Friday, 6 June 2014

I Should Be So Lucky!

My 10 year old son is convinced he is unlucky. The evidence he uses to make this assertion ranges from his team not winning their football tournament to his choice of meal at a restaurant with all sorts of other "facts" in between.

"So, if you're unlucky, how come you got the trophy at the sports camp?" I countered.  
"That wasn't luck, that was skill."
"And when you got recognised for your guitar playing? "Skill." 
"And when you had that delicious ice cream?" "Skill - I chose the best flavour"

Hmm.  Being unlucky accounts for the "bad" stuff that happens but the "good" stuff is down to skill?

We do this as adults too. Why didn't I complete that action on my list?  Because x/y/z came up and that had to take priority.  Notice, "I" doesn't feature in the reason. This "thing" came up and "it" had priority - nothing to do with me!

Let's be honest, I CHOSE not to do that action.  I chose to prioritise something else (anything else - I am a master of procrastination).  It was entirely my decision.  

We're great at coming up with reasons and excuses for why things are the way we are and why we do, or don't do stuff. But that's all they are, excuses.  An excuse helps us pretend that we didn't have a choice and it wasn't our fault.  

There is always choice. In fact, there are many choices. Perhaps the impact of one those choices is unpalatable but it is a choice none-the-less.

Our hesitation in owning our choices often relates to the way we assess them - right and wrong, good and bad.  "I want to make the right choice."  Right according to whom?

In reality, the only person who can decide whether it is the "right" choice is you.  How you weigh up the options and make your decision may depend on a few things (see my previous blog post) but the key elements to hold on to are whether your choice honours your values.  If it does, you're on strong ground.

So when you find yourself looking to others, "things" or "life" for reasons (excuses) as to why you haven't changed something, ask yourself these questions:

  • what are my choices? (be honest and think laterally)
  • which choices relate closest to my values?
And remember, doing nothing can be a conscious choice too!

And as for my "unlucky" 10 year old? Perhaps a bit of work on getting comfortable with not being skillful at everything.  Wish me luck!

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