The Art of Choosing

I like options.

Back me into a corner, tell me I must do something, and there are zero options and I quickly transform from a sweet, quirky, sub-arctic dwelling woman into a pitbull that hasn’t eaten in weeks. You may just lose an arm if you pigeon hole me.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

That being said, if there are too many options I turn into a white fluffy cloud drifting aimlessly through the sky passively waiting for a gust of wind to move me.

More accurately, I LOVE restrained options.

If my life were a high school exam, it would be a multiple choice test with answers ranging from A to E and none of the answers would ever be ‘all of the above’.


The Art of Choosing.

I always have a good book on the go. Sometimes they are fun to read books, and other times they are ‘make you even more fabulous‘ books. Reading is helpful for my job. As a Leadership Coach, I am constantly looking for ways to improve myself and resource the most amazing people on the planet, my clients.

Seeing how I love restrained options, I immediately started reading this book when my husband brought it home from the library. I hope he didn’t actually want to read it.

He totally picked it up for me, right? Right.

I am only one chapter deep, but there are already some fabulous gems.

  • Choice is the ability to exercise control over ourselves and our environment. In order to choose, we must first perceive that control is possible.
  • The ability to choose well is arguably the most powerful tool for controlling our environment.
  • The perception of choice is as powerful as an actual choice.
  • Small changes in our actions, such as speaking or thinking, can have a big effect on our mental and physical state.
  • The min is independent, and indeed so free and wild, that it cannot be restrained even by this prison of the body, wherein it is confined.

Apparently I am a control freak.

Well if that is the case, at least I can choose to control my emotions, mood, words, actions, and reactions.

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Control freaks unite for greatness!

I offer you the option of reading this book with me. It could be fun and then we can take over the world, deal?

What is on your bookshelf this month? Why do you read?

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  1. Like you, I sometimes read for enjoyment and sometimes to learn. In the reading for pleasure department, I recently finished The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf and am now plowing through The Midwife’s Confession by Diane Chamberlain. Both are excellent reads. In the other department, I’m currently waiting for Canadian Woman Studies: An Introductory Reader to arrive at our local library. It’s a required text for an Athabasca U course that I’m considering taking.

    • Ooh, tell me more about the course Elaine! That sounds awesome! I am checking out the other two books you recommended as well. I always need a story to keep the ‘learning’ down to a dull roar. HAH!

      • I just took the Canadian Woman Studies book back to the library after slogging through about a third of it! Some of it was very interesting but other parts were too radically feminist for my liking. It focused only on women’s issues in Canada while my interests are more global. I agree that there are still issues that need to be addressed here at home but given what women in other parts of the world deal with, I’m not very tolerant of those who whine about life here. I’d still like to take a university course or two to keep my brain active but I think I’ll look for something else. In the meantime, summer’s here. It’s time for sunshine, camping and reading for relaxation only!

  2. Definitely won’t read it but may downlaod it on i-Tunes and listen to it while I work out. $18 price tag pretty hefty, but there are 8 real books in my bedside table and none have moved since March 🙁 And I love listening to books while I workout — I sharpen to aspects of my being with but a single hour….

    • I love real books. I listen to podcasts and books while training, but I find the most benefit from books when I actually read them for myself. I know, call me old fashioned.

  3. I’ve just started reading again since we moved. We don’t plan on getting a TV, and we still don’t have internet, so I’m left with quite a lot of spare time! Plus I’m only working about 1/3 as much as I was before. Right now I’m seeing what all the fuss is about and reading 50 Shades of Grey… not quite as intellectual as your book of choice 😉

    • We don’t have TV either! I love it. Just the other day a man called and tried to add on TV services to my cable internet for only $1.98 a month…and I still wouldn’t do it. He thought I was a weirdo. hah!

  4. This: “The perception of choice is as powerful as an actual choice.” I HAVE to have choices or I feel smothered and restrained. Even if it’s just the perception of a choice, it’s good enough for me.

    I read for pure enjoyment. I very rarely read “intellectual” books because for me, reading is an escape. It’s my way of zoning out and completely relaxing (even when I’m on the dreadmill!). I just finished 50 Shades of Grey and will start the 2nd one of the series this afternoon (on the dreadmill, natch). My fav authors are chick lit writers, but I’m also a snob about well-written books. I get crabby when I begin reading a book that I consider poorly written.

  5. If we look at this from a dieting perspective, it’s one reason I teach people how influential perception is. The second you say to yourself “I can’t have that”, THAT is the one thing you will not stop thinking about. If you can say “I’m choosing not to” you will most likely feel more empowered. You are in control- the food is not controlling you. We like choice, but we also like rules, structure, and boundaries. We thrive with it. But too rigid of structure, and we are like a jack-in-the-box. GET ME OUT! In relationships, in parenting….choice is key to feeling a sense of power, control, and independence. Through choice we create meaning. Children grow up feeling more empowered and secure when they can make choices, when they are given opportunities to choose, but when those choices are secured by expectations and boundaries that are expected and known. For some people choices have a high cost. Too many and we become overwhelmed. Once you choose, you give up something else, and that’s scary for some. It’s good to remember that you can always choose to change your mind though too! 🙂

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