1. Choose to be happy
That is right, happiness is a choice. It is not a natural disposition or a matter of favorable circumstances. Choosing to be happy has no down side. It makes things better for everyone…including you!
2. Choose to not be offended
Make people work really hard to offend you this year. After all, why should you have a bad day because someone ELSE is insensitive? Don’t let other people’s problems become your problem.
3) Choose to control impulses
Often the things we DON’T say, post or tweet are our best decisions of the day. Just let it go. You don’t have to respond. You just don’t…
4) Choose to not do dumb crap
For me, this comes down to a simple question, “Could anything good possibly come from what I am about to do?” If the answer is “no” or “probably not,” don’t do it.
5) Choose to forgive
Forgiving does not let the people who hurt us off the hook. It frees us from bitterness and hate. Forgiving someone gets them out of your head and breaks their control over you.
6) Choose to reboot your dreams
Dreams keep us engaged, fill us with hope and keep us working hard. Remember to differentiate between a dream and a pipe-dream. A dream is something achievable through sacrifice, planning and hard work. If your dreams do not fit this definition, recalibrate them…and then crack at it!
7) Choose where you expend energy
Before you allow yourself to get angry or become frustrated, ask yourself, “Why would I allow this person or situation steal my energy?” Just because people might behave badly, the line isn’t moving or you have been on hold for 20 minutes, really isn’t worth your energy. Save your best energy for the people that love you!
8) Choose to believe
Faith is a wonderful thing! Having something to believe in nurtures our spirits, gives circumstances context and reminds us that the cosmos is bigger that “us and ours.”
9) Choose to live healthy
Things like eating smart, getting plenty of exercise and living more simply add both quality and quantity to our lives. Health is not just the absence of illness; it is a lifestyle.
10) Choose to love
Unconditional love does not necessitate unconditional approval, nor does it require you to enter the dysfunction or drama of another person. Love is choosing to have people in your life; speaking truth, staying at the table and sharing the journey. Love gives and receives. If you are only giving (and giving) and not receiving anything, that is the definition of a host and parasite, not love.
There is no better use of time as we near the end of a pandemic than to think about our choices. By making healthy choices we accentuate our joys and lessen our burdens.
-Rev. Shane L. Bishop has been the Sr. Pastor of Christ Church in Fairview Heights, IL since 1997. He is the author of the book, “Love God. Love People. Don’t Do Dumb Crap.” and the blog “12 Things I See Happy People Do (That Unhappy People Do Not).”