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There was a TV advert a wee while ago that featured a small girl being asked a terrible philosophical question and then followed her as she suffered all kinds of deep mental dilemma. I was always surprised the advert was passed for public viewing to be honest due to the deep trauma this advert caused not only the wee girl but the nation as a whole. The question she was asked?

“Daddy or Chips?”

See what I mean. Who asks a small child such a deeply troubling question!!!?

I was featured in an article in a national newspaper today discussing how family mealtimes are becoming less important as work hours and our social lives get in the way (link to the article is below). I used this advert (in reality one of my favourites!) to make a point about choices.

When we make a choice our minds compare the things we are choosing against each other, essentially giving them a ‘score’ and then choosing the higher score. You know that episode of Friends where Ross makes a list of pros and cons for going out with Rachel? It’s a bit like that but done in milliseconds (and no one is going to inadvertently find the list and then go crazy mental!).

But sometimes our mind gets our priorities screwed up. We assign high ‘scores’ to things because of fear or stress and end up making skewed choices based on our worries about the repercussions of ‘not’ (a common strategy for giving work a high score) rather than making choices based on what good things will happen if we do (such as family time or, more importantly, ourselves).

When I help people work out their internal scoring system it more often than not leads to a lot of soul searching and I really would urge you to do it. Here’s a starter, compare these things and ask yourself, if it really came to the crunch, which would you choose;

  • A family birthday party or a deadline at work?
  • Helping someone else or helping yourself?
  • Staying in a relationship that isn’t working or finishing it and looking for true love and happiness?
  • You see for each of these questions you have to score these things unconsciously. Some of you will have made amazing choices and some of you won’t. Why would work come above family? Could the deadline not wait? Why would we possibly help someone else before helping ourselves? It’s classic safety don’t you know? Put your mask on first before helping others with theirs. And why would we ever settle for second best rather than believe there is someone better out there?

    Big questions i know but these are questions you answer unconsciously every single day. And these choices are rarely as simple as i just said. So many factors enter your scoring but essentially it comes down to whether you are making choices out of fear of what you don’t want or to gain the joy and happiness of what you do want?

    My challenge to you tonight? Start noticing the answer you give to these daily dilemmas because, quite simply, that answer is really, really important! Start asking yourself, am I making the best choice for me and those around me? Am I making my choice because I am excited or happy about what will happen when I do or am I making my choice because I’m scared or anxious about what will happen if I don’t?

    Before I finish, here’s another one; ask yourself, out of the things on this list that are relevant to you, what order do these things come in for you personally;

    Work, Kids, Your partner, Yourself, Family, Fun, Passion

    Done it? I’ll simply say that the order that I have found that creates maximum happiness and fulfilment from life is; Yourself, Partner, Kids, Family/Friends, and then the rest can pretty much come in any order you choose although the further back work is the better.

    Big thoughts for a Monday. Have fun noticing your choices and become aware of your internal scoring.

    Oh aye, one more thing…she chose chips. Poor Daddy!

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