By Chris Chittenden

We all live in a constant world of choice. Indeed "more choice" has been a catchphrase of many businesses over the past decade or so. Where we used to have one or two options with a bank or telecommunications company for example, now we seem to have fifty. It would seem that choosing is very much part of our life.

Many of the choices we make in our life are obvious - what house to buy, what clothes to wear, what to have for dinner and so on. Although some of those choices may not be easy to make, we recognise that we are in the action of choosing. We know we must decide. However there are more subtle choices we make of which most of us are not aware. These are the ongoing choices we make in life. For example, everyday when many of us get up and go to work, we are making a choice. In the moment, we may not see it as a choice, as it is just what we do, but nonetheless we are choosing.

We term those sorts of choices, "transparent", as we do not see them. We continue to do things the way we have done them in the past or put our energies into areas of our life without giving it any thought. Often we do so with dwindling enthusiasm and energy for what we are doing. Let us look at our employment as an example. When we first take on a new job, we have normally made a conscious choice about taking the job and we go into it with a great a deal of enthusiasm. However, over time we get used to the place where we work, the sort of work we do etc and very often we find ourselves not as satisfied in what we are doing. It is at this point that we need to take our choice out of transparency - we need to rechoose.

The power of such choices cannot be understated. When we find ourselves considering whether we are in the right job, the right relationship or living the life we want, we normally do so when we are past the point of no return. We often find ourselves deciding because the situation has come to the point where we feel frustrated and dissatisfied. Hence we often feel the choice is one that becomes forced upon us.

However, if we consciously make those choices on a regular basis before frustration sets in, we do so from a much more effective space for making such decisions. What we have found is that choosing from such a space will normally lead us to reaffirm what we want and have in life. The value in making the choice lies in our recommitment to the aspect of our life in question and from that commitment is born more energy and enthusiasm. The process of choosing can also often throw up elements that you would like to do differently and allow you to the space to improve certain aspects of your life.

We are often asked what it is we do as coaches. I like to think that what we do is help people see choices they could not see before and then work with them to make and implement that choice. Although in this article we have spoken about major life choices, this also applies to the way we do everyday things like manage others, run meetings and communicate with others. We invite you to regularly consider the transparent choices you make in life. In doing so you can provide yourself with the opportunity to better live the life you want with the people you want.

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© 2002 Chris Chittenden