Tag Archives: Choice

Choosing to Turn Towards the Good: A Powerful, Empowering Choice

When I twisted my ankle back in 2008, I remember how a whole new world opened up to me right where I had been living for a number of years.  On the one hand, I saw just how selfish, self-centered, and unaware people were, as they would rush by me and ignore the fact that I couldn’t get through doors, or wouldn’t get up to let me sit in the bus or the train.  On the other hand, I also saw amazing and inspiring displays of good cheer and selflessness—free rides, letting me pass in front of a long line, and rearranging the seating in a food court so that I could take the table on the side where I could stretch my leg out comfortably.

One of the things that I have always struggled with, that I struggled with during that time dealing with life with a twisted ankle, and that I continue to deal with is the choice to see the world either as half full, or half empty, of goodness.  Let’s be honest: there is a lot that is going wrong in the world, and a lot that needs some serious fixing, if not outright replacement.  But on the other hand, there is so much that is going right in the world, so much goodness that we can build on and create a better world.

It’s all the more important today, with some of the things that have happened since I first posted these Chronicles of a Twisted Ankle, to remain optimistic.  It doesn’t mean burying one’s head in the sand.  Rather, it means looking at the reality that surrounds us, but never forgetting that there are more than enough good things happening in the world that we can build on.

{ Sahar’s Blog is all about being in a constant state of learning.  So it only made sense for me to go back to all my previous posts and see how my thoughts on certain topics have changed over the last nine years.  In this new, ongoing series of posts, I’ll be rereading some of my older posts and reflecting on the same topic in light of what I’ve learned since then.  It’s going to be very interesting to see how things have changed! }

Spring Forth with New Year’s Resolutions, Part II: Inspirational Journals

Sahar's Blog 2015 03 31 Spring Forth with New Year’s Resolutions, Part II Journalling With a Je ne Sais QuoiJournaling has been such an important part of my quest to achieve New Year’s resolutions. Because I spend so much time jotting down thoughts, reflections, quotes, learnings, and insights, I choose both pens and journals very carefully. While I have a propensity for Moleskine journals, other journals also make their way into my hands. These often feature a sentiment on the cover that serves as my “portable mantra of the moment”.

(For a limited time, Anne is offering Sahar’s Blog readers a 15% discount on the items featured in this post; just use the code Sahar15).

In last week’s post on mantras, I shared four of my favorite prints courtesy of Anne Garrison Studio. Her online store also carries quite a few journals that feature inspirational quotes, so many that I feared for my credit card’s life. Four in particular feature some of the most important profound changes a person can choose to undergo.

In a world that seems to encourage constant discontent, choosing to be happy is a big step, which is why Anne’s “Choose Joy Today” journal tops off the list. It reminded me of a particularly helpful quote a co-worker of mine posted in our office’s eating area during a particularly troubling time for most of the staff: “Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.” While he had placed the quote there hoping for just a small positive impact, he ended up inspiring the entire team to take active steps to look “beyond the imperfections.” And while the challenges did not disappear, everyone in the office was markedly happy within a short amount of time.

This choice—to be happy—is one that requires effort at times. It’s not easy and plans often go astray. Thankfully, as Anne quoted on one of her journal covers, “If Plan {A} fails, don’t forget there are 25 more letters in the alphabet!”, reflecting the attitude in what I feel is one of the best quotes attributed to Helen Keller: “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” Another quote while might sound familiar is: “When God closes a door, He opens a window.”

One of the concrete ways to learn to be happy is to enjoy the simple things in life, which makes Anne’s “Enjoy the simple things in life” journal an unsurprising favourite of mine. Research has given this advice quite some weight, proving that something as simple as a smile from a stranger or a relaxing walk makes us significantly happier. In similar manner, remembering the power a single word can have made me zero in on Anne’s “Words have Wings so Speak Good Things” journal. Choosing words careful can have a powerful effect on how we feel as well as a similarly powerful effect on our environment. For “a kindly tongue is the lodestone of the hearts of men. It is the bread of the spirit, it clotheth the words with meaning, it is the fountain of the light of wisdom and understanding.” But at the same time, we have to choose the time and place to say certain things, however innocuous they might in themselves be. For “not everything that a man knoweth can be disclosed, nor can everything that he can disclose be regarded as timely, nor can every timely utterance be considered as suited to the capacity of those who hear it.”

Which of Anne’s journals represent a profound change you are working on?

Photo Credit: Anne Garrison Studio.