Choice or fate?

I’ve written about choices before, and how the choices you make can affect who you are, what you do and how you look.

We were talking about fate last night at the dinner table, and everyone within earshot said they agreed with the idea of fate.

I do too – what’s for you won’t go by you, and all that, but I also believe that you can have some definite input into how your life turns out.

From how happy you are, to the career you end up following, and how fit and healthy you are, down to how you look and come across to others. You can make choices in life to help improve the outcome.

Health and activity
You can choose to be active, and as a result of this, you’re more likely to be of a healthy weight. And you’re more likely to eat well and take care of yourself. You can choose to get up early to run in the dark, or not. The sane goes for many other choices in life.

Take for example the man who stands out on the street when I’m getting ready for work (true story). He’s a rather large, young guy. Maybe 30 stone in weight. To make matters worse, he smokes.

When I’m getting ready for work, I see him standing outside, smoking and waiting. Waiting for a lift or a taxi. The other morning I was getting ready at about 8:15am, and saw him out if the window. Then at 9am I went out to walk the 10 minute walk to work, and he was still there, standing waiting.

Now I don’t know where he’s going, but if that was me, I would have had 45 minutes to WALK somewhere. I could have walked about 3 miles in 45 minutes. I would have set myself up for the day, and chosen exercise over standing (and smoking).

Instead, that morning, I’d already chosen to be up in the dark at 630am to do a 45 minute strength workout, because I know it’s good for me. And I get the benefits from the workout as a result.

You are what you eat
You can also choose the foods and drinks that go into your mouth. What, how much and how often you eat, it’s all up to you. You can choose to eat crap white processed food all the time, or you can choose to eat better options.

Natural foods, with colours and nutrients. You can choose to fuel your body with all the nutrients you can, or you can just eat what you like.

The same applies to drink, sure, go drink 2 litres of diet coke or irn bru a day, but you’re not doing your body any favours. You wouldn’t feed your baby irn bru, so why is it ok for you to guzzle it down in excess? Why even have it at all? It’s all your choice.

If getting a great body, or getting down to a healthy weight, really are that important to you, you need to choose the right foods and drinks to eat. You need to decide to reduce or eliminate alcohol. You need to make better food choices when out for meals.

Ditch the curry, beer and side platter and go for a smoked salon salad and water, or sparking water.

In every day circumstances, prepare your food where you can. I choose to prepare breakfast, lunch and snack for each day. Taking a bit of timeout to make sure the majority of the time, what I consume is controlled by me.

No need to go to the canteen and be tempted by crap, or no need to reach for the Mars bar to help a mid afternoon slump, because I’ve usually got good food to keep me going.

How you think and come across
Now this is a big one for me – how you think and how you come across. Think positively and good things tend to happen, be grateful and happy and happiness tends to surround you. Complain and moan all the time, and clouds can sometimes surround you.

Your outlook can really affect you and your life, and you can choose to think and come across anyway you want.

As an example, on a decent train journey down south yesterday, the train was slow capacity, nice enough, the journey was fine, the train was on time and we all had a pre booked seat. It was fine. Even the toilet was fine.

But after we got off the train and into the next train, on of my colleagues started saying how smelly the train was, and how it was a journey from hell. It wasn’t. It’s just that’s how she saw it. With a little bit of perspective (say think about how trains are in India or Africa), that train journey was luxury.

She vocally highlighted the fact that the train journey was crap, and that negativity spread, other people started to wonder if that train journey really was that bad after all. She told others who weren’t on the train journey hoe bad it was, and they thought our train journey was crap.

Same goes for how you feel, if you keep going on about a sore head or sore legs, instead if dealing with it and maybe taking sone medication or addressing the issue, you’re just highlighting the fact that it’s sore.

Positivity and negativity spreads. As can calmness or anxiety. My rather laid back friend Rhona is so laid back she’s almost horizontal, so I knew she’d be ideal to be with me for my aunts funeral. A possibly stressful situation, made worse on the day with the road closures and weather warnings, but Rhona managed to instill a calmness and confidence in her that we’d get there on time, and we did.

Now if she was driving and fretting and saying ‘I don’t think we’ll get there on time……ahhhh’ I might not have been so relaxed myself. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t day it. Appreciate what you have and who you’ve become.

Now in work I’m being described as calm and controlled, people would love to have me ‘in a crisis’ with them. I’m lucky that I have quite a bit of perspective in my life. The majority of life is good, and only occasionally it throws curve balls at you that you have to deal with.

See I choose not to complain (unless absolutely necessary, or required). How you think and how you act can have a big impact on your life and on others around you. There’s no point in complaining, unless your going to get something worthwhile out of it.

If you want to learn how to become more happy, why not listen to audiobooks, like 95 ways of happy people (or just put in happy, or stop negative thinking and see what comes up).

Forget the past and look to the future
There’s no point on dwelling on the past and you can work on your happiness and how you perforce things in life. Some people put their hand on the stove and forget to take it off, I took my hand off the stove a long time ago and look forward to my future instead.

You also don’t have any control over how I here act to you or what people do if have done to you. But if someone is being bad to you, or has been bad to you, you have the choice to remove them from your life if you want.

Same goes for someone who’s always negative around you or bullying you. You can choose to ignore them, or remove them, or not care one little bit about them. I’ve removed one very prominent person in my life, and I’d never go back to how it was.

I choose what my future will look like with the many choices I make. I’m grateful for little things, like the sun in the sky as I walk to work, chats with friends, my health, the silence on a run… and many many other things in life. I’m nice to others, listen to others and I smile, a lot.

I’ll finish off with this list, a link to a page with my best decisions I’ve made:

They’re all pretty simple, but they’re little decisions which have turned into lifestyle choices and have helped shaped me into who I am today. 🙂

And here’s a post about how you can get to be the person you want to be:

Maybe choice does have a lot to do with my life, after all, but in ways you wouldn’t necessarily think.

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