So the other day as I was standing in line waiting to order my lunch, I found myself staring at the menu and trying to decide what I was really in the mood for that day. Even though I had eaten at the same place hundreds of times in my life and I knew the menu like the back of my hand, I still reviewed my choices like it was the first time I had ever been there.
After much deliberation, I eventually ordered the same thing I order almost 90 percent of the time. There were dozens of choices, but yet I ordered what was somehow programmed in my head already.
As I thought about this over lunch, I thought about the menu of life and how I can choose what I would like to see in myself or believe about myself. And I was reminded of a quote that I had heard somewhere along the way, "You are what you believe yourself to be."
And so as I ran through my mental menu I thought about some of the ways I choose to see myself, and maybe how others might see me. The items on my menu that I could choose from included loving, caring, forgiving, compassionate, energized, consistent, winner, champion, thoughtful, father, friend, smart, generous and happy. The good news is that I didn't have to make a single choice, I could actually have everything on the menu, or at least strive to be everything on the menu.
Now maybe my list or menu sounds a like a bit of an ego trip, and maybe I am not always all of those things each and every day. I mean we all have our off days and moments, don't we? But just like going to the same restaurant over and over again, and becoming extremely familiar with the menu, these are the things I want to consistently think about and become familiar with for myself.
Just think about the alternative for a minute. What if our mental menu consisted of dozens of options that didn't appeal to us and yet we go back to the same place over and over again never much caring for anything we choose? Instead of a list of really appetizing items, we see things like negativity, pessimism, anger, envy, enemy, hate, revenge and sadness.
Here's the thing, just like in a restaurant we get to make the choices. And maybe we choose the same thing 90 percent of the time and that's OK, especially if it is something that is really good. And just imagine if we went about this same selection process throughout our day? What if we saw that very same menu for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert? If we did, and if we were choosing from the menu of the good instead of the bad, we would be nourishing our own bodies and probably also nourishing anyone else who we happen to be around each day.
How about you? Do you go to the same restaurant frequently? Do you usually order the same thing 90 percent of the time? Well I would love to hear all about the items on your own personal menu and the choices you choose to make about how you see yourself at firstname.lastname@example.org. And when we frequent our favorite places and order up a healthy serving of goodness for ourselves, it really will be a better than good week for everyone.
Michael Norton is a resident of Castle Rock, the former president of the Zig Ziglar Corporation, a strategic consultant and a business and personal coach.