Your 3 choices in life and 3 steps to choose the best option

By Wayne Elsey

I’ve said for years that there is a natural disaster happening in someone’s life every day. You probably don’t know it, so think about that the next time you are impatient or unkind.

Not too long ago, I was having a conversation with an old friend, and he asked me, “Wayne, how do you do it? How do you keep all of the balls in your life in the air no matter what’s happening?”

My answer was this, “You’ve only got three choices in life: give up, give in, or give it all you’ve got.”

No one’s life is perfect. Yes, I know that might be a little difficult to believe since everyone seems to have a “perfect” life when we scroll through our social media feeds. But, every day—no matter the circumstances—there are just those three choices. I believe in positivity, no matter what happens; I don’t veer from staying focused and optimistic on a good outcome. The decision I consistently make each day, no matter how easy or difficult it is, is to give it all I’ve got. Perhaps that’s the secret to my success, but no matter what, I know it’s what has been the fuel that keeps me going and pushing through the obstacles that arise.

However, I understand that staying positive and giving it all one has can be difficult. I know on some days, the inclination is just to let the day pass. But, we all know that responsible adults can’t do that, and we have to push on.

If you’re a person who would like to give it all you’ve got every day, even on the tough days, there are several ways you can maintain that focus­­—regardless of the circumstances.

  1. Get used to finding the silver lining. No one gets through life unscathed. The stressful situations that arise are essential because most of the growth occurs during the tough times as opposed to the moments when things are going well. If you want to get your mental and emotional muscles focused on consistently giving things your all, then one of the first things you have to do is to always look for the silver lining.

Every situation, even the most challenging ones that deal with life and death, have a silver lining. You can find the good in every instance, but you have to get used to looking for it—always. As with everything in life, it takes practice to keep yourself in an optimistic frame of mind, but following that point of view is vital. A cynical perspective brings more negativity and misery. But when you try to find the good in every situation, you’re better able to deal with things head on and with calm. Get in the habit of asking yourself in every circumstance, what is the silver lining or opportunity?

  1. Listen to music. There’s a reason why most people enjoy music. Few things in the human experience can help you change your mood more than music. As a matter of fact, research has proven that music activates the area of your brain that releases the chemical dopamine, which is a good chemical. It helps people relax, feel good about things and to enjoy.

Almost everyone has a mobile which could store thousands of songs. Create playlists that are relevant to you. I’ve got several playlists, which include collections of music when I want to relax and take it easy and also music that pumps me up, particularly for those days when I wake up and know that I’m going to have to power through things to overcome the challenges I face. Get in the habit of playing music, daily if possible, which will help you remain optimistic and in the right frame of mind.

  1. Surround yourself with positive people. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “misery loves company.” It’s true. While there are times when we all feel down, there are folks who are always negative and who rain on everyone’s parade year after year. They never change. They’re negative people who see doom and gloom in everything. Even if someone like this is in your family, you have to decide to keep this person at arm’s length.

Surround yourself with people who are optimistic and have a good and positive outlook. These kinds of people are grateful for what they have in their lives, including their family, friends, and experiences. Positive people understand that even if things are tough, they are going to take the necessary steps to address the situation at hand with confidence, courage, and discipline. They see the silver linings and firmly believe that they’ve got to give it all they’ve got.

Life can be tough. We all know that, but it can also be incredibly memorable, even during the tough times. But to see that, it takes a little work by each of us. Change your perspective, listen to music for mood, and surround yourself with a positive group of people. As time passes, you’ll notice a significant change that will improve your circumstances, no matter what you face.

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By Wayne Elsey