As you may know, I distribute a monthly e-newsletter called LifeLines, which is filled with tips, tools, and resources for leading an extraordinary life.
This month’s issue is all about the choices we make -- and the space from which we make those choices. I’ve received so much feedback around this topic that I thought I’d go ahead and share October's featured article with you here: “Catabolic vs. Anabolic Choice.”
(As a point of reference, catabolic simply means negative or destructive and anabolic means positive or constructive.)
With that in mind, I invite you to think about the space from which you make the choices in your life as you read the following excerpt from this month's LifeLines:
Many of us walk around feeling like we have limited choices in many aspects of our lives. Take notice of how many times a day you say the words have to, should, and need to. Whenever you feel like you must do something, you become a victim to your thoughts or circumstances, which places you squarely in the space of catabolic energy.
In fact, when you’re faced with a task or something to do, there are actually five basic ways you can respond, and of those responses, only one is by full, conscious choice.
The five ways of responding are: “I won’t,” “I have to,” “I need to,” “I want to,” or “I choose to.”
When you say “I won’t” do something, you’re saying that you have no power, that life happens to you, no matter what you do or believe. You don’t believe that you have a choice. You also don’t really think there’s anything in it for you – so why do it?
If you say “I have to,” you’re looking at the short term perspective. You “have to” complete the task in front of you, or else you'll experience dire consequences. You feel forced to do it, and that you have very little to no choice.
The third response, “I need to” is a more powerful place to come from. Here, you’re aware of your choices and you seek to find the opportunity in the challenges presented to you. This perspective brings more chances of success, but it’s still catabolic because you don’t feel like you’re fully at choice.
These three responses involve either non-action or action by force. Since you're not energetically bought into a situation, goal, or project, and because you're bringing catabolic energy to it, you're also bringing a recipe for failure. So, in these catabolic levels, even though you may think you're choosing to do something, at your core, you chose not to do it -- or not to do it well.
The next response, “I want to,” is anabolic because it indicates that you're mostly at choice, but “want” still comes from a place of lack.
The most powerful response is “I choose to.” When you respond this way, you feel you have complete choice. There’s a powerful connection between who you are and what you do.
So how do you get to "choose to?" Simply come from a place of having everything, and choosing to experience, rather than fill a need. Easy? Not at all, but you can choose to try it.
(Click here if you'd like to choose to subscribe to LifeLines.)