Everything that happens to us starts with a choice.

Where did our attitude come from? How did we end up feeling this way? Why aren’t things working out? Why are things working out?

There are choices behind everything going on in your life.

Choose your words

It starts with our choice of words. The human mind, in some ways, acts like the memory inside a computer. It simply records whatever it hears, sees, touches, tastes, or smells. When we tell ourselves that we can’t do something, that gets recorded in our mind. Say it enough times and our mind will believe it’s true. Choose the words and phrases you say to yourself carefully. Program your mind with thoughts that will help you to be the best you can be, and achieve your full potential.

Choose your thoughts

The choices don’t stop there. Words alone won’t create the type of change we want or make our dreams come true. Too often, the forks in the road that could lead us where we really want to go don’t even appear because we have blocked them with our own thoughts. Our choice of the thoughts we dwell on and thoughts we accept have the power to create opportunities and alternatives we didn’t even know existed. Once again, it all starts with a choice.

Choose your responses

We have a choice as to how we react to everything that happens to us. Our life’s journey will not always be smooth sailing. Everyone experiences rough spots, struggles, pain, and hurt—some more than others. But we do have a choice as to how we respond to these events in our life. While we can’t control all the things that come our way, we can control the thoughts that shape our attitudes. Even in the worst of times, we can find the light at the end of the tunnel and move with resolve toward it.

Choose wisely

At the same time, it’s wise to realize that not every choice, even a positive goal, is a good one for us. Some people have thought that if they just think positively, repeat positive affirmations and visualize what they want, it will come true. That is only true if you first choose a path that is consistent with who you really are. If you don’t have the DNA to be a star basketball player, concert violinist, or leading scientist, all the positive thinking in the world may not make it happen for you.

Choose YOU

It all starts with a choice that is consistent with our journey in life—with who we really are. Each of us is given a multitude of gifts at birth. We all possess extraordinary talents and capabilities. There are no exceptions. Our gifts are unique to us.

Our first choice is to live our life as our authentic self, as the person we really are deep down inside. When we do that, we can access a grand library of all that is possible for us—the journeys through life that are right for us. This allows us to make choices that flow from who we are and what we can be. That’s when life works. That’s when a positive outlook can make all the difference in the world.

Don’t try to paddle up raging rapids, then give up on positive thought because it doesn’t seem to be working for you. First, discover who you really are, so you can make choices that will align you with the current on a smooth river. Go with the flow of your unique life and you’ll get in the zone of fulfillment. It all starts with a choice. Now might be a good time to make that choice.

Don Shapiro is the author of the book in the making Life Is A Fork In The Road about how we make choices and use our inner wisdom to guide our life’s journey. He is conducting research for the book by collecting stories from people around the world on the book’s Facebook page and the book project’s website.