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Each New Choice

In my quest to help others live their dreams, I talk with a lot of people about the subject. As you might imagine, a question I commonly ask others is 'Are you living your dreams?' Of course, if they are not, then the next question to address would be 'why not?' This usually begins an important discussion about a person's beliefs and their exposure to goal setting, positive environments, role models and the principles of success.

A second and equally important question involved in this discussion is 'Have you defined your dreams and decided to LIVE the characteristics and traits of that dreamer personified?'

Many of us who are on the personal development road get caught in the 'waiting for our dreams to come true' trap; while we are happy and grateful most of the time, we expect we will be much happier and even more grateful when our 'dreams come true.'

What we all need to remember is that life is NOW. Will we look back when we've achieved some of our bigger goals and see that we have wasted countless days and hours longing for a better future?

While having goals and striving for them with focus and persistence is important, so too is living our now moments with fulfillment and richness. Isn't that what we are striving for anyway?...

bookAs an example, if your 'future' ideal self is one who is excited, positive, free from fear or worry, do you assume it is because he/she has plenty of money or lives in a dream house? Step back for a moment, because this thinking is definitely on the wrong track. There is NOTHING outside of you that can make you feel powerful, happy or satisfied. While you may gain a temporary inflated feeling from getting a new car or buying your dream home, those feelings are simply internal ones, being amplified by the newness of your accomplishment.

All feelings are inside of you, and start with a choice you make beforehand and in the moment. While it may sometimes seem as if feelings take you over or come from somewhere else, I invite you to explore the part you and your thoughts have played in their creation. In doing so, you can begin to consciously choose to create otherwise, and then you really will be living the way you want, and attracting your dreams closer and closer to you.

Consider the 'feelings' a person may have after cultivating the following hypothetical thought patterns:
  • A: "Why do things always go wrong after a few dates?" "What is wrong with me that I cannot attract anyone good?" "Why does this always happen to me?" "Why can't I ever get a break?"
  • B: "This is useless. I don't know why I bother." "Sam always gets the plum jobs. God, I can't stand that guy." "She's such a phony. Whay can't everyone see through her like I can?"
  • C: "What a great day! I wonder what exciting things will happen today?" "What can I learn from this so I can do better next time?" "I have decided that I will always bounce back, no matter what happens. Nothing can stop me." "Do I feel like running today, or swimming?"
  • D: "Let me think of five good things about that person..." "I'm so grateful for all the good in my life, and I'm open for even more!" "What is needed here, and how can I contribute to this situation?" "What can I do right now that will move me toward my dreams?"

Follow the trajectory...as daily life unfolds, person A and person B will 'experience feelings' of frustration, anger, hopelessness, resentment, jealousy, and possibly even seething hatred. The physiology caused by such thought patterns is also dangerous for one's health.

Persons C and D, on the other hand, will likely 'experience feelings' of happiness, satisfaction, contribution, joy and gratitude, and the powerful feelings associated with achievement and anticipation of success. They will feel vibrant, energetic and excited about life.

As psychologist Daniel Gilbert points out in his amazing and deeply thought-provoking book 'Stumbling on Happiness,' we as humans are not fabulous at predicting how we will feel in the future. All the more reason, in my mind, to make conscious decisions about how we wish to feel and behave in any given situation.

By cultivating the thought patterns associated with the dream life we want and the dream person we want to be, we can begin to live that life NOW, with each new day. Each new choice puts you in the driver's seat of your life - begin making your choices consciously!



Theresa said...

Thanks Shauna :)

I was reading some of the posts at PDP earlier, and came across the link to here.

Unfortunately, I am very much into choices A&B right now. Proves I have backslidden again - time to turn things round!

Take care,

HighLife said...

Hi, Theresa;

Thanks for dropping by! It's always nice to hear from you.

Well, the first step is to know where we are, and where we're not. I know you'll turn things around, and the people here and at PDP (Click here to find out more about Personal Development Partners) are just the kind to support you in that, so don't forget to continue communicating!

Take care,


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