Anatomy of Choice

In my last post we began the conversation regarding choice in our lives. Today I would like to discuss the anatomy of choice. Believe it or not, some that are reading this have never made a choice in their lives. I know, that sounds absurd, but let me explain.

Let’s use the example of picking a flavor of ice cream. For the purpose of an example we will say that your favorite flavor is chocolate. Now if you were at my home for dinner and I asked all the guests if they wanted vanilla or chocolate ice cream, you would very quickly say chocolate because you love the way it tastes. So is this response a choice or a decision? It is a decision because you have picked chocolate based on your conditioning of the past without truly knowing and considering your options. Let me clarify.

To continue the example further, let’s say that everyone else at the table picked vanilla and they absolutely loved it. This may be because this is my homemade vanilla bean ice cream made with real vanilla beans that is actually incredibly decadent. I know decadent is usually reserved for chocolate, but my homemade vanilla bean ice cream breaks those rules. Now back to your chocolate. Maybe the chocolate ice cream I gave you was the cheapest store brand and it was sitting in my freeze so long that it had freezer burn. So you are eating this nasty chocolate ice cream while everyone else is sharing how incredibly decadent the fresh vanilla bean is.

This is all happening because you did not choose; you made a decision from the past and that past tells you to only consider chocolate. Now if you would have inquired about all the options, weighed the pros and cons of all the options; you may have actually chosen vanilla instead of deciding on chocolate.

As you know our newsletters are all about health; so how does this choosing vs. decisions impact our health. We will first recognize that most of us have been taught in the past that the doctor’s word is law. Some will even say that their doctor’s word ranks right up there with God. This conditioning, which is from the past, will often lead into making quick decisions without looking at all the options. I am not saying that you should always think your doctor as wrong; very often they have very valuable information that may help you. What I am saying though is that to make a true choice, you have to look at all your options, weigh the pros and cons and then make your choice. Often your other options are in areas that your doctor was not trained in, or is simply not his level of expertise.

Years ago, my ex-brother-in-law made a comment to me that has stuck through my years of practice. I need to first tell you that he is a conventional Medical Doctor. We were debating a particular health challenge from the opposite sides of the fence when the statement presented itself. He said, “Glen, what we do is called medicine, what we are trained in is medicine and what people come to us for is medicine. If they want to be healthy, they come to see you.” After hearing this many years ago, it all made sense to me and I am still thankful for this defining moment in my career.

So the next time you have a health challenge, I would love to see that you choose your path rather than just make a decision based on the conditioning of your past. Even if you love chocolate, who wants the cheap store brand with freezer burn?

Remember, you get to choose!

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