There are times when I think I have a great deal of control over my life, and then there are the times I am reminded how little control I actually possess. Sure, we might think we have control of our jobs, finances, relationships, etc., but in all actuality these things can change in the blink of an eye and there is not a thing we can do about it. At the end of the day there are only two things I believe we truly have control over: the choices we make and our attitude. Therein lies the conundrum; only once we start to realize we only have control at this fundamental level will we gain the power to create profound lasting change in our lives.
Choices: We alone are the masters of the choices we make. From getting out of bed, to going to work, to the meals we eat, we are in control. Now, there may be certain consequences (negative or positive) depending on the choices you make, but ultimately the buck stops with you. If you stop to think about this it is very powerful and it also bestows a great deal of responsibility upon each of us. We alone have the choice as to how we respond to being cut-off on the freeway on our way to work, or when someone takes “our” parking space, or when our significant other does something we don’t like, or when someone is using our favorite barbell at the gym. We are the only ones who can choose how we will respond. You and you alone have the choice to be great and create the life you have always wanted. We all are confronted with small choices everyday that compound and multiply to create life, as we know it. Do I eat that chocolate donut at work, or do I wake up 20 minutes earlier and cook a spinach omelet with avocado and fresh salsa? Do I surf the Internet for an hour at work, or do I use that time to try and produce more work and better my chances for promotion? Do I load up the barbell with the same weight I have been using for a year because I know it’s easy, or do I add an extra 10lbs and push myself to new limits? It is the small choices that we deal with everyday that mold and shape our lives. Like most things in life, the more often we do them eventually they become habitual. The same goes for the choices we make everyday. You know what the right choice is, and more often than not it will be the more difficult of the options. But in the end you will be all the better for it. It will start becoming habitual and you will begin traveling down the road that leads to the life you have always wanted. It will be hard, there will be failures, and there will be twists and turns in the road you didn’t expect, but in the end you will be able to look back with no regrets knowing the choices you made were your own and you gave it your very best.
Attitude: I believe many of us often forget and overlook how powerful the mind is. We are in constant control of our attitude. This doesn’t mean that external forces don’t have an impact on our attitude, but we alone decide how we will respond to them. Attitude is closely linked to choice, because we can choose what our attitude will be. Just like the choices we make can become habitual, so can our attitude. If we wanted to finish a WOD in 10 minutes but instead it takes 15, we have a couple options: a) we can get pissed, throw a temper tantrum, and make excuses; or b) we can accept that our time was not what we wanted it to be, analyze what went wrong, and create an action plan to achieve that 10 minute goal. I think we can agree that having attitude B is not only healthier but will lead to future success. I know there are many annoyances and difficulties we are all faced with in our day-to-day lives. However, start small and try to implement responding to tough situations in a positive way. I would be willing to bet you will be happier, which in turn will lead to more success and enjoyment in other areas of your life, and will also enrich the lives of those around you.
We all have a limited amount of time on this Earth my friends. The New Year is right around the corner, and it is my hope and prayer that we will all start making the choices and have the attitudes that will allow us to create the lives we have always wanted.
“Life is short. Live your dream and share your passion.”
-Excerpt from The Holstee Manifesto
Good stuff, Matt! Like another saying from another blog I read- “Death is Winning, Do Something…”
Thanks, Joe. I really like that one and it is so true.