Your Favorite Color Isn’t The Only Choice - Grasshopper
It's hard to believe that in a box of 64 crayons we are able to narrow down our choice to just one preferred color, but we do.
How about your way of doing things, is there another way?
What about your angle of view. Is there another vantage point?
How awkward do you feel about a different approach?
How about your God? There's the one that lives in your house of worship and several others that are refracted off the stained glass windows.
In life, there is an inexhaustible palette to pick from, but we impoverish our choices by not exercising our freedom to choose.
Truth be told, most choices are made for us.
They are made out of the patterns we have learned consciously and unconsciously. We don't choose. Our patterns choose for us.
This is quite helpful in areas of our life that benefit by trained automatic responses. Think how cumbersome it would be to have to consciously choose to take your foot off the gas and consciously choose to apply the break every time you came to an octagonal red and white sign with the letters S-T-O-P on it.
But from this point forward, you can now use the STOP sign to serve as a dual reminder about choice.
Reminder 1. To be thankful that we have a part of us that automates routine choices so we don't have to think about them.
Reminder 2. To get curious about what other selections there are in areas where automated responses are cheating us out of choice.
The STOP sign can also be an acronym that reminds us to take full advantage of the freedom to choose.
S is for Spectrum. There is, as Newton called it, a spectrum of light – 7 basic colors the human eye can perceive. If your color choices were based on just those 7, you would live dangerously close to a black and white world. Remember: there is a broader spectrum to pick from when choosing.
T is for Trained. We act like trained apes every time we make the same choice that isn't working, again. Train yourself to recognize the array of choices that are available each and every moment and pick the one that has the best chance of succeeding, rather than picking your favorite color again.
O is for Osmosis – the process of something moving through a seemingly impermeable wall. It's hard for our adult intellect to understand that we learned many things without knowing how. From the time we're born until our intellect takes form, we are unbiased learning machines. We not only learn to walk and talk without knowing how, we also, osmotically, suck in many patterns of belief from well meaning adults. These patterns can stay with us for a lifetime, even though we had no say in getting them. Take notice that these are some of the same patterns that aren't working for the people who gave them to you.
P is for Picking. It's time to begin to recognize that choices live in a giant grab bag and we always have the ability to pick, rather than be picked again.
We all have a favorite color but we may have never taken the time to notice its limitations. This failure to STOP and notice, limits our choices and makes "free will" something we talk about but rarely use.
If you always pick your favorite color, you have, in effect, picked your poison. The universal antidote is choice.
All the best,
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