Monday, December 3, 2012

WORDS OF WISDOM: You Have a Choice

Quick announcement: For the Spring Semester, starting in December, due to author's traveling abroad (to Italy, South Africa, France, and more!) Unleashed will be published once a month. This semester, we will include guest articles written by people of interest: professors, musicians, wise parents, firefighters and more surprises to come!

“If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”

-Mary Engelbreit


Every day, all day, you have choices to make. What should I eat for breakfast? Or, what should I wear today? Or, the choices may require a bit more effort. Do I want to pay attention? Do I want to engage 100% in this activity? Do I want to be happier? Do I want to change?

Although many questions are not easy to answer, let alone ask, they are vitally important, and their answers will inevitably shape your life. Life is made up of a series of situations and circumstances in which you make decision after decision, all day long. And, the result are goals and accomplishments fueled you use your time, energy, money, and resources. As I’ve said, these can be simple, easy questions, or they can be more difficult. Either way, it is important that you make these decisions. If you don’t, other people will end up making them for you, or circumstances may dictate eventualities, both creating outcomes that may not be to your liking. What you "like" might be shaped by other people. Eventually, you begin to lose yourself in the crowd.

So, do you want to be happy? Do you want to work hard? Do you want to let the dog that pooped on your porch this morning ruin your day? Is your current relationship more than just convenience? Do you still love him? The choice is yours. No one else has the power to decide the answer to any of these questions for you. Not your friends. Not your mom. Not your boyfriend or your girlfriend. Not your grandma or your wife or your husband or your mentor or your therapist. No matter how much you love or respect another person, they cannot tell you what will make your heart come alive or what the world is supposed to look like through your eyes or who you’re supposed to be or what you’re supposed to do or who you’re supposed to love. No one can make you laugh or smile or drive four hours to see them without your consent. And your consent requires that a choice be made. You may not always know the answer right away, but ultimately the choice is still yours to make in time – don’t let the questions be pushed aside nor put up for public auction.

If you want to be happy, decide to be. Decide to take the time to get to know yourself, to listen to yourself, to learn what makes you happy and who makes you happy. And then dedicate time in your life to making mindful choices. It may seem silly, but next time you’re upset or frustrated, ask yourself is this how I want to feel right now? Do I really want to let her make me feel like this? You may be surprised at how easy it can be to simply change your mind.

As said by the New Radicals, “you only get what you give.” So put in the effort to make conscious choices. And when you do, remember how lucky you are to get to make that choice. There’s a good chance someone in the world right now is hoping for the right to make that choice, or for the good fortune to even be able to ask the question. Don’t forget to be grateful for the power and freedom you have in your life right now. It may bring new light to your situation.

May wisdom and grace be with you and your choices!


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The Words of Wisdom Column, Lia Vosti:
Lia Vosti is an undergraduate at Santa Clara University, majoring in Bioengineering. Growing up together, her words always made the most obscure situations crisp and clear. She is the up and coming Renaissance woman, able to give homely advise after a day in the lab, and wise beyond her years. 

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