Springingtiger's Blog


The Language of Choice: Continual Choosing

I had intended to call this section ‘Continuous Choosing’ because it sounds better, but while expressing an ideal does not reflect reality. A choice that is made once and then forgotten is a dead choice, it lives only in the moment it was made and then is left to fade with memory. It is appropriate to allow some choices to die.

Occasionally all that is needed to break out of victim mode is to make a choice. A desire to remain in bed and not go to work can be broken simply by choosing to get up and go to work. This is a one off choice that can be left behind once it has served its purpose. Some one off choices are not ‘one offs’ because they will represent at intervals. However a repeated ‘one off’ is generally a secondary choice and like all secondary choices tends to be time limited to as long as it serves the Primary Choice.

Ideally our Primary Choice should be before us continuously giving our lives direction and purpose. Realistically we are human beings and human beings are easily distracted and prone to discouragement. If we could maintain a continuous choice perhaps we would be less prone to go off course. If we wish to remain on course we need to keep our choices alive.

We keep our choices alive by choosing them. Choosing them again and again whenever we become aware that we have lost our focus. Werner Erhard would call this process ‘catching ourselves’ and apply it to many more things in life than just our choices. Basically it’s just becoming aware of what’s so right now. When we catch ourselves being off course then it’s time to refocus and make the necessary adjustments to get back on course.

Some people may find it useful to set up a structure to enable Continual Choosing. Darren Eden has his students tune in to their choices everyday, either by themselves or with one of their partners on the journey. Working with a partner on a choice is a powerful way of energising it and it can be useful to have someone to call you to account. However simply reminding yourself daily of your choices is enough to keep them alive. When a choice is also a measurable goal then then a regular tracking of progress serves to keep the choice alive.

Some might argue that having to tune in daily to a choice or track progress on a goal turns it from a choice to a burden. The continual refocussing is a Secondary Choice that serves the vision by keeping it in sight. If we are serious about our choices and responsible for them then we will do what is necessary to realise them and that means nurturing them.

A vision, a Primary Choice is like a seed you sow. It will grow if you provide it with water and fertiliser, perhaps prune it, almost certainly prevent weeds from competing with it. The weeds are like the negative thoughts and distractions that smother your faith in your vision, they need to be cleared  ̶ as a gardener I know you will never completely eliminate weeds ̶ to allow light to reach your vision.

The other reason to continually revivify your choice is that focussing on it becomes a habit and habits require little effort. The habit of continual focus is the most likely path to making your choice continuous and a continuous choice is a reflection of who you are rather than something you do.

I’ve grown accustomed to her face.
She almost makes the day begin.
I’ve grown accustomed to the tune that
She whistles night and noon.
Her smiles, her frowns,
Her ups, her downs
Are second nature to me now;
Like breathing out and breathing in.” (My Fair Lady)

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