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A New Conversation For Job Seekers


Seven Effective Steps To Landing the Job of Your Dreams

Imagine a world where people loved what they did for a living and they looked forward to going to work every day because they felt fulfillment and pride in what they did for their paychecks. Are you one of these people? Or are you one of the many people who are unhappy with their employment and are looking for a better place to work? I invite you to consider a new approach to job seeking to land the job of your dreams so you can be one of these people. Many people love what they do for work every day and if you are not one of them then I invite you to consider that you are working somewhere that doesn’t work for you.

If you are someone who is working at a job just for the sake of a paycheck I invite you to consider the possibility of looking for a job that does work for you. If you are considering my invitation then I invite you to consider taking it on with a whole new approach to job seeking by using these steps. I promise that you will land the job of your dreams if you follow these seven effective steps.

With this new approach, Employers will see you differently and they will want you on their team. This approach is so powerful that jobs have been created where they were not available before just to make room for the person using this approach. I know because I used this approach myself and successfully landed the perfect job based on my needs and conditions. The response I received from the person hiring me was “you were so engaging you didn’t give me any other choice but to hire you”. Imagine someone saying that to you in a job interview! I can tell you it felt wonderful to hear. By using this approach I set myself up to give my best effort, have pride in my work and thoroughly enjoy the job I was hired to do.

A happy employee makes for a happy company as well and when everyone is operating from a good place everyone wins including business owners, fellow workers, customers AND you. Work with these steps in the order provided to be most efficient with your time and to maximize the benefits of your actions. Not only will you be rewarded with the outcome – I am confident that your new Employer will also thank you for being the extraordinary employee they had dreamed of having.

7 Effective Steps for Job Seekers

1. Wish list criteria and personal values – what made the wish list? Begin with creating a written list of everything that is important to you. Divide your page into 3 columns with the headings: Must Haves, Nice to Haves and Personal Values. Don’t worry at this point whether or not it’s reasonable, in fact, be unreasonable with this list. I call it a wish list because it needs to include everything you wish for without restraint.

Have fun with it by adding things that are outrageous, silly even unobtainable, believe me, you’ll be surprised by two things in this exercise. First, you’ll be surprised at how much fun you had creating the list, you’ll feel like a child again back when you were free to create anything you wanted. Second, you have no idea what’s possible and everything is possible until someone says no. Creating your list without restrictions opens the door to possibilities you didn’t know existed.

Once your list is complete, read it again and imagine how you would feel if everything on your list was provided in your new job. Notice which items on your list feel more like “must-haves” rather than would be “nice to haves”. For those that are really clear to you put a star beside them for future use.

Here are a few examples of my “must-haves”, “nice to haves” and “personal values”. Must Haves – Flexible work schedule: 3 or 4 workdays per week, Mondays off for family commitments and Thursdays off for Course commitments. Fun with lots of laughs and team spirit. Work with happy people and free to make people happy. Nice to Haves – Weekends off, Mai Tai‘s at the end of the workday, company paid massages 3 times a week, all-expense-paid trip anywhere in the world, a personal shopping excursion in Harrods in London England (all-expense paid by the way) Personal Values – spending time with family and friends, a supportive work environment, fair wages, quality time off.

What would you like on your list? Make it fun and filled with things that mean something to you. My question to you is what’s important?

2. Skills assessment – what have you got already and what’s missing? This is a challenging task to complete, it requires you to appreciate what you already have in your repertoire of skills and if you are like most people you will undervalue your skills thinking they are not up to standard. Two of the most effective ways of uncovering your skillset are 1. Hire a coach who is trained to ask the right questions, they will draw out your skillset through an inquiry process or 2. ask your friends and family what you do best according to them and believe them when they tell you. Either method will help you see what you already have as a skill or talent.

One other source to help you draw out your skills is to take skill assessment quizzes and tests; you will find many of these on the Internet free for your use. One word of caution with this method, don’t use your personal email address to access the test as you will be inundated with emails requesting further contact. I recommend having a public email address with Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail so when you are required to submit your email for access you can do so at arm’s length. This keeps your personal email clear of unwanted emails and still allows you to accept emails for future reading, it’s also respectful to the people who took the time to provide you with the test questions. The list of skills you create will be used in step #3 of the process.

NOTE: you could also create an optional category called “want to have” and add to that list skills you would like to have that you presently don’t have right now. This list would align with a dream job you may already have in mind and you are currently not doing that job because you don’t have these skills. This list would become part of the overall plan to work towards getting those skills.

3. Business + Skills matchmaking – what fits? So far you have created your wish list of must-haves and nice to haves and listed your skills and talents. Now it’s time to create a wish list of companies that you would love to work for, again using the fun approach for the wish list I encourage you to create your list with companies of all sizes from small to huge.

You always wanted to work at Apple or Microsoft? Then add them to your list! What about the little Mom and Pop operation down the street, you know, the place that makes you feel like family every time you shop with them? Think about the businesses you know in your area or outside of your area. Think about where would you like to live if you could live anywhere?

Open yourself up to the possibilities of living and working anywhere in the world! This exercise takes imagination and courage to be free with your thoughts and is best done with a coach or a partner or group setting for inspiration. Create a “working-on-getting-work” group and see what opens up for you! Or work with a coach to bring out your thoughts. Using your skill assessment have a look at the list of businesses or companies you have identified to see which one of them would match your skills and create a working list of businesses to be used in step #4

4. Business Resume’ – who measures up to your standards and values? Now the hard and exciting work begins. Using the working list of businesses that need your skills to identify the top 5 or 10 (depending on how long your list is).

NOTE: If you have a list shorter than 5 then I challenge you to dig deeper and lengthen your list to open yourself up to more possibilities and success in finding our dream job. Research the top 5 companies to learn all that you can about them, what’s important to them (their mission statement will give you a clue), look for what they stand for in their community, do you find yourself aligned with them? (refer to your values and what’s important to you) If not, take them off your list. You may have the skills they need and unless you feel connected to them with your values it is highly probable that you will not love your work experience with them and they will become yet another job you are doing without enjoyment.

5.  Interviewing the business – Do they measure up? The process of researching the businesses is to find the one you really want to work for and with. It’s possible you will find more than one and that’s okay too, the point is to become really familiar with the company that holds your future job because at some point they will want you to know who they are and it would be completely unexpected if you already knew a lot about them!

It’s important that the company’s values align with yours, it is the key to your success and vital if you are going to love what you do for work. Before you pick up the phone to make an appointment to see the human resource person within your dream company I invite you to prepare yourself properly for that call. what do you need to be prepared?

You need to be clear about what your intention for the call is, what you are requesting of the person you will be speaking with and very clear of the outcome that you want. For example, the intention of the call may be to find out who is the most appropriate person to speak with regarding employment or maybe you have the correct person on the phone and your intention is to introduce yourself and set up an appointment to meet in person. You will be requesting the opportunity to meet with the HR manager or Owner of the business depending on the size of the company.

Keep in mind you may receive one or both common answers at this point. Either “we are not hiring right now” or “send us your resume” and I encourage you to not let either of these statements stop you from requesting a moment of their time to meet in person.

Dialogue I have used around these are: “I understand that you are not hiring right now and I am requesting a short meeting with you to personally introduce myself and give you a reason to call me first when you are hiring” and “I will definitely be sending you my resume and I am requesting a short meeting with you to personally introduce myself so you see the person behind the words on the page”.

Be really clear that you are requesting a moment of their time and you won’t take no for an answer. For some of you, this may seem a bit forward or pushy and I can tell you it’s refreshing to the person you are approaching. They will likely see this as you being determined, intentional and with purpose making your approach memorable and different than the other people applying for work.

This is your first impression and I promise they will notice and remember you when you use this approach. If you have come up against some resistance to meeting in person understand that it likely has something to do with time. I encourage you to keep your meeting short, no longer than 10 min, this way you stand a better chance of having your request granted if you let them know the meeting is very short. Now that you have your interview set with the company you love to work with doing the job you love to do you are ready for the final two steps.

6. Putting it all together – being the extraordinary employee they wished for! Do you know what it means to be an extraordinary employee? It takes commitment to do your job to the best of your ability then doing it even better, it takes a “being of service” perspective where you do everything you do in the best interest of the company, the customers, your co-workers and yourself. It takes knowledge and understanding of what’s expected of you.

Being extraordinary not only provides your Employer with what they need, but it also makes you feel powerful with who you are being, you will feel appreciated and valued for who you are and what you do. Imagine how enjoyable your day would be if the company you worked for was full of extraordinary employees like you, it would have an atmosphere of support, encouragement, appreciation, fun, pleasure, and camaraderie. It would be a place where you would find yourself saying “I love where I work and what I do for a living”. Who wouldn’t want that?

7. The meeting of the mindful – In the actual interview you want to be really clear about three things:

1. Share with them why you want to work with them.

2. Share with them how you see you are a good fit for them i.e. your skills fit their needs and

3. Let them know that you are truly grateful for the opportunity to share yourself with them and that you are open to taking on other jobs within the company if the one you wanted is not available because this is your dream company, right?

You WANT to work with them in any capacity that also works for them, show them your flexibility! Show them in your interview who you are as a person and why they would be better off with you on their team. I guarantee they will find a way to have you rather than let you go to their competition.

Be bold, be confident, be ready because you are exactly who they are looking for. On a personal note, if you are having trouble with this step don’t try to do it alone. This step can be challenging particularly if you have trouble seeing yourself as confident. If this is the case hire a coach to support you with this or at least talk with your friends and family and allow them to support you on this piece. Your goal is to land the job of your dreams and you need to do everything you can to realize this goal including asking others for support. Just do it!

Final thought: Take an entrepreneurial approach to job seeking and find the job you love – approaching job seeking like it’s your business will help put you in the right frame of mind to be the extraordinary employee Employers wish for. The entrepreneurial approach is to plan your work and work your plan – set up a process within this approach to keep you on track with your goal of finding your dream job. Put yourself in the owner’s shoes – would you hire you based on what they heard or saw from you so far? It’s in your best interest, to be honest with yourself here if something doesn’t work for you change it before you meet with your future Employer.

This approach will not be easy, it is definitely time-consuming and it will require a high level of commitment on your part to see it through. I am certain that you will want to give up at some point in the process and go back to the usual way people look for work. I urge you to be a stand for yourself and be committed to having a job you love not only because you are worth it but because loving what you do for work is so rewarding and fulfilling for you. Who wouldn’t want that present in their lives every day?

Do what you need to do, if you need to find work as soon as possible go out and take any job to bring in a paycheque then focus your attention on using these steps to find your dream job and move on. One last thing, if you are using this approach please remember to thank the person who gave you the temporary job because without them you would not have had the opportunity to approach job seeking in a whole new manner.

My question for you is: Are you ready to go to work loving what you do for a living?  Contact me and get started…

Lisa Johnston-Williams
My name is Lisa and I am a life-living strategist helping men and women connect with jobs and careers based on who they are in the world.   Times/dates/fees are arranged as per the client’s needs and agreed upon before coaching services begin. I have been providing advice and coaching services for over 20 yrs to men and women across North America. My services are non-medical in nature and based on my personal life experiences and the experiences of others who graciously allow me to share.
 

Giant Leaps From Little Steps


I have been known to say “knowing doesn’t make a difference” when talking about what to do when making changes in my life.  For example, I would say “I want to lose weight”, I know there are countless ways to lose weight and I’m not using any of them!  It feels like every day that someone is sharing their weight loss method that worked for them and if I used it I would lose weight too!  Yes, I believe this is true and knowing doesn’t make a difference!

I could lose weight (I don’t have any medical reasons why I can’t) and I choose not too.  Why? Because there is something else at play here that lives deep within my sub-conscious that stops me and until I find it nothing will work. Anytime I feel blocked or held back in my life the culprit is a limiting belief I hold in my sub-conscious mind.

When you consider that we have thousands of thoughts coursing through our brains every minute and the challenging part is we are unaware of most of them. Is it possible that there are limiting beliefs among those thoughts that are mucking up our lives?  As I read the “The Biology of Belief” by Dr. Bruce Lipton I have learned more about the existence of these beliefs and how they influence my actions and inactions.

Knowing this DOES make a difference!

Eureka, I have found a piece of life’s puzzle that was missing!  Now I have what I need to change the list of beliefs I have been listening to most of my life, rewriting them in a way that empowers me.  Is it possible to change the words in my belief statements and create new believable belief statements?  Could it be this simple?  The answer is YES and it’s highly effective when you go through the steps I am sharing here.

It starts with identifying the hidden belief statements by looking at your feelings and actions in a specific situation.  For example, when I looked at my current financial situation I focussed on how I felt about it, how I viewed money, how I saw other people with money, how I handled money, etc.  What emerged were very loud, very negative thoughts and feelings I had about money. Up till now, I wasn’t aware of most of those thoughts and feelings and for the few, I was aware of, I didn’t see them as controlling my life!  This was a total eye-opener for me!

What is so cool is, I use this process in all areas of my life where I have felt stuck, stopped and out of ways to change.

Here is the step by step process I went through:

  1. I identified the limiting belief as I believed it to be (the negative statement I heard in my mind)
  2. I reworded the old belief statement into a positive one using the following criteria: state in the first person (I), use present tense (now, not future), using positive language and keeping it short and finally, make it emotionally meaningful to me (resonating)
  3. I effectively use these statements in meditation, emotional freedom technique and written form to remind myself that they are my truth.

It sounds simple, doesn’t it?  I can assure you it wasn’t and each time I go through this process I can honestly say it is so worth the discomfort of converting old into new! When I was writing my original belief statements I was taken back as the words I wrote would cause tears to well up in my eyes. The feelings were so raw and right there! I was literally writing and crying at the same time and struggling through the process. I had a flashback of specific moments in my life that were painful and confirmed why I believed these statements.  I have to say I learn a few valuable lessons while going through this experience 1. the pain of living with these statements far outweighed the pain I was feeling at the moment and 2. I didn’t die going through this exercise.

I was challenged to reword these belief statements using the criteria.  I found myself using words like I wish, I want, I will, none of which are present tense.  I also found my statements were too long and when I read them, they sounded good but I wasn’t really connected to them.  What’s really amazing to me is the completeness of all the work I went through in this process. Now, I can look at these statements and I no longer have any feelings about them.  I have come back to this post on many occasions to test the process and when I read these statements it’s like they didn’t mean anything to me.  I am so grateful for the tools I have learned and as new limiting beliefs expose themselves to me I put myself through this exercise with them too.

Here is a list of limiting beliefs I identified for myself, as you read this you may find yourself resonating with these particular beliefs too.  Feel free to use them if you do.

  • Original belief: I believe that when I ask for help no-one will be there for me
  • New belief: I feel love and support from others like a warm blanket on a cold day

 

  • Original belief: I believe that no matter what I do things will never change for me
  • New belief: Every step I take changes my view of life

 

  • Original belief: I believe that happiness is possible I just don’t know what will make me happy
  • New belief: I recognize happy moments in my life every day, both big and small

 

  • Old belief: I believe, despite multiple attempts to change it,  I am not where I want to be and I will never get there
  • New belief: I am exactly where I need to be and anywhere I want to go is reachable from here

When I read these words a smile has replaced the tears and the peacefulness I feel inside confirms the transformation for me. It takes little steps to transform your limiting beliefs and the promise of giant leaps is real. Yes, it does work and it can work for you too when you are ready. If you need help formulating your statements, feel free to contact me for help.

What limiting beliefs hold you back in your life?

I love what I do for a living!


What did you do last summer?

magnificent beauty located on the Sunshine Coast BC

magnificent beauty located on the Sunshine Coast BC

I took on working at the far end of the coast 3 days a week for the summer in the tourist industry and I was supercharged about it. I had the pleasure of working at Ruby Lake Resort on the Sunshine Coast of BC.  The job for most people would look like housekeeping but for me, it’s much more than that. I had the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the guests staying at Ruby Lake and have a real impact on their lives because I love what I do. My game for the summer was to give each guest the experience they expect AND have them leave with more than they could have ever imagined! How I delivered this was by being playfully curious and engaging with each and every one of them. They have no idea that their stay at Ruby Lake last summer would be one they will cherish forever.

Meeting Kathleen and Chuck and Brownie

I finished work for the day and was walking through the trails to my car when Kathleen and Chuck were coming back from their day of exploring the coast. They were there looking for a place to buy to call home. Within a couple minutes of our conversation, I got a picture of what they were looking for and I knew the place that would fit them perfectly so I invited them to see it. At first, they said thank you for the thought but we don’t want to disturb you on your time off but something in my way of being made them stop and take me up on my offer to show them the property I had in mind for them. The next day we met and I walked them over the property and I smiled as I could see their mental checks at every feature. They fell in love with the property and now they are experiencing the vision of living here themselves. Yesterday morning I received a note from this couple letting me know how grateful they were for meeting me at Ruby Lake and what a difference I just made in their lives. I LOVE WHAT I DO FOR A LIVING!

Here is the comment I received from K & C

“Ruby Lake was so much fun.  Norm, Lynne and You are such gems that made our trip truly rewarding.  All the Very Best”.  Kathleen and Chuck and Brownie
Lisa Johnston-Williams
My name is Lisa and I am a life-living strategist helping men and women find what they are looking for in their lives.  I have been providing advice and coaching services for over 20 yrs to men and women across North America. My services are non-medical in nature and based on my personal life experiences and the experiences of others who have gracefully allowed me to share.

What Was I Thinking???


 

“You don’t become what you want, you become what you believe.” 

– Oprah Winfrey –

Your subconscious mind accepts as truth, the statements you tell yourself, it doesn’t care whether those statements are negative or positive.  

So why would you choose to continually tell yourself that you are not good enough?  Not smart enough? Not pretty enough? Or that you don’t deserve to be happy? Have you ever heard yourself saying any of these statements in your head? How about “I’m so stupid, I’m not worthy, nobody loves me, I can’t do this.”  Any one of these statements can stop you from achieving what you want in life and the good news is you don’t have to listen to them anymore!  First of all none of the statements above are true.

I can hear some of you saying “they are for me” and “they are not my choice!” to that, I say again, NONE OF THESE STATEMENTS ARE TRUE. For anyone.  These words are a perspective, yours or someone else’s and your subconscious mind hears these words as the truth.  These negative statements are bogus and they were added to your life program that resides in your subconscious mind. At some point in your life or before (another conversation), these programmed statements, and many others were saved in your subconscious mind files causing you to operate in life as if they are true.  In other words, these are limiting belief statements embedded in your subconscious mind and they are limiting your life potential. You don’t have to live with these words anymore and you can reform these statements from negative into positive ones and change the outcome of your life.  Not only have other people done this successfully for themselves, but more people, like you, are also discovering that they can too.

Consider the alternative statements “I am good at what I do”, “I have all the knowledge I need” “I am beautiful, inside and out”, “I am worthy of the best that love and life have to offer” These statements are true for people who believe these words, whole-heartedly.  They are the people who appear to be insanely happy all the time!  You know ‘those’ people, the ones who appear to be over the top happy, living life to it’s fullest, always wearing a perma-grin on their lips.  I used to think “they can’t be that happy all the time”!  Well, a matter a fact, yes they can and you can be as well!  In fact, our natural way of being, as a human, is to be happy, content, joyful, grateful, compassionate, caring, social, nurturing, happy, happy, happy! It’s time to be the human being you were meant to be!

So why aren’t we happy?

There is a myriad of reasons why we are not happy and they all come back to what we believe.  What we believe about ourselves, our life and the world we live in.  What we accept as the truth, either self-proclaimed or told to us by others and how we choose to define our very existence. We actually live in a world of anything is possible, nothing is real and all you have to do is choose how you want your human experience to be.  Is that really possible?  ABSOLUTELY!  Is it easy? ABSOLUTELY NOT!  If you are not living the life you want to be living and you are ready to change this, then it’s time to get to work!  I am here to work through this with you, to take back your personal power and create your life as you wish it to be.

Let’s try a little experiment here to find out what you actually believe. I’d like you to read the quote below then hear the voice in your head.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” ― Oprah Winfrey

What did you hear it say?  Write down what you heard so we can refer back to it later. Did you say “that’s not true” or “I agree with this statement”? Or did anything else pop into your thoughts about it?

Now take a look at this image, what do you see?

Do you see the beauty of nature or emptiness?  Did it stir emotion within you of excitement? Loneliness? Calm? Peacefulness? or nothing at all?  Record your thoughts and emotions as they appear to you.

Your initial thoughts and feelings are clues to what you truly believe on a subconscious level and these thoughts and feelings may or may not be in alignment with what you consciously believe.  If this is the case, this is where we begin to look for the limiting beliefs that are stopping you from living your life as it was meant to be lived.  The first step to removing a limiting belief is to discover it’s existence, then, create a new (positive) statement that is meaningful to you and download it into your sub-conscious replacing the negative one that has stopped you in the past.  There are a few techniques you can use to do this successfully and effectively and choosing one that works for you is the key.  Over the years I have tried many with some being more effective than others.

If any of this resonates with you and you would like to learn more about this subject or how you can work with me, please use the contact form provided below.

Happiness is: living my life as it was meant to be lived and by my design!

Time to Take Out the Trash


Look familiar?

photo credit to abundancetapestry.com

Trash talk happens.  When it does, do you listen or put it in its place?

Are you aware of your “trash talk?”  Not sure?  I can tell you it comes from that little voice in your head that just said “what is she talking about? and I don’t hear voices in my head!”  Yes, that little voice.  If you have spent any time listening to that voice chances are you have heard a lot of trash talk.  You are not alone in this experience and it’s an epidemic in our society.  It is safe to say the source of our insecurities, lack of confidence and diminished view of self-worth is fuelled by trash talk and it’s time to take out the trash for good!

There is an imaginary muscle in our thoughts that, when exercised, can toss the trash when you use it, of course, and like any muscle regular exercise is needed.  Staying toned is vital to keeping the trash at a manageable level and in check at all times.  Two things that are important to understand, 1. you will never rid yourself of trash talk completely and 2. you CAN keep it at a minimum so it’s not running your life.

When it comes to any new exercise regime it’s vital to take note of where you are right now and to have a goal in mind that you are reaching for.  What happens between those two points requires consistent practice through focus, commitment, and disciplined determination.  I have a quote that I use as a tagline in my emails that says:

“discipline is simply choosing between what I want right now and what I want most”

I read it every time I send an email as a reminder of what I want most in my life.  What quote are you using to remind yourself of what’s important to you?  Find a quote that resonates with you and use it!

Now that you are aware of your trash talk, what kind of things are you hearing?  Do you catch yourself agreeing with your little voice?  Are you as horrible as your little voice says?  What we say to ourselves is horrendous and what’s really amazing is we would never allow others to say these things to us so why do we allow ourselves?  Think about it?  If someone told you that you were a loser, you will never amount to anything in your life, you are not good enough or pretty enough or you certainly don’t deserve to be happy.  You would likely give them a full fisted sandwich in the kisser!  So why do we listen to the little voice?

There was a time in our history, billions of years ago that little voice came in handy, it was the voice of reason when human beings roamed the earth in search of food and shelter.  It was every man (woman) for themselves and definitely, an animal eats animal world out there.  Wait a minute!  It sounds like nothing has changed in a billion years!!!  Our little voice is a vital part of our survival in this world and unfortunately, it doesn’t know when to shut up and keep its opinions to itself. Kidding aside that little voice has saved your life at some point and for that, you can be grateful.  The downside of having our little voice in our heads is when it goes into a negative mode and constantly bombards you with thoughts that are hurtful and damaging under the disguise of trying to keep you safe. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always pick the right things to keep you safe from and this is where you need to take charge.

Most people think that life happens to them, what they don’t realize is that we are capable of creating our lives.  Not only capable but responsible!  What is so magical at this point is when we take responsibility for the creation of our lives we also gain the power to create life any way that we want.

What do you want?

Do you have any idea of what you truly want in your life?  Most of us say “yes” but stop and think about the question and most of you will be completely blank.  I know because I have gone through this exercise myself and I go through it with my clients. I still haven’t met anyone who could clearly answer the question.  Why not?  Well, it all comes back to that pesky little voice and the trash it’s been sharing with us over the years.  Nasty!

The bottom line is, manage the little voice, have it work for you rather than against you and you can have whatever your little heart desires.

Yes, you can have it all

Vanilla ~ Chocolate ~ Choose!


“A great maturity opens in the human psyche when we accept that we can control

our impulses by conditioning our thoughts, and that we alone are responsible

for our emotions and reactions in life.”

Brendon Burchard ~ The Motivation Manifesto


Accepting Responsibility

 A light bulb moment happened for me in early 2013 when I came to the realization that I was 100% responsible for how my life.  Past. Present and Future  Wow!  The impact of that thought sent me into a dizzy spin as I recollected years of upset, suffering, heartaches, and disappointments I had experienced.

Accepting responsibility for my way of being during those times of chaos and upset was not an easy task and at the same time was very enlightening for me.  In fact, I would say truly liberating as well!  I realized that being responsible for my way of being also meant that I was in a position to choose how I wanted to experience life from that moment on.

I had the pleasure of getting this realization through a funny exercise called “Vanilla ~ Chocolate ~ Choose.  I observed the course leader (I was in a self-discovery course) working with a volunteer from the crowd on the subject of choosing vs. decision and it went something like this:

Course Leader: “I want you to choose an ice cream flavor, either vanilla or chocolate and tell me why you chose it”.

Volunteer: “I choose vanilla because it’s my favorite flavor”.

Course Leader:  “Got it, and that was a decision you made based on a reason, therefore, it was not a choice but a decision”.  “Let’s try that again”. “Vanilla or Chocolate, choose”

Volunteer: “I choose vanilla because I don’t like chocolate”

Course Leader: “Got it, and that too was a decision you made based on a reason is not a choice but a decision”. “Let’s try that again.” Vanilla or Chocolate, choose.”

Volunteer: “I choose vanilla.”

Course Leader: “Why did you choose vanilla?”

Volunteer: “Because vanilla tastes better!”

The volunteer was getting quite upset with this conversation, in her mind, she WAS choosing vanilla but apparently, she was making decisions, not a choice according to the Course Leader.  She was thinking she was never going to get it right. The Course Leader assured her that she was so close to getting it and encouraged her to try again.

Course Leader: “Vanilla ~ Chocolate ~ Choose”

Volunteer: “I choose Vanilla.”

Course Leader: “Why did you choose Vanilla?”

The exasperated volunteer said: “Because I choose vanilla!!!”

Course Leader: “Yes!  Now that is a choice!

It’s subtle and significant at the same time, the difference is, a decision is made based on and because of your reasons and a choice is made after considerating your reasons. Can you see the difference?  If not keep looking, this will make sense I promise!

What difference does this make in our lives?  When we use reasons to justify our actions we are not committed to our decisions because those reasons can change (it happens a lot), we are left questioning our decisions and feeling lost.  When we take our reasons into consideration then we are free to make our choice and be committed to something that becomes everything.  For example, the athlete that trains tirelessly for hours, days, months and years does so because they are committed to mastering a skill and achieving a level of excellence important to them.  If it was a decision to exercise they would likely quit after the first experience of body fatigue.  As a choice, they push through the difficulties no matter what.

One does not decide to be a performing artist ~ one is a performing artist.

One does not decide to be happy ~ one is happy.

Choice ~ Choose

There is a significant difference between decision and choice.  What is the relevance of this to being responsible for your life experiences?  Choosing to acknowledge and being responsible for what you have in life is your freedom to choose how you deal with things no matter what comes your way.  Acknowledging is not the same as being resigned to and this is where most people get stuck.  Do you choose to have cancer?  No, you choose to acknowledge that you have cancer and live your life dealing with it powerfully and purposefully. What that looks like for you is your choice.

Can you identify in your life where you have decided rather than chosen?  It’s can be challenging to see the difference between the two and I invite you to join me in this conversation on Facebook.  I have started a private group page to allow conversations like this to happen within a safe environment.  If you would like to join us please use the contact form below to send me your request or go on Facebook ask to join C3Now and choose to be in the conversation!

Imagine what your life would look like if you lived it by choice? Think about it.

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