Between stimulus and response is a space. In this space lies our freedom to choose our response. In these choices lie our growth and our happiness (Stephen Covey).
Making choices is a huge part of everyday life. Thankfully about 40% of our decisions are habits (according to a Duke University study) and are made without thinking but that leaves about 60% of our decisions require a conscious choice when faced with that space between stimulus and response.
The journey of hoping for the best and dancing with the rest is all about choices. It about choosing to hope when hope seems lost and choosing to poke around and look for purpose and potential when faced with a mess.
Lately, I’ve had to strengthen my resolve to keep choosing hope and choosing to dance with “the rest” due to an increase in physical pain. It’s been a little like driving in a Saskatchewan blizzard with limited visibility yet believing the Greyhound bus in front of me has a better view than I do and can be trusted to lead me through the storm and safe passage.
Every choice has a consequence. The consequence can be good or detrimental.
You are free to choose…
- hope for the future
- to dance with your pain and adversity
- to believe hope is lost
- to see pain as a problem to be avoided
But you are not free to choose the consequences of your choice!
In other words, if you fan the flame of hope and choose to see your adversity as an opportunity for growth and change – you will experience more strength, grow in character and inspire others in the process.
If there’s hope in the future, there’s power in the present (John Maxwell).
Hope is the foundational quality of all change (Alfred Adler).
If on the other hand, you choose to give up, quit looking for a greater purpose, stop reaching out for help, give in to despair, stop taking one moment at a time, you’ll be swallowed up by your own negativity and lose your way.
Hope is the great activator!
The belief that you will get through whatever you’re going through, will give you traction to keep putting one foot in front of the other. To be honest, I feel like a novice at this game of hoping for the best and dancing with the rest. But what I am learning is that as I step this out one day at a time and one moment at a time, I’m finding the peace and contentment I need to persevere.
Here are few of my “choice affirmations” that are helping me put hope into action!
- I choose to keep going
- I choose to believe things will get better
- I choose to look for beauty around me
- I choose to minimize my whining and keep it to a minimum
- I choose to pray my way through pain
- I choose to trust that God knows what He’s doing
- I choose to keep filling my mind with stories that inspire and give hope
- I choose to let things go when necessary
- I choose to let go of end dates and inflated expectations
- I choose to find things to do every day that can make a difference
- I choose to lean on others and ask for help when needed
We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust our sails (City of Hope).
How are the choices you are making today going to affect your future?