A choice means that you can do it or not, but it’s up to you.

Now, if there’s just one thing you want, the choice is easy. But what happens when two things you want are in conflict with each other? The trick is to choose those actions and behaviors that are most important. If what you wanted most in life was to be a world-class pianist, what would you do every day? Practice! Even if you came home dead tired, you’d spend time at the piano because it supports your most important desire.

The Hierarchy of Choice

There are three distinct types of choices: primary, secondary, and fundamental.

Optimal health is a fundamental choice. It’s what defines our state of being, and should guide all your daily choices. Your primary choices are your most important habits and goals—the foundations of health. These will dictate the secondary choices that you make daily. Take this example from The Habits of Health:

Wow, everyone is ordering banana splits. They look good!
I could order one.
Yes, that’s right, you could.
But I also want to really get healthy and stay there.
Sure, doesn’t everyone?
I could eat the dessert or not.
That’s true.
If I ate it, it would set me way back.
That’s true too.
What do I want more… the banana split or optimal health?
Optimal health!

When your internal thought process is aligned with your goals, it’s easier to make the primary choice that supports what’s most important to you. We may not make these choices if they didn’t help us get what we really want. In fact, we may have to do some things we don’t want to do, or skip some things we’d like to do. As my dear friend and student Nancy Petit says, “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.” Profound.
Knowing how to determine what’s primary—and therefore, what’s secondary—enables you to rise above any situation, however hard, to support your greater good. So in fact, the relationship between primary and secondary choice is the key to discipline. Once you know how to manage this relationship, you’ll be able to accomplish more than you ever thought possible.
Next week, we’ll talk about Frames of Desire and how to use them to make choices that support optimal health. As you’ve succeeded in applying the Weekly Habits of Health to your life, you have probably stumbled upon these strategies on your own, and that’s good. Understanding how you have been able to succeed will reinforce those behaviors and make them even easier.
Stay positive!
In health,


Day 19: Lesson 6: The Power of Choices and Discipline

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