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I woke this morning in a mild panic. Something wasn’t right.

My body said I should be up and doing. My smartphone hadn’t yet alerted me to that fact.

Then my conscious mind remembered; we did the “fall behind” thing last night so instead of having overslept, I still had nearly 45 minutes before my phone would start playing the David Darling cello piece that I use as my (first) alarm.

It’s interesting how technology is set up to assume we will make the same choices that the rest of society is making. My phone is set to reference the World Clock and display whatever time that clock says it is in whatever part of the world my geo-location service says I’m in. So you might say I “had no choice” about what time my alarm would go off this morning.

However, I could have;

  1. Set the alarm to go off an hour earlier (which, according to my mind, would have been at the “normal” time.)
  2. Opted out of the geo-location service or elected NOT to have the phone auto-update from the World Clock.
  3. Used a traditional alarm clock (I think they still make them.)
  4. Turned the alarm off (it IS Sunday after all) and trusted my mind/body memory to tell me when to wake up.

I had even more choices, but I’ve promised to try to keep my posts shorter so I’ll stick to the obvious (less creative) ones.

It made me think about all the times I’ve had someone say to me, “I don’t have a choice.”

We always have choices. And every choice has a consequence.

What we really mean, when we say “I don’t have a choice,” is that we don’t SEE a choice that we believe will create consequences we like better.

So I could even opt out of this idea of “daylight savings time” and choose to spend my daylight freely, winter and summer alike.

There would be consequences. It’s hard enough to adjust for all the different time zones, without having to remember that even my next door neighbor is an hour ahead or behind the time I see on my watch. But it isn’t unethical or illegal - just awkward.

And so it is with most of our “only choice” decisions - either we don’t even THINK about our choices, just going with the default setting, or we think about the more obvious (less creative) choices and decide there are none with consequences we would want to incur.

But thinking we have only one choice denies our creativity, and it denies our personal power.

Are you choosing to hit the snooze button? Or living your life on cruise control?

What would happen if, the next time, you think “I don’t have any other choice,”  you rephrased it to, “I make this choice freely because I think it will have the best possible consequences for me.”

You might make the same choice.

But you’d train yourself to THINK before you used your default setting.


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