So...you may have missed it, but we recently passed through another holiday.
It's a funny little holiday with a funny little tradition, involving - some might say - a funny little animal.
While most of us don't get too caught up in Groundhog Day, many of us do remember the famous Groundhog Day movie, where Bill Murray plays a guy who relives the same day over and over again. It's like he's stuck in a loop of life.
It's a feeling many of us can relate to. That feeling of being stuck.
And so with the passing of this fine holiday, it seems now just might be the right time for a post on stuck-ness.
For the most part, and in most cases, we aren't as stuck as we think we are.
I can say this definitively because I've learned this soooo many times. (In fact, you may recall a few of them from previous blogs.)
There have been so many incidents, in fact, that I thought it would be helpful to provide a semi-cumulative list here. The list features a wide variety of things we do indeed have a say in...even if we don't always realize it.
The list is coming in just a sec, so hold tight. I first just want to point out a few reasons we actually choose to believe we're stuck.
- The first reason is because, even when we're super unhappy, feeling stuck still feels like a safer bet than making change. After all, change is scary and uncertain. And so we tell ourselves we're stuck...when we're not.
- The second reason is because we believe we are obligated to do something...that people are relying on us to do or be or act a certain way. And that feels good...even if the obligation doesn't. And so we tell ourselves we're stuck...when we're not.
I ask that you free yourself from the above two defenses for the moment, so that you can take a looksee at the following list with an open mind. Ready?
Deirdre's list of things we have a choice about, but don't think we do:
- The way we let someone's comments toward us - positive or negative - impact our thoughts, words, and actions
- The way we let someone's actions toward us - positive or negative - impact our thoughts, words, and actions
- The quantity and quality of the work we get done in any given day
- Whether or not we follow-through on our commitments
- Whether or not we are pleasant in the morning...even if we aren't a morning person
- Whether or not we are pleasant in the evening...even if we aren't a night person
- Most of the people we get into conversations with during the workday
- Most of the people we see/speak to outside of the workday
- Which events/groups/gatherings we attend outside of our mandatory work ones
- Whether or not we are nice to the people we know...no matter what
- Whether or not we are nice to strangers...no matter what
- Whether or not we are nice to ourselves...no matter what
- How personally we take things
- How personal we make things
- Whether or not we are in a job that makes us happy...most of the time
- Whether or not we are in a relationship that makes us happy...most of the time
- Whether or not we are in friendships that make us happy...most of the time
It comes down to a quote from my beloved Dad (who, to be fair, was actually quoting Lincoln):
"In the final analysis, we are about as happy as we make up our minds to be."
Because we have choices.
Yes. there are exceptions...there are times where you truly have no choice in the moment. But...just maybe...there aren't as many as you've let yourself believe.
And the rest of the time? In almost any given moment we've actually got a ton of choices about how we speak, think, act and feel.
So let's be mindful of that, yes? And let's make some good choices.
In the end, that's when we'll rejoice in the fact that we really aren't stuck much at all.
And then we can focus on other things.
PS - got something to add to the list? Feel free to do so in the comments