Character & Mental Toughness – Choice (A Guest Post)

I read Chris’s Facebook post late last night and he has graciously allowed me to share it with you
Choice
A few months ago, I wrote a piece about perception and reality. Basically, it comes down to how you view things will determine your reality. After I wrote it and posted it, it still felt like something was missing. Over my extended vacation, it became obvious. The missing piece is choice. There is the saying that “Life is 10%what happens to you and 90% how you handle it.” There is some real value there. How you handle it is a choice, isn’t it? It sounds really simplistic, but its not. Isn’t choice really about deciding on what is best in that given situation. We make 1000’s of choices a day. From what we wear, to how fast we drive, what we eat, what we say.

Over break, I have seen multiple examples of choice that have hit me pretty hard. First, an old coach/colleague/friend of mine wrote a book called “On Character and MentalToughness”. I haven’t finished it yet, but I am getting there. I highly recommend it for everybody. Not just because he is a friend of mine, but because I think it ties in tightly with making choices. Sometimes we have to make hard choices. But in order to do it, it takes discipline and mentaltoughness, because the best choice isn’t always the most popular. As an educator, I see this all the time with students. It’s cooler to make the wrong decision because your friends will think its funny. My friend outlines what it takes to develop these character traits in society, which I believe in turn will help people make better choices. He could have kept it to himself, but he chose to help others by writing it.

This morning I read a heartbreaking post about a dog intown. If you know me, dogs are really special to me. So to read about this dog living in terrible conditions really upset me. But the reason, I even knew about it,was because somebody chose to reach out to social media, pleading for help. There was a tremendous response. People who didn’t evenknow her, chose to share the story on facebook. Because she did this, someone chose to save this dog. It would have been easy to just skip bythe post.

People go through horrible things everyday, but still carry on. A friend from college just lost her daughter to cancer. Something, that I can’t even begin tocomprehend. She shared her daughters journey over the past year and half. I am amazed at the fact that she is already setting up a foundation in her daughters name to help other children who have been afflictedwith the disease. She has chosen to keep her daughters memory alive by helping others. When the end was nearing, they wanted to have her athome. They found out that there wasn’t any pediatric hospice services in their area. The home nurse that they had previously came anyways. She chose to help this family during their darkest hour. She had no obligation to do so. She chose to.

I believe, internally we all know what the right choices are. Why we sometimes don’t choose to do so is unique to each of us. So, since it is a new year and people are huge on resolutions, try this one. Make the right choices. Whenever you are faced with a decision, make the best one. You know what is the right thing to do,the right thing to say , right thing to eat 🙂 etc. I think if we do this, a lot of those resolutions that you are thinking of, willfall into place anyways.
So it’s your choice.
-Chris Benjamin

Awesome Chris! The key is to not only reach the highest level of character (Awareness) but to consistently maintain Awareness. That takes practice. For me this means the twice daily moments of reflection I spoke of in the book. We constantly say “wake up!!!” when we see people are doing negative things or could be doing more. That’s why the very last chapter is Awakened. Imagine being able to maintain that clarity and energy and contentment you spoke about. I try to get better because I hope to get closer to staying there someday! Thank you Chris for sharing your thoughtful perspective.

Coach Moore’s book On Character and Mental Toughness may be found by clicking here.

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About coachbillmoore

Educator/Author/Speaker/HS & NCAA Coach Character Coach Read Coach Moore’s book “On Character and Mental Toughness” Paperback available at Barnes & Noble or Amazon. "The measure of your character and mental toughness is the space between what you are doing and what you could be doing." -Coach Bill Moore
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