You Choose: A Ten Commandments’ Tale

“… everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms- to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

dr. victor e. frankl

during the lockdowns, my legal practice was mostly relegated to sitting at my desk. court hearings, depositions, addressing correspondence, and phone calls almost entirely took place there. an immediacy developed. flow of both good and bad news was constant.

i judge my days. did i have a good or bad day? during this time, i could literally sort out papers as being good or bad news and use them to measure. at the end of the day, i could look the scale and declare whether, emotionally, the day was a good day.

over time, i realized that it doesn’t work that way. great things can happen in the morning and only to be ruined by bad things happen in the afternoon. the scale did not matter. a bad moment at the end of the day could render the day a bad one.

with this roller coaster nature of happiness and sadness, i decided to change the rules. i rigged it so that i could always win. my new rule was that if “only” one good thing happened in a day, that this would be sufficient to declare the day to be “emotionally” satisfying.

lowering the stakes had a positive effect on my work. being less concerned about my emotional state, allowed me to handle my job with less baggage. with not having to keep score of the good and bad, my concentration improved. my work improved and the bad things did not impact productivity.

as dr. frankl noted, one’s attitude is one of choice. data can force an individual to make an attitudinal choice. the data upon which one makes their choice, at times, can be arbitrary. the data can lead you to either a positive or negative. sometimes, cheating on the odds can lead one to the positive choice.

be well!!

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Published by biblelifestudies

I am a practicing lawyer and long term admirer of the bible

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