THE CHOICE THEORY

The amount of time one can spend not knowing, not seeing, nor understanding something that might be right under their nose is quite often ridiculous. And this goes for nearly everything, whether we’re talking about women who never seem to be able to find anything in their bags, the enigmatic search for our glasses that have somehow mysteriously landed on our heads, or the search for that adventurous sock that always seems to separate from its pair. Moving on to less ridiculous things, this also goes for most of our life hustles and struggles. Even though they seem impossible to solve quite often, the solution might just be under our nose. And as funny as this may sound the solution lies within ourselves. I’m going to introduce you to THE CHOICE THEORY – a theory that seems so obvious and has been right under our noses the entire time but it never crossed our minds. I would never come to what I’m about to tell you if I hadn’t read it somewhere else, but since this theory actually makes more sense than anything I’ve heard in quite a long time I’ve decided to share it with you. It doesn’t work if you’re not committed to practicing it, it’s even more difficult if you’ve picked neurosis as your lifestyle, thinking it might  ad a charming twist to your life, however, the more you practice this technique the easier it becomes.

In order to understand the concept I’m trying to introduce let’s make a little experiment: what if I told you to stand up and sit down right now? Could you do it instantly? Yes, you could. Because you can momentarily control the ACTIVITY of your body (it goes without saying that unfortunately there are those who cannot, but most people can). What if I told you to imagine a sandy beach with palm trees? Could you do it right now? Yes, you could. Because you can momentarily control your THOUGHTS (it is in fact quite difficult for women to do that once they enter a shopping mall, but we’ll go with the premises that it’s possible). However, what if I told you to cry right now? Would you be able to do it? Most probably not, at least not instantly. Because we don’t momentarily control our EMOTIONS. What if I told you to increase your heart rate immediately? You wouldn’t be able to do it immediately because we don’t momentarily control our PHYSIOLOGY either. So there are four components out of which the first two are momentarily controllable and the second two aren’t. However, here is how we can control the second two components by using the first two ones: in the case of having to cry one could intentionally start thinking sad THOUGHTS and would most probably start to cry eventually. In the case of having to increase the heart rate one could start doing all sorts of ACTIVITIES and their heart rate would increase after a short matter of time.

Unfortunately we cannot choose what hurts us in life, some people rarely get emotional over anything while there are others who get hurt even when they encounter an empty jar of Nutella (I’m not talking about me, it’s a friend’s friend’s friend). The ones that rarely get hurt might also feel happiness less often, while the Nutella people might get psyched over a couple of Nutella filled donuts after lunch (I’m still talking about that friend’s friend’s friend… man, does that guy like sweets). However, the aforementioned “experiment”, “exercise”or whatever we may call it shows us that one can (even though not instantly) control both emotions and physiology with our own thoughts and activities. When we’re feeling low we can think of nice things and therefore, change the way we feel. When we’re in bad physical condition we can exercise in order to feel better. The success of these actions depends exclusively on our own selves. You and only you have the power to change how you feel if you care enough to change it.

It goes without saying that when something hurtful happens it’s not always easy to keep reminding ourselves to think happy thoughts, nor is it easy for all the soap opera actors out there to have to think sad thoughts in order to make themselves cry for each shooting… But it is, in fact, quite comforting to know that that’s something we are capable of controling. So my advice to that friend’s friend’s friend is: dude, rather than staying super emotional and hurt about that empty Nutella jar, try to think of all the new Nutella jars you’ll get to buy in your life (momentarily controllable THOUGHTS), or maybe even walk over to the supermarket to get a new one straight away (momentarily controllable ACTIVITY).

This was the choice theory in a nutshell; in a really super small, tiny, mini nutshell (for those of you interested in learning more read the “Choice theory” by William Glasser – it might just knock your socks off, and even if doesn’t it might spare you some time from scrolling through Facebook). The choice theory is quite a vast subject and we could go on and on about it, but all that Nutella talk got me kind of hungry. Damn you friend’s friend’s friend!

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