Our lives are made up of choices - millions of choices - big and small. Some are choices that we make once and then stick with us, and others are the little choices we make all day, every day.
There are the BIG choices - your faith, who you marry, if you have children, where you live, what you do with your life, etc. that obviously have a huge impact on life. I often say that I could live anywhere and do anything, and as long as I have Josh and our family, I could be happy. When I have to make a big choice I talk with the people nearest and dearest to me, I pray, and I think things through. Following my heart, my gut, and the advice of those who truly care about me never leads me wrong.
Yet I often think that the smaller choices we make day to day (usually without much thought) also have a very big impact on our lives, and the color of our days.
Do you smile often?
What do you dedicate your time to?
What do you focus your attention on?
Are you quick to anger?
Who do you surround yourself with?
Do you look on the bright side?
Do you expect good things to happen?
Do you look for the good in people?
Do you sweat the small stuff?
Do you hold on to anger and grudges?
Do you lift others up or do you tear them down?
Do you let others tear you down?
Do you speak kindly?
Are you hopeful?
Do you lose your temper easily?
Are you patient?
Do you count your blessings?
Do you give of yourself freely?
Do you laugh often?
Are you grateful?
Are you quick to judge?
Are you hard on yourself?
Are you hard on others?
Are you a peacemaker?
Do you forgive?
Do you look for ways to serve others?
Do you love unconditionally?
Do you find joy in your days?
Do you do the things that you love?
There are so many others that could be added to this list, but I was thinking how these things (no matter our circumstances, no matter what happens, and no matter what others around us do) decide each and every day what our lives are truly about, who we are, and what are lives are like. None of us are perfect, and I know some days I definitely do better than others, but life is too short and too precious to not strive to be better, to focus on the good, to be truly happy - and to make the most of each day.
Running helps me with all of the above. I have always been an optimistic
and happy person, but running gives me time to think, time to pray,
time to process problems, time to make decisions, time to burn off
stress, and time to process my hurts and disappointments (and to put
them into perspective). Running helps me remember my priorities, my
joys, my blessings, my patience, my peace, my strength, my abilities,
and my smile. And the endorphins are good too. :)
"The remarkable thing is, we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day." - Charles R. Swindoll
"A contented mind is the greatest blessing a man can enjoy in this world." - Joseph Addison
"When you wish someone joy, you wish them peace, love, prosperity, happiness…all the good things." - Maya Angelou