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Conscious Choices

How many conscious choices do we make in our everyday life? By extension, how many conscious choices do we make in a lifetime? By conscious choices, I mean choices we make with motivations related to who we truly are, or think we are, and the life we wish to live, whether it is related to our inner self or to our ego?

Many of us walk through life without ever trying to understand the ins and outs of it. Since our earliest childhood, we have gotten used  not to question what works, what we have easy access to in our daily lives: How clean, drinkable water comes out of the tap? Where does electricity come from? What kind of food is good for us and why? How does our body work?

Since all those things are available to us at all time, we do not need to understand them to use them and we do so without questions. It is the same with our daily life: we create automatisms, actions so often repeated that they become as invisible as breathing and we do them out of habit and not by choice.

Our parents, schools, medias, society teach us how to behave, how to make the “right choices” and what items will bring us joy and fulfillment. Since internet has arrived in our lives, we are constantly overburdened with imperative and/or mandatory objectives to achieve in every aspects of our lives; in order to be a good human being, we have to:

  • Do sports to be healthy,
  • Eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day,
  • Buy the latest Iphone to be cool,
  • Be thin to be pretty/handsome and thus lovable,
  • Make love at least 3 times a week…

Our brain is filled with various information, often useless, which leaves little room and energy to seek other more relevant ones. Indeed, we more than less unconsciously include all these outside datas into our operating system and only very rarely confront them with our internal patterns based on who we are, the experiences we want to live and what really makes us happy.

However, in order to allow us to achieve a true form of happiness, each of our actions, from the cereals we eat at breakfast to the way we brush our teeth and the way we imagine the life of our dreams, should have a specific motivation because the more we include our inner self in our life, the more our life will resemble us and, therefore, make us happy. For example, in the morning, I love to drink a big cup of instant coffee because, despite my immoderate taste for coffee, the flavor of which I deeply appreciate, my stomach won’t tolerate a coffee-machine made; moreover, slowly drinking a hot liquid after waking up sooths me and allows me to start my day gently. I particularly like the few minutes of calm right after my husband has left to take my daughter to school, minutes while which I drink my coffee in silence and contemplate my garden buzzing with the morning bustle of nature. And, sometimes, when I find it hard to go to bed at night or when I have trouble falling asleep because my head is still full from my busy day, I think of this moment of calm that awaits me the next morning and announces a new day filled with wonderful surprises I can’t wait to live…

On a deeper level, every day I make the conscious choice to love my husband and share my life with him; I remind myself of the reasons why for this choice because, sometimes, when we are tired or in times of big changes and disagreements, love is not always enough to keep us together and it is important to remember the multiple reasons why we have decided to enter into this partnership in the first place and thus continue to make both our life choices coexist. When we are angry or stressed, we tend to focus on the other’s “flaws”, on what irritates us about him/her, and, if we keep on that way, amnesic of our original love, we end up seeing no other possible outcome than separation. Whereas if, every day, we call to consciousness, just by looking at him/her for a few seconds, the reasons why we love this person, the “qualities” that we see in him/her, we create therefore an automaticity in our brain which allows us to never lose sight of those reasons, to easily bring them back to the surface of our thoughts, even when we are angry ; this habit prevents us from making choices blinded by our hurt feelings and enables us to always leave a door open for dialogue.

These conscious choices are also linked to the way we relate to the world: do we want to live in the anxious and violent world medias and social networks offer us or do we want to live in the beautiful and magical world filled with opportunities in which we lived when we were children? This is a real choice, a real empowerment of ourself and the role we want to play in our own life. Our way to look at the world shapes the way we live our lives and the limitations that come with it.

Each of our actions, big or small, is an affirmation of who we are and/or a projection of who we want to be. The more our actions are filled with love for ourselves and others, the more they lead us towards a life that resembles us and therefore makes us genuinely happy.

I invite you to take a close look at your daily life and find out if you are the one living it or if you live in a model life filled with all the advertising slogans you repeatedly hear every day. Once you will have reclaim that daily space, it will be much easier for you to project yourself into the life of your dreams because you will be able to determine what motivates you to achieve it, how to get there and, above all, how to keep up the distance without getting discouraged.

For those who’d rather read long texts on paper, you can download this article in PDF.
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GClaudel4@Luc Naville BD

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