What do you think Is the most important word in the English language?
Do you think it’s “love“? How about ”yes“? You could also make a good case for “thanks” or, certainly, “God.” Maybe even “I am” (or we could say ”I’m” if we want to play by the single-word rule).
But my vote goes to a simple, less dramatic word:
Because no matter what you do–or don’t do–in your life, it all starts with a decision.
- You have to decide to say yes (or no)–to opportunities, to life, to yourself.
- You have to decide to follow your passion (or not).
- You have to decide to listen to (or ignore) your inner wisdom.
And even when things happen to you that are beyond your control–for instance, if you’re struck by Cupid’s arrow of love, filled with gratitude, or touched by a moment of involuntary grace–you still decide how to respond: You can share your love, express your gratitude, or respond to the higher calling–or you can ignore your feelings and do nothing.
It’s always your decision!
And every moment of your life presents a decision–sometimes big, sometimes small. Every moment presents you with a fork in the road–or at least a decision to keep going, stop, or turn around and head in a different direction.
And your life represents the sum total of all of the decisions you make. Or, as Ralph Waldo Emerson put it:
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”
Isn’t this wonderful? Isn’t it so empowering? It means that you’re not at the mercy of fate or genetic chance or societal programming. It means you get to decide who you are!
But this also means that you can’t pass the buck!
If you’re unhappy with your life, you can’t blame someone else.
- You can’t say, “My boyfriend made me quit my job”–because it was you who decided to take his suggestion (and stay with someone so domineering).
- You can’t say, “I’m stuck”–because you can always decide to shift your perspective, head in a different direction, and make different choices.
- And you can’t pretend that you don’t have a choice–because you always do!
You just have to choose to choose.
P.S. True, crazy story about this post: While I was writing this, my wife, Jodi, came and asked me if I could look at a guest post she had just written for another site. It was called, “The Power of Choice.” Neither one of us had any idea of what the other was writing. (Cue “Twilight Zone” music.) Either it’s something in our house’s water, or we’re definitely on the same wavelength.
P.P.S. And, speaking of my awesome wife, her ecourse, Coming Back to Life, starts in less than two weeks (on October 1). If you’re looking for a supportive community of like-minded people, helping one another in our journey of “coming back to life”–this might be the perfect course at the perfect time for you!
The course includes weekly activities, a private Facebook group, weekly chats, and soulful contributions (videos, written pieces, and more) from Kris Carlson (Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff series), Jen Louden (The Woman’s Comfort Book), Lori Deschene (TinyBuddha.com), and dozens of others (including me). Click here to learn more about the course and to see if it’s right for you (or anyone else you know).
(photo copyright: 123RF Stock Photos)