One Little Choice
I often think about how glad I am to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that change is possible. Not always easy. Rarely easy, as a matter of fact. But always possible. I have been playing around with this consciousness "stuff" for a long time now, over two decades. I am getting clearer and clearer about something. It’s not when the change is coming the easiest that the real transformation happens. Instead, it’s when you want to give up, or cave, or forget it all, or start again tomorrow that the real possibility opens up to step into strength and real power to make changes.
I used to do a wonderful healing art form called Chi-Lel Qigong and it’s a good example of what I’m talking about. When I learned the mind-body practice from Master Luke Chan, who brought the form to the U.S. from China, we were instructed to do it for 100 consecutive days—which constituted one “gong” or level of practice. Everybody kept saying things like, “Well, if I miss day 49 then couldn’t I just add a day to the end of the 100 days to make up for it?” And I remember him finally saying something like, “You Americans are so funny. You always jump from one thing to another trying to find a quicker, easier way. Just find something and do it. And then keep doing it.”
Some days it felt easy and good to do the 16-minute movement form. However, the real success came on the days when I so didn’t want to do it because I was too tired or too busy—but I did it anyway. I think the same is true for all the times we try to make changes.
I’m all about effortless and easy. I love when changes feel fun and easy to do. But I know it’s when I am on the border of, "Maybe today I'll choose to do what is truly better for me,” or "Maybe not. Maybe I’ll just do it tomorrow instead," that the real possibility of power and change are present. Whether with food or exercise decisions, actions within my relationships, consistency around disciplining my thoughts, steps toward expanding my career, or choices with financial habits, it always seems easy for awhile to do something new and thus to begin the change. But when the freshness and inspiration start to lessen and it feels like my good is still a long way off—whether that’s the completion of a 100-day Qigong practice, desired weight loss, increased wealth, or the success of a new book—when those things still seem to be a long way off and when I’m not in the mood to stick with the change today, that is when one little choice—to do the highest and best for myself just in this moment—really matters!
So that is your provocation for the week. If you have been wanting to make a positive change, if you have tried and failed, if you are currently in the process of making a change and are losing steam, or if you have almost decided to just forget it—each day this week decide on one small choice that you can make that serves you well. Maybe it’s writing just one paragraph of your book, or taking the effort to go to the bank and put only $5 into a savings account, or being kind instead of impatient just one extra time with your spouse or child, or taking even a brief walk, or not eating the extra dessert just today. Feel the power in that moment, in that possibility, in that space that resides between the decision to do it or not do it.
And then ask for the courage and strength within to make one little choice that serves you well! You are wonderfully worthy of a life of great good. We all are. Small choice by small choice we can get there.