10 Things I Believe to be Undeniable - UPDATED

I believe that while we cannot control everything that happens to us,
we do possess the power to control how we react to it.
Life is little bits and pieces of what happens to us
mixed inextricably with much larger bits and pieces of how we respond.
EVERY day you can CHOOSE your attitude.

Not long ago, while watching our way through season five of the TV Series, House, we came across an episode called, “The Social Contract”.  The focal point of the forty-three minute drama is a man who has lost the use of his “Social Filter” and involuntarily verbalizes every thought that ricochets through his brain.

Midway through the episode a brief, private exchange between the patient and doctor about passing thoughts caught my attention. The attending (Taub) alludes to the serious nature of the patient’s affliction, expressing that he wouldn’t think it fair to be defined by his passing thoughts (those instantaneous moments of judgment that all people experience, but choose to keep to themselves most of the time).

The patient responds, “My real choices are my actions.”

What a poignant illustration of day to day life. We all have thoughts racing involuntarily through our psyche as we observe and judge, see and react. Some thoughts are altruistic. Some are judgmental. Some are fueled by curiosity piqued. Some are shut down by repulsive reflex.

Everyone has thoughts, but actions are a choice and it’s these actions that ultimately paint the portrait that defines how we are seen by others.

It may be possible to condition involuntary thought by purposeful, long-term seeding of our sub-conscious with alternate stimuli. Perhaps that was the objective of the Apostle Paul’s Philippians checklist and encouragement to “think on these things” (Phil. 4:8).

Regardless of our ability, trained or otherwise, to control our involuntary thoughts; I do believe we ultimately have control over our actions. We prove this to be true on a regular basis as we tailor our actions to suit a particular situation. This is not an act of being fake or phony. It’s simply evidence that we are in control of who we are at all times.

Life happens non-stop and our response is a mixture of involuntary impulse buffered by purposeful action. You have the ultimate gift: Every day you can choose.