Path of Choices

My Life. My Choices

It all boils down to choices.

As we get into the last of this lifestyle kit series, allow me to share the Serenity Prayer that cements the Lifestyle Kit series.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr

COVID-19 existence and impact are way out of our hands. There is nothing we can do about the over 3 million infections and difficult deaths the world is faced with. In any form of crisis, what is in your control, is you and what you do about your present and future. It’s about the choices that you make.

So let’s explore the remaining 5 items of our lifestyle kit for when you are faced with nothing short of a new normal.

In case you missed the two posts in this series, here is a direct link to them

11. Drown the Monkeys

I have refused to go back to what was normal before March 2020. In fact, I have chosen to drown the monkeys that keep distracting me from progress. I had caged them with a schedule and a to-do list but when I ran out of items to include, they seemed to be free to occupy my life through the WhatsApp forwards and the endless TV series and movies!

There are 3 categories our activities fall into: 

  1. the normal-those which you must and should do out of habit, routine and for sheer existence. This is what your normal consists of.
  2. the wise-living: those that your heart and mind know you must do if you are going to achieve your life goals and dreams.
  3. the monkeys: all those things that are a perfect distraction from your normal and potential wise-living. They are those things that come as just one more game, one more video, one more tweet thread, one more news item, one more movie, one more episode, one more KFC chicken, one more…

Shortly, because of these monkeys, you have run out of time or strength to do the normal and the wise-living.

From experience, monkeys don’t drown easily. You kill them off one at a time. If Netflix and DSTV are the sources of your monkeys, don’t renew the subscription for a month. Maybe it’s your phone that hosts of the monkeys, uninstall the apps or get a non-smartphone. If the sugary snacks are your Achilles heel, well… don’t buy them.

12. Pay it forward

10 – 20 years from now when our young ones will be all grown, their attitude towards the Corona virus be the same as our attitude towards HIV-AIDS, Pneumonia, Tuberculosis, and Ebola today. They will be sharing stories about it and wondering how we went through it. They will be making movies about it and studying it in textbooks. The one major thing that will be missing from that future is what this pandemic quarantine meant for the rest of your life as of March 2020.

Recording your current to be reviewed by your future is super important. It helps you identify where you turned things around or where in the journey of life you failed to embrace change.

Your record of current events whether by video or words, is your way of paying it forward for when the next generation is dealing with its own crisis.

13. Laugh

Indeed, laughter is good for the heart and soul. When in the middle of a crisis, take a moment to massage the worry wrinkles with the laughter lines. Here are some things laughter does to your body, soul, and mind.

  • It releases endorphins in the body. These are the feel-good hormones.
  • Laughter decreases the stress hormones
  • Laughing relaxes your muscles

When things are tough for me, even in a serious conversation, I always find something to bring laughter. That one instance of laughter acts as a ‘power laugh’ that energizes me to continue facing the difficulty. Even if I can’t resolve, the laughter allows me fresh ground to think and get a new perspective on things.

‘Laughing with’ and ‘laughing about’ are the good type of laughter. ‘Laughing at’ reduces the sense of worth and that is not what you are looking for when in a crisis.

14. Shift

It was Albert Einstein who said, “We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”. Whether you are in a crisis that you are responsible for or one that no one has claimed responsibility for, like Corona Virus, how you survive it strongly depends on what you do in it. You can sit, worry and blame; or sit and wait for it for the end of the lockdown or quarantine so that you can go back to ‘normal’; you can also build your path or highway out of the crisis. The place to start is in your mindset.

Determine today to shift from a mediocre, blame-full, passive, and wrongly informed response of dealing with the crisis in your life. Start to use the crisis as a stepping stone towards being better.

15. Choices

When all is said and done, progress is a result of choice.

Even this lifestyle kit and it’s good ideas and suggestions.

If all it is to you is a good read, that is a choice you have made. Someone else has probably read it and has made a choice of four or one or eight to help get through this crisis.

We make choices about:

  • our places of contentment
  • a perspective of our situations
  • our mindset concerning problems, blessings and good fortune

Everything boils down to choices and because the concept of choice doesn’t give us a fence to sit on, there is only one conclusion to make “Every time you say YES to something, you are saying NO to something else“.

As a recap, here are the 15 components of a Lifestyle Kit that will help you through any crisis that you might be faced with:

If you have a moment let me know in the comments section which one thing stands out the most as your master tool in this Lifestyle Kit.

Until next week…

Keep Safe. Be Strong. Keep winning

About the author

Wangari Maina

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