Recently I was listening to a podcast where the presenter used a very powerful phrase. As he chatted away with the guest about her philosophy for navigating life’s ups and downs, he shared a connection to a mantra he uses as something similar. He reflected on the importance of him remembering, ‘I chose this’. This anchor wakes him back up.
“As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears.” – Rumi
As I listened I was reminded of the science coming out of positive psychology. Roughly 50% of happiness is determined by genetics and 10% by life circumstances, but 40% depends on the choices we make (our daily activities). When our attention becomes mired within what we view as lacking, impossible or too challenging (genetics 50% + life’s circumstances 10%), we miss the opportunity to intentionally create where it matters most (the choices we make 40%).
“Ultimately, human intentionality is the most powerful evolutionary force on the planet.” – George B. Leonard
If we want positive change (either individual or collective) then we must embody it (be that change) through our thoughts, words and actions. Complaining, comparing, worrying, making excuses, blaming, ruminating, etc. might fill in time, but they aren’t going to get us where we truly want to go. There are definitely things in our lives that we don’t or wouldn’t want to choose for ourselves or others to navigate. But those things sit outside our spheres of influence. The phrase ‘I chose this’ seemed like a powerful way to bring attention back to intentionality when we feel it slipping away.
“Either you run the day or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn