Blog (filtered)

Being a leader takes practice. We’re excited to share our latest experiments and lessons learned.

Samantha Campbell 
Friday, December 16, 2016

I recently attended the Exceptional Assistant Network (EAN) graduation ceremony where UVA’s Assistant Vice President of Human Resources, Bryan Garey spoke. He talked about Zig Zigler and the power of owning your choice. So I started thinking…

 “You have a choice.” Powerful words to live by. No matter what, you always have a choice. You can choose to be happy, and you can also choose to be unhappy. The situation doesn’t control you. You create the situation based on how you choose to deal with it.

Doesn’t that make you feel empowered? To live a life knowing you are in control. We all know those times when life throws you a few curve balls. It can be difficult to see through to the other side, but you will get there one way or another, so why not choose to be happy - or kind, or thankful?

Often, I hear people talk about all the things they don’t have and how different their lives would be if they only had those things. Well guess what? You are in control of your life. The grass is always greener - until you realize that you have the best soil on the street, right in your own yard. You already have the tools to live that amazing life you talk about.

First things first, be thankful for the wonderful things you do have – a warm place to lay your head at night, a refrigerator with food in it, a job that pays you money so you can support yourself and your family. All of these things are good. When the first negative thing happens - you get a flat tire, a bill you weren’t expecting, you get sick - the next moments define your future. In fifteen years, will you remember these inconveniences? If you choose to be unhappy and miserable, will it make the situation better? Most likely, it will not. What if you choose to be thankful, or grateful, that maybe that flat tire kept you from getting into a bad accident, or that extra bill will help you get out of debt faster, or when you got sick that your body needed time to rest (and catch up on your favorite TV show!) and heal so you can be 100% in the present?

Take a look at this graphic I found, comprised of results from more than 40 research studies on gratitude. Pretty interesting!

Of course everyone’s life might be “better” with a million dollars, but if you only concentrate on the things you don’t have by saying how much better your life would be with them, then you will miss out on all of the things you do have. You might not realize the power and life-changing energy you contain within yourself, and it’s so simple. It’s also free. It’s the power of choice; the positive power of good, and we all have it.

So how will you choose to feel today? Tomorrow? Next week? It feels good to feel good!