“Every day brings new choices.” ~ Martha Beck
There is no question that we have to choose, the question is WHAT to choose. For every category of life we live there are choices to be made. How many options per category could there possibly be?
Endless. One choice leads to another. If you make 10 choices and change one, that one changes the other 9. At some point, the choices we’ve made line up and that’s where we stay.
Comfortable. That’s a good place to be; it’s like getting a good night’s sleep. You lay your head down on your pillow, all of a sudden the alarm goes off. You hit snooze 3 times.
You put your slippers on – right foot first, get done in the bathroom, get your robe that’s on the middle hook, have a cup of coffee, take a shower, dry your hair, get dressed, have your 2nd cup of coffee, put your make-up on, have breakfast, brush your teeth, assess the weather and dress accordingly, grab your keys and your purse, and go to work. All of that takes around an hour and a half.
To you it took no time because you didn’t pay attention to any of it. You refer to it as your “morning” or “getting ready for work”. You just did more than 25 things (I added some steps in the shower). If you said you did 25 things before you got to work every morning, no one would believe you. You wouldn’t believe you. At some point, you made and followed the same choices so long, they’ve now intertwined and combined to become one thing; a habit.
Many choices+sequence+repetition+time = 1 habit. Sometimes those choices poke their heads out and you’re wondering if there’s anything you missed because you just realized you were doing the 17th step but had no idea how you got to that point because you don’t remember anything from the 12th step to the 17th.
It happens more often than you think. That song you know so well, when something grabs your attention going back to singing that song and tapping your fingers are gone.
For whatever reason, you began to concentrate on something else. Concentration and habits do not mix. One cannot exist with the other. When you concentrate, you’re making choices. Habits are lack of thought.
It’s not that you can no longer think for yourself, it’s that you’ve thought for yourself so much you no longer need to. When it comes to your morning habit, it’s not that big a deal, unless you change one thing. Just one. Change one and you have to think about everything you do because of it.
It’ll most likely be uncomfortable. You’ve left your comfort zone. Sometimes that’s the best place to be. You’re alert, informed, thinking 3 moves ahead, catching discrepancies so you know who to trust, learning how to trust yourself. At some point we realize life is made of one choice after another.
“Life is a choice – as is how you handle the pitfalls along its bumpy road.” ~ Julie Donner Andersen
Choices are never ending. Choices are permanent. It is not possible to un-choose. We have to choose again. And again. We choose what we do and we do what we know. We don’t walk into life blind. We see who we want to be and the life we want to live. All we can do is hope our choices get us there. Everything is your choice, it’s a long journey with millions of combinations.
There will be many mountains and valleys, clear skies on a sunlit path, and dense forest to fight through. Every choice is a fork in the road. Nothing is so thick you need a knife to cut through it. Nothing so soft you can dig your way out.
A fork can be used for both. If you turn it on its side, it’ll get you through a rough patch. It can be used straight on to scoop. Forks won’t change but their use can. You used one fork, leave it behind. You’ll always find another. I hope you’re hungry.