Choices. We are faced with choices that either help or derail our dreams, goals and ambitions.
“salad or bread?” The waiter asks. We choose bread. Our brain then reminds us of a goal. But, what clean eating lifestyle you’re talking about brain? Oh yeah, that, man it’s too late, the bread touched the gravy so I can’t give it back. There!
“An extra episode of the web series or read a short chapter for class?” We choose the episode, followed by another. And another. And then feel shitty and start beating ourselves up with “I’m here again? What the hell is wrong with me? When will I ever learn???! Shit. Oh well, I’m gonna just live here because I knew I couldn’t do it.” We send out Facebook invitations to our pity party. It’s a damn and damned cycle.
I’m sharing this bc I’m in the middle of eating a cheesecake. No one forced me to. I could have had the fruit salad instead. And to be honest, aren’t you also annoyed when offered the ‘good’ choice? Like why the hell would you ask me if I want a fruit salad or veggies? Go away!
Ok, let me be serious.
Why is it that in these critical mini-choice-moments we make decisions that derail our goals?
Why do we get fart brain accompanied with the ‘you only live once (YOLO)’ without recognising that it is that very YOLO why we should aim to make the best choices, the best decisions? Why don’t we realise our ‘every once in a while’ is actually very often which makes it a habit? So, you only have fried food when you go out but have you noticed you ate out 4 times this week and had fried food each time?
Well, in turning the light on myself, why do I always feel that I must let my hair down and loosen up a bit when faced with two divergent choices, and choose the option that widens the gap between my now and my goal?
Look, I don’t have an answer. But I have a guess. And I’m gonna put my guess into practice after I’m done eating my vanilla cheesecake.
My guess is that, when faced with oil and water situations, just pause. Pausing helps you to stop the thinking, the weighing of options, the panic or anxiety and the guilt or pleasure but especially the guilt. And don’t feel bad that you’ve paused to consider two choices, one of which you believe is a poor choice. Because honestly, it’s best to think about it and be happy about your choice than to feel frustrated into eating ice cream. If you don’t, you may find yourself getting the extra scoop to calm the panicked nerves that arose due to the pressure in making the choice. So, pause. Don’t worry that people would think you’re mad if you by habit walk into that fast food restaurant, browse through the menu on the board and walk to hell back out. Don’t buy the greasy food to feed the fear or the feeling of silly, because you didn’t buy anything.
And don’t pretend you can’t pause. You can and it’s in your best interest to. (God help me to practice what I share. Amen!)
Again, pause, then consider what decision will bring you alive. Here’s an example, “This 3rd consecutive episode of Orange is the New Black is necessary for me to understand my statistics assignment” or “setting the alarm clock at 6:30 versus 7:15 will help me workout, sweat and bring my former sexy af back”
You get the idea.
If you find yourself struggling for an extended period to consider the options in relation to your goals then perhaps you need to reassess your goals.
Gee Shalisha, it’s not that serious. Yes it is serious when you have high cholesterol and diabetes. It is that serious when going the extra mile in your studies can bring you to a first class honours or a pass. It matters. The seemingly tiny decisions matter. The opportunities to practice discipline and resolve when faced with two divergent roads matters. The fact that we rarely see the importance in small decisions along the way is precisely why we are where we are. It’s a transferable practice. Alcoholism, other forms of self-abuse will feel the wrath, so to speak, of your power to pause.
I don’t want to preach, I just wanted to share a possibility with you of the magic and miracle there is in pausing. Surely I’ll practice it as I’ve said and report back.
To end, let me invite you to some laughter. In this Key and Peele sketch, my mind always swaps the word consequences with choices. In fact, I have to remind myself of the title. But, it’s quite the same thing, we live with the consequences of our choices. And God knows I wanna live with a flat tummy, firm butt n thighs, well toned arms and an academic distinction lol. – I also caution sharing this clip as there are some elements that I do not favour but it does express in essence that we live with the consequences of our choices.
Happy choice making and remember to pause and align your options with your goals.
Update – I was hungry and cold and into McDonalds. I stared at the board and the combo meals were all fried stuff. And the description board too small LOL. So I wanted out.
Update 2 – I came home exhausted from class and determined to ease my woes with a Pizza. I instead made mushrooms, zucchini and fish.
It’s Possible when we Pause.