pack.


I had a friend once that told me they were bad at relationships, they never lasted and were basically afraid to commit now.  Well, hell, any single person could make that claim!  I could look back at my relationship history and draw the same conclusion –but I choose not to.  It is a choice and I chose to be grateful for lessons learned, opportunities experienced and keep moving forward.


Things happen, small or big, minor or significant – bad things happen.  It is life.  As William Goldman said, “Life isn’t fair.  It’s just fairer than death, that’s all.”


Letting things go isn’t easy, you have to make the choice to do so and continue to make that choice when something seems to want to creep back in but it can be done.  It is like developing a healthy workout routine: it takes time, practice, repetition and commitment.


Just as you will reap the rewards of better physical health in committing to working out you can reap the rewards of better mental health by committing to let things go.


You are lighter from not carrying baggage and letting go of the weight of frustration, pain or anger.  Your eyesight also improves because you are able to see more happy moments due to not being clouded with holding on to the things that you choose to make you upset.


Sometimes you have to start with the small stuff to work up to the bigger hurdles.  Traffic was an easy practice and let’s face it – we are given lots of opportunities throughout the day for small practice sessions.


Once you start to master those then you can start working on the bigger stuff.  A loved one says something that hurts your feelings, being passed over for a promotion, a break up, a job loss – whatever comes along that causes you pain.  You get to choose.


You cannot always control what happens to you, but you can choose how it will impact you moving forward.  You get to choose.


Make a wise choice and commit to it.


It is then that you will begin to see how that choice and commitment seem to lessen the effect of the event.  The pain lessens, perspective begins to be restored, other opportunities start to peek through the clouds and life moves if not in a more positive way at least in a definite less negative manner.


It is your choice – use it wisely.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.

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