Are you looking for a word that can immediately alter your life? A word so powerful that noted associate professor Kurt Carlson of Georgetown University calls “the one universal truth that seems most provocative, useful and unconditional” to affect change in your life forever?
You might be thinking that the word is “love”. After all, everyone needs love to make positive changes in their lives, right? No, the word is not love.
The word that will immediately alter the course of your life and move you from your current situation to a potentially better one is: choice.
Choice Is The Key To Affecting Positive Change
Each moment of our lives, with every breath we take, we make a choice. This choice can be positive or negative, good or bad, water or fire.
The key to affecting positive change in your life is making good choices. And the key to making good choices is to be aware of the paths set before you and the consequences each holds.
Here are some steps to making better choices in your life:
- The first step towards making good choices is to be aware that you are always making choices. You choose to hit the snooze button in the morning. You choose to watch scary movies. You choose to befriend people with good or bad habits. You choose to get married. You choose to live in the suburbs. You choose, you choose, you choose. Life is a series of millions of choices and you are the owner of each one you make.
- The second step towards making good choices is to understand that there is always a good choice presented to you. It may not be to your liking. It may challenge you to move out of your comfort zone and cost you. You may not fully understand the positive far-reaching effects it has, but a good choice is available in every situation and is there to be chosen. You just need to take that first step in choosing the good.
- The third step is implementation. Once you have made the choice for good, you have to act on it.
Making The Right Choice Can Be Difficult
There can be, however, a few roadblocks that may stand in your way to choosing the right path. These roadblocks may be stark, in-your-face deterrents or subtle, hidden impediments that suddenly appear out of nowhere.
Take parenting as an example. Choosing what is right for a child can be influenced by peers and the child’s friends. A good parent knows that letting them watch House of Cards or playing Postal 2 (rated #1 most violent video game) is not giving their child good life lessons. Yet, they allow the child to participate since their friends allow their children to do so. Plus, the parent does not feel like putting up with a tantrum from their child, especially if it is inconvenient at the time. This is an example of stark, in-your-face roadblocks – those one can readily see and understand why they are making the choice they made.
A more subtle roadblock is automatically agreeing to letting their child watch House of Cards or play Postal 2 without careful consideration. This automatic choice is born of a habit, and that habit was most likely influenced by past hurts, such as always being told no when one was a child. Past hurts and past poor choices can, through habits and normative behaviors, subtly infiltrate decision-making, leading to more poor choices.
Taking the time to analyze the roadblocks in your decision-making process will help you to define the choices you want to make and overcome the impediments keeping you from implementing them.
Choice Is Power To Change Your Life
The good news is that you have, in your power, the opportunity to make a choice for a positive change in your life every second of every day, right at this very moment. Be an agent of constructive change for yourself – identify positive choices, understand your roadblocks, and choose for the good.
Choice is the most powerful word in your life. In a single moment with a single decision, it can move you towards loving more, caring more, living more, and being more. What choice will you make right now?