I was having a fantastic LSI debrief recently with a client of mine who was the portrait of respect and character. During this discussion we talked about the concept of choice and that our life was made up of the sum of lots of choices.
Now to be fair for many people the range of choices is far less as many people don’t have access to a safe family environment, good education or may have physical or mental disabilities or health issues. This blog is not intended in that context where I have the highest level of empathy for people who are disadvantaged and they deserve full support from those of us blessed with good health, access to opportunities, and safe environment.
This blog is more for those of us who have had access to good education, have had a healthy environment to grow up, currently live in a healthy and financially stable environment and who are mental and physically able. In this context we have choices.
In my work as a leadership coach and also in roles as a leader I often see people act like they don’t have choices. They expect others to be responsible for their happiness, work satisfaction and level of engagement. People are dependent, act like victims or blame others for their woes. They have given up control in their mind and expect others to be responsible for their happiness.
Now don’t get me wrong even the most resilient people will get drained in a toxic environment, but at the end of the day the choice comes back to the individual.
No-one else can own your happiness or own your response. No one else can make choices for you.
Unfortunately we have to make choices for ourselves, including choosing how we respond.
Unfortunately the only people who can make us happy is ‘us’.
Choices range from little things like ‘choosing my response’ and ‘choosing gratitude over negativity’ through to big choices like changing jobs or changing circumstances.
Sometimes the options aren’t great and the alternative choice is worse than the status quo.
Irrespective of the situation we still have choices, and it is our choice to make the best of the life or work we have got. It’s not someone else’s responsibility.