The Choice Is Yours

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

– Maria Robinson

As we wrap up another trip around the sun, spending our time reflecting on days gone by and ruminating on what’s to come as the calendar turns from 2014 to 2015, I want to talk about the idea of choice. Many of us have used the phrase, “I had no choice.” But I don’t believe that anymore.  Whether or not to do or say something is a choice in my book. Or doing something and implying that one’s hands are tied and nothing else could be done is also choosing. I think that in every situation we always have a choice.

So how are you reflecting on the choices you made this past year? What choices will you make in this coming year? For me, I’m feeling gratitude for all of the events, situations and opportunities for growth and learning from my actions in 2014. I’m thinking of myself with compassion and consideration for doing the best I could, instead of criticism for the times I wish I had done something differently. I’m reflecting on places I was or could have been accountable for my part in the results, including both the negative and positive outcomes. I’m proud of the accomplishments and progress made in the course of 365 days.

With regard to 2015, I’m excited to see what will emerge as my important work and focus. I’m enthusiastic for all of the new beginnings I will encounter that often occur at the start of a new year. I’m ready for fresh experiences in my professional and personal life. I’m willing to make the choice to think more optimistically, speak more authentically, and act more courageously. And I’m inspired to empower others to do the same.

I recall one of my favorite pieces of advice from my children’s beloved elementary school principal. After her morning announcements every day, she said, “Make it a good day or not, the choice is yours.” It was a motivational message to hear every day for 180 school days for the 8 years that my children spent time at the school. My challenge to you is to encourage your own positive attitude and pass it on to your leaders, supervisors, colleagues, direct reports, and anyone else with whom you come in contact. My best suggestion for 2015 is to make it a good year or not since the choice is yours.

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