Do you feel controlled by your “to-do list?” Are you running ragged just trying to make it through the day with all the things you have to do? Do you feel out of control with your life? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you need to read this post …
Bret and I usually start our day by asking each other, “What do you have to do today?” On the surface, a very thoughtful question. We care about each other and want to know what the other person will be doing each day. But, underneath that question is a powerful misconception. The misconception is that there is anything that we have to do.
It has been said that the most powerful thing that God gave to each of us is the power of choice. In reality, apart from breathing and other automatic bodily functions, we have the power to choose absolutely everything else.
Take a minute and think about what you have to do today? Does it include any of the following:
- setting the alarm so you can get up at a certain time
- going to work
- attending meetings
- taking a child to an appointment or social engagement
- cleaning the house
- mowing the lawn
- making a meal for your family
These all seem like things that we have to do but, in reality, they are all things we choose to do. Did you grumble when you set the alarm last night? I know that I did. It went something like this, “Ugh, we have to get up at 5:15 so we can go to the gym in the morning!” But that perspective makes me feel like a slave to the gym; it is discouraging and gives me the opportunity to complain. Think about the difference, if I change the statement to, “I am choosing to set the alarm for 5:15 so that we can go to the gym and stay active and healthy.” History has proven that getting up to go to the gym is definitely a choice. There are plenty of mornings when the alarm goes off, I reset it for an hour later and don’t go to the gym. Since it is a choice, I should treat it as such.
But, what about things that don’t feel like a choice? Did you say this morning that you have to go to work? If so, it was probably in a discouraged tone, dragging your feet out the door. But I would contend that you actually chose to go to work. You could have stayed home. Sure, there would be consequences for the decision. Make that decision too many times and you will probably lose your job, but it is still a decision that you could make.
Admittedly, it is easier to say that we have to do things because to admit that we made the choice also takes away the opportunity to complain and feel like a victim. Did you ever say, “I am going to gain ten pounds during the holidays because of all the goodies we have to eat when company is around.” It would be more accurate to say, “I am choosing to eat these Christmas cookies because they taste good, even though it goes against the diet that I have committed to eat.” Ouch!
But admitting choice is also admitting power. You have the power to say “yes” or “no” to everything. You actually have the power to control your “to-do list.” If you feel like there is too much on your schedule, then start cutting some things out. Determine what your priorities are, admit the choices that you make and start taking control of your life!
If we start owning the choices that we make every day, it could change our lives. How could your life change if you started taking back the power to choose? Please comment below and we can help each other!