We have been told we can have, be and do ANYTHING we can imagine. How exhilarating!
At the same time, a little-spoken-about phenomenon often occurs when we begin contemplating change in our lives. We have decided to open our minds and pick from the multitude of potential opportunities awaiting us, and it’s very exciting. So why do we sometimes feel overwhelmed by the choices?
Remember when you were a child and you changed what you wanted to be ‘when you grew up’ almost daily? Of course it felt like you had all the time in the world, and from that space of limitless possibilities, you knew you could explore and change your mind and explore some more. YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO DECIDE.
Fast-forward to the adult world, many years later. Life – at least this life – seems a little more finite. Choices seem a lot more set in stone, and more difficult to change. You know what? They ARE more difficult to change. We have much more deeply developed personalities, beliefs and behavior patterns as adults, and often they stem from years of acting in a certain way. Somehow, we have lulled ourselves into thinking that we are not at cause; that things outside of us are to blame or at fault – or occasionally to credit – for major events and minor irritations in our lives.
Along comes the discovery (reminder?) that we can create our lives to order. We learn that we can think our way into a new reality, and we have more control than we’ve been giving ourselves credit for. ALL of our experiences are based on what we have been thinking. Before now, we believed it was:
EXPERIENCE >>> REACT >>> EXPERIENCE
when instead it really works like this:
BE/THINK >>> EXPERIENCE >>> REACT/CREATE BASED ON FEEDBACK/EXPERIENCE
There is an important key here which allows for integrating more power into your life by making conscious choices, but first let’s review what happens. When people begin to realize how much possibility they really have, it can feel so overwhelming that instead of being exciting, it becomes scary or intimidating. How can we choose when there is such sheer volume of possibilities from which to choose? Underneath the excitement and sense of freedom lies fear, apprehension and lack of surety. This phenomenon leads to paralysis, ie. doing nothing instead of something, which, of course, brings the same result as having had no choices at all.
Facing our mortality is one way to really put our potential choices in sharp focus. When we truly know that our time here is limited, we see how wise it is to make the best of that time. We must not confuse the ability to do anything with the potential to do everything. Our possibilities are indeed almost limitless, but our time here is not. Therefore, we must DECIDE between the possibilities, at least for now. For this life, we must give some serious thought as to what we would like to accomplish.
Let’s use travel as an example to illustrate this powerful skill to exercise choice and thus achieve more in our lives. Let’s say that you have always wanted to ‘travel the world someday.’ If you have not defined it further than that; if you have not put together a plan as to which specific countries or experiences are MUSTS on this world travel list, then you may never do any of it. There are hundreds of countries and sights to see on our beautiful globe. Unless you narrow down your choices, you may leave that goal of world travel as a wish, rather than seeing it accomplished. For those whose list includes this goal, ask yourself a simple question: which places do you HAVE to see before you die?
Try it – it’s enlightening. All of a sudden, your mind is forced to make sense out of what was a vague and glittery ‘someday’ goal. Is it Paris or San Francisco? Is it both? What can you live without?
When you begin to truly define what it is you want, you will find that your mind becomes skilled in creating priorities: ‘This is a must. That is a ‘would be nice but I can live without it’.’ The great part about this is that by nurturing this skill (which your mind has always possessed), your chances of accomplishing things jump a thousand-fold. Instead of an overwhelming list of possibilities, you begin to form solid goals, and with this comes confidence – and the realization that you actually CAN accomplish those things on your list.
Accept your ability to do anything you choose, and then CHOOSE. Narrow your choices and increase your level of achievement and success!