You always have the power of choice!


The world continues to change at a rapid pace.

What was “normal” a few weeks now seems like a vague and distant memory.
But I’m not telling you anything new.

What is new, and not really, is that we are in control of one thing, our mindset.

We are a species that can not only survive, but we can also thrive during a crisis.

And it takes some work.

It takes looking at and being grateful for what we have.
It requires strength and determination.
It takes getting clear on what we are in control of and what we are not.

It reminds me a lot of the serenity prayer:
“God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can, and
The wisdom to know the difference.”

We need to rely a lot on our wisdom these days.

As I write this post I am personally thinking about things that are not in my control.

I spoke in previous blog posts about not knowing. The lack of certainty about when will this all be over. Not being in control of very much anymore.

Yesterday was a perfect example of mindset, control, and choice.

We limit our trips to the grocery store to once every 3-4 days if not longer.

Due to physical distancing, only one of us goes into the store to do the shopping.

But yesterday for the first time, there was a very long line of people OUTSIDE just waiting to get into the store! A line that could easily have taken 30-60 minutes before I got in. So I kept driving and went to a different store closer to us and there was no line. At least not until it was time to check out.

So why am I telling you this story?

Because I watched myself and my thoughts as I made some choices that WERE in my control. I was not desperate for groceries that day. Or at that time. I made a choice. I went elsewhere.

In this case, it worked out for me. Another day it might not.

This scenario reminds me of a few things. 

We all have the power of choice.

We all have “control” over some things.

And it also reminds me of the difference between expectation and possibility.

An unfulfilled expectation leads to upset whereas an unfulfilled possibility leads to another possibility.

In my grocery store scenario, I did not “expect” to get into the store without waiting.
It was possible I would get in. And it was possible I would not. Or not want to wait.
I had the possibility of other stores. Therefore no upset only other possibilities.

Please know that I did not set out with these possibilities. I did not expect that huge lien up at the first store. The change in mindset to possibility came because I have trained my brain to avoid upset. Years and years of training.

Do I still get upset? YOU BET! The difference is that I stop, observe what I unfulfilled expectation I am upset about and shift gears to possibility. Both in the moment and for next time.

While we are on the topic of mindset and mental health, please remember to… 

  • Check-in with your community,
  • Deepen relationships with others,
  • Help others,
  • Take care of your mental self.

Above all, do what you need to do to stay positive.

Let us know how and what you are doing to stay positive.
Post a comment on the blog or in our Facebook community and let us know what you’re taking away from this post.