Recently I learned a lesson about the concept of choice. Things happen to us in life that we don’t always choose. Sometimes it is something as simple as someone cutting us off in traffic. Other times it’s something much more frustrating, like getting into an argument with a close friend, or worse.

We have to remember that we are not our circumstances. Problems or inconveniences will always happen. They are part of the human experience.

A different way of looking at your circumstances is to choose them. It’s when we choose what happens to us that we can release its control over us. By not choosing it, we stand the risk of remaining in a perpetual breakdown.

A few weeks ago a colleague and I made plans to meet for coffee before work. Unfortunately, the colleague didn’t show. And there was no apparent attempt to contact me. Instead I just sat awkwardly drinking my coffee. Waiting. Eventually I paid for my coffee and went into work early.

To say that I was upset is an understatement. I had rearranged my morning to make this meeting possible.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

After I went on with my day, I made the choice to choose what happened. It was this acceptance that allowed me to let it go and move on with my life.

Had I not chose it; I likely would have created stories around it.

I would have talked to others about how unprofessional the person is and made myself the victim.

I might have even internalized it by questioning what kind of vibe I was giving off to attract such behavior. Before long I would have made myself wrong and took the blame for that person not showing up or being in communication with me.

It could have ruined my day by putting me in a bad mood, but because I chose it, I released any power it had over me and moved on.

Now it’s your turn. The next time you find yourself upset about something, try choosing it. You are not just choosing your circumstances, but you are choosing to release the power it has over you.

Originally published at