What would you do if you were alone at home and you woke up to your house on fire with smoke everywhere?
A) Would you stand up and run as fast as you can to an exit?
B) Or would you get down on the ground and crawl your way out under the smoke?
Most of us would say "B" of course. We've been taught the dangers of smoke inhalation and how it kills more each year than the actual fires do. But will we actually go through with it? Have we put it in our minds enough times to make that decision?
Throughout our life, we will be bombarded with constant decisions that need to be made in the moment. Most of these will be considered "insignificant" decisions that don't effect the eventual outcome of our life. But some are much more important, like what to do in a fire.
Though we are forever going to make mistakes and wish we hadn't made certain choices, there are things we can do to steer our life and choices more often in the direction we want.
#1) KNOWLEDGE: Now we can't know everything (and don't even try), there are plenty of things we can learn that better our understandings of life. Here's an example:
(IMPORTANT TOPIC FOR PARENTS coming up)
-If your child knows about the dangers of cigarettes, they may be less likely to try it out with that friend. The knowledge of what it could do to their body and to the family could be enough to make them decide not to try it out. (Most children who start smoking do so between the ages of 10 and 15.)
#2) HAVING A PLAN (AHEAD OF TIME): This one is, in my opinion, the best one. If you have a plan before you get into a situation with that choice, you basically have already made the decision. All you have to do is follow through with the decision you already made! Studies have shown that this is works! It's exactly what athletes do in practice, what doctors do in training, and what police do in the academy. Let's go back to our example and apply it:
-You talk to your child and help them come up with something to say if they are offered cigarettes. It's something THEY would actually say and something that they think would work. Something like: "No thanks, man. I'm not into that. But I'll see you later. Bye."
Now you've help arm your child with a decision where they know how to handle it. It's up to them to follow through with their decision.
We can apply this in ALL parts of our life. From knowing what you would like to talk to your doctor about to how would you handle an attack in a parking lot at night.
Hopefully you get the point, I'll stop. But remember, a little knowledge never hurts, and making a plan ahead of time is like knowing how to solve a problem before it happens.
Are YOU ready for the smoke?