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The 12 Most Powerful Life Choices I Ever Made

They transformed my life completely and keep me positive and motivated

Image by Pixource from Pixabay

Life is a wonderful teacher. I spent a good chunk of my life rushing around, trying to make as many people happy as I could, trying to live up to as many expectations as I could even if it meant I was out of breath, out of patience, and freaking out.

I kept smiling under the pressure — from within as well as without. I had any number of people trying to tell me what to do and how to do it, and often when to do it.

I realized that the only way to take control of my life was by exercising my right to make powerful life choices, or before I knew it, life would have passed me by, leaving me with little else but regrets.

I did not want that.

One of the things my mom would keep telling me is this.

The secret of those who enjoy what they do and are happy is — they make good choices and decisions in relation to their attitudes and beliefs while taking charge of their actions and behaviors. And they take responsibility for these. They are aware that it is not always possible to be in control of situations or people — but they can most definitely choose to be in control of themselves.

Good solid observation, eh? And as I mulled over this, it made sense. It helped me make some powerful life choices that changed my life, kept me positive and motivated.

I pledged to:

1. Choose My Thoughts

One of the best promises I ever made to myself was to take charge of what I thought of myself. I am what I think. And what I think of me determines my experiences and the way others treat me.

I took charge of my beliefs and attitudes and therefore, my behaviors. I chose to be optimistic, yet realistic.

2. Practice Forgiveness

This is one of the most powerful life choices I made. The worst thing in life is to be unforgiving. You know what they say — anger and resentment are like drinking the poison and hoping your enemy dies. Being in a place of anger destroys our ability to think clearly. I confess I was upset about being at the receiving end of hurtful behavior. Who wouldn’t be?

I’d hate it when my mom would insist that the best thing to do was forgive and move on. Easier said. There will always be people who let you down — by not doing what you expect them to do. Annoying, but there, nevertheless. I chose to let go of my expectations of those people. Forgiveness is empowering.

3. Live With Gratitude

Gratitude is transformative. Appreciating all that we have steers us away from finding fault with our lives. I chose to let go of perfectionism, stupid expectations, and worry. I chose to live in the moment as much as I could.

4. Recognize and Celebrate Myself

This one was the hardest — choosing to believe I was enough, to love myself. How easy it is to listen to our inner critic constantly and hold ourselves back! The realization that we are enough brings a great sense of peace within us and with the world around us. When we choose to celebrate ourselves, we let go of the need to compete. We are unique.

5. Be an Encouraging Parent

We often forget to see the forest for the trees. As parents, we are so worried about making the right life choices in raising our children that we forget the children! I consciously chose to encourage my son to express himself, speak out, and be curious rather than push him towards what I thought was right for him.

Most importantly, I also chose to appreciate him the way he is, not the way I wanted him to be. Parenting focuses on nurturing and then releasing — and I hope I am doing both well.

6. Take Control of My Self-care

As a diabetic, besides the health implications, it involved choices about what I did each minute of the day and whether it added value to my life. It meant eliminating toxic relationships and spending time with those who made me happy. It meant choosing to eat healthy, live healthy.

7. Listen With My Heart

The wonderful thing about listening is allowing things to fall in place rather than forcing them to. By choosing to listen to my loved ones, I let them know I care for them. I’ve also learned that I really don’t have to have an answer to everything.

8. Laugh More

There’s nothing more delightful in this world than the sound of laughter from the ones we love. When stressed, I choose to laugh rather than rant or complain. Most of the minor things we get worked up over will hardly matter in, say, a few months down the line.

This gives me the freedom to make mistakes and be spontaneous.

9. Let Go Of “Should” So I Could Play

Working from home means juggling a lot of things. It is so hard to let go of the pressure and relax. Each one of us has our own idea of play. In my case, I enjoy housework — I find it therapeutic. I used to worry about not getting everything done. I have chosen to believe that it is okay to slip up once in a while and take time off.

10. Heal With Touch

You know what they say about a touch, a hug achieving a lot more than words ever could. Through touch, we connect with others. Touch heals, comforts. And it needn’t always be physical. A little note, an email, a card, is just as good. I choose to be proactive in practicing touch.

11. Nurture Healthy Connections

I have chosen to maintain healthy relationships within my family and with friends. I choose how I relate to those I come in contact with, interact with. Life doesn’t always bring the perfect connections, but I know I can choose how to react, whom to keep and whom to let go of.

12. Say Yes (Or No) Truthfully and Confidently

I am still working on the art of mastering saying NO. The habit of overestimating myself and assuming I can manage everything I take on is one that is hard to break. The sad truth is, pleasing everyone is simply not possible. It is impractical.

How to overcome it? I’ve chosen to question my motive for doing something.

  • I ask myself what if I said no instead of yes. Or yes instead of no.
  • I weigh my options.

And try to say yes or no truthfully, because I believe in it — and not because it is expected of me.

To summarize

These powerful choices have put me on the path to happiness.

1. Choosing my thoughts

2. Practicing forgiveness

3. Living with gratitude

4. Recognizing and celebrating myself

5. Being an encouraging parent

6. Taking control of my self-care

7. Listening with my heart

8. Laughing more

9. Letting go of should so I could play

10. Healing with touch

11. Nurturing healthy connections

12. Saying yes or no truthfully and confidently

It all boils down to choosing to be in charge of my attitude, beliefs, and behavior so I make good choices.

Most days, I succeed in sticking with these choices. Of course, I slip up. I am only human. I know I am a work in progress. But I have good reminders and know I am getting there. Life is all about choices.

Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles ❤ Did you smile today?

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