Have you ever felt grumpy over not having choices with certain things in life?
What if we told you that you have more agency than you think?
Today we discuss the fact that you always have choices available to you and when you make choices for yourself, you will lead a happier and more fulfilling life.
Listen in at: http://www.jasonmefford.com/fireandearthpodcast/
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kathygruver: Hey everybody, welcome back to another episode of the fire and earth podcast, I’m your co host Kathy gruver
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Jason Mefford: And I’m Jason Medford and today.
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Jason Mefford: I know I had to do that with my voice today.
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kathygruver: It was really a good show. So
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Jason Mefford: Well, there you go.
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Jason Mefford: Today we wanted to talk about something that is really pretty simple.
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Jason Mefford: But can have a profound impact in your life, and that is the word choice.
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Jason Mefford: Um,
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kathygruver: Okay, so
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Jason Mefford: How much of the time. Do you find yourself saying, oh, I have to do that. All I have to do that. Oh, I have to do that well.
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Jason Mefford: timeout. You have a choice in everything that you choose to do or that you choose not to do.
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Jason Mefford: Right. And we had a previous episode about
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Jason Mefford: You know, saying, yes, and every time that you say yes, you’re saying no to something else which also on the flip side, means when you say no to something you’re saying yes to something else, because it’s your choice.
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Jason Mefford: We’re going to dig a little deeper into that today.
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kathygruver: Yeah. And here’s what I hear people saying all the time. Well, I didn’t have a choice. It’s like, Sure you did. You absolutely had a choice.
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kathygruver: Or they look at their options and they don’t like any of them. So like we said before, we got on the show. It’s becomes, you know, picking the lesser of two evils.
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kathygruver: You know so many people say that with the election, it’s like, Oh, well I didn’t pick your i’d like either home I just pick the lesser of the two evils, you know,
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kathygruver: It’s like you have so many choices. And when we run into conflict or when we run into issues if nothing else, we always can change our mind.
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kathygruver: We always have the ability to choose to think differently, choose to have a different attitude choose to approach things differently. So even if you look at the menu and you go and you can change your change your viewpoint on what you’re looking at. So I love this conversation.
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Jason Mefford: Well, and this came up for me because, you know, again, I’m, I’m always doing self development myself. And one of the programs. I was going through one of the things that really hit me this week.
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Jason Mefford: Is that the point that choice is not deciding what’s in front of you.
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Jason Mefford: Right. And this is where it really can kind of get empowering. Right. It’s like
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Jason Mefford: You know, if I come to you and say, Kathy. I’ve got vanilla ice cream or I’ve got chocolate. Which one do you want
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kathygruver: I want mint chocolate chip.
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Jason Mefford: Okay, see. So there’s an example of choice right I presented two options, and most people. We just decide between the two thinking, well, I can only decide between vanilla, chocolate, but you choose to have mint chocolate chip.
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kathygruver: Right now, that might mean I have to go to a different store that might mean I leave that restaurant that might mean you know i and i agree with that so often we settle for things
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kathygruver: You know, I have had so many experiences with people in restaurants where they’re like, oh,
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kathygruver: It’s actually, I don’t really like this or a cocktail will be mixed for them or they’ll get a glass of wine and, you know, I’ve been out in restaurant. I am such a wine person.
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kathygruver: Where I go, oh, you know, this act. It’s okay. It’s actually not what I was looking for.
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kathygruver: So I say to the waitstaff, hey, you know what, actually, this is not really I don’t really like this. Is it possible to get something else.
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kathygruver: I have never had anybody give me slack about that they always go home. You’ve got absolutely what do you want
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kathygruver: They want you to have good experience. It’s not like they opened their last bottle of wine, personally, and now it’s a hassle for them. They’re there to
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kathygruver: Offer you these choices to give you choices. And you can also always say, Can I taste that first that’s okay choice to make, to
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kathygruver: So it’s like when you get outside of your sometimes your comfort zone and do that proverbial thinking outside the box. You realize you have more choices than you think.
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Jason Mefford: Well, we do. There’s always there’s never just. It’s never an either or right and and again you know what a lot of times we end up doing. Yes, there are consequences that come with our choices. Yeah, okay.
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Jason Mefford: But, but you have free will. You have the ability to choose what it is that you want to do. Now sometimes, you know, again, it’s
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Jason Mefford: You know, because you hear people say things like, oh, I have to call my mother, right, or, oh, I have to go to Thanksgiving dinner. Well, you don’t have to. Right. So again, you could choose not to go to Thanksgiving dinner. If you don’t want to
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Jason Mefford: Or might be consequences associated with that. But you can choose to do what you want. Now if you decide you still are going to go to Thanksgiving dinner right again we can tell ourselves these stories. So are you choosing
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Jason Mefford: To go to dinner or are you doing it begrudgingly right because that’s going to change your mental mindset.
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Jason Mefford: As far as the way that you’re thinking, you know, so you can go, oh, I have to go to Thanksgiving dinner. I hate it when Uncle Joe is there because he’s such a blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, whatever. Right.
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kathygruver: That shows a problem.
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Jason Mefford: Joe, Joe, Joe. Joe is always
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kathygruver: Face it, he’s
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Jason Mefford: Not even have an uncle joe but anyway.
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I’m sorry, very humble Joseph
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kathygruver: Crap, I heard. Yeah, first, first name that just hit me, but
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Jason Mefford: So you can you can you can, again, you know, you decide to go and you can hate the whole experience. Yeah. And you can be in a negative fun. Can you can feel like that. You don’t have any choice in the matter.
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Jason Mefford: Or again, you can switch it around and say, you know what I’m going to choose to go because of this right. This is my choice that I’m making. I’m going to make the best of it.
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Jason Mefford: Because really kind of the attitude that you go into it with is probably just as important as the choice that you’re actually making yourself.
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kathygruver: Absolutely. And because you’re choosing an attitude and the Thanksgiving thing. I mean, that’s so huge. And I have one client who
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kathygruver: Every year she spends Thanksgiving with her husband’s sister. She’s apparently a horrible cook. She doesn’t like any other food, she’s allergic to Turkey, so she can’t eat the actual meal anyway.
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kathygruver: And I’ve so many for so many years I hear her going on because we’re going to eat the food. And I said, well, but do you have to go. Yeah.
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kathygruver: I said, okay, but do you have to eat the food. Well, that would be rude if I didn’t need it. And I’m thinking,
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kathygruver: If somebody put something in front of me or offers me something that I don’t like I say, Oh, no, thank you. Or I’ll try a bite. And if I realize it’s not something that I like, I’m not going to eat it. I’m not a six year old. I don’t
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kathygruver: Have I don’t
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kathygruver: There’s no clean plate club, you’re not going to me.
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Jason Mefford: And frankly, oh yes, there is. My dad said there is a clean plate club. Well, my dad said a lot of things.
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kathygruver: ended up not really being quite right. So,
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kathygruver: You know, so, but it’s like if if somebody’s offended because I say I don’t like green beans. Okay, that’s on them. That is not my problem. You know, and I love green beans.
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kathygruver: I think people are so they don’t set boundaries. They don’t have find their voice, they don’t
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kathygruver: See a choice because they are so passive and what happens around them and not that everybody has to be dominant and like you know domineering and rude in any way.
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kathygruver: But there’s a way to say, oh, you know what I’m actually not a fan of peace, so I’m gonna pass on those or don’t even bring it up.
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kathygruver: Like don’t say anything, and just don’t have them. I don’t think the host is literally looking at everybody’s plate to see if they had
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kathygruver: All the meat, you know, so it’s just I don’t know i i think i have a different attitude about this. And a lot of people and that I just, I’m not going to do things. I don’t want to do typically
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Jason Mefford: Just when we do right
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Jason Mefford: And, you know, again, like let’s take the will take this dinner example I guess we’re talking about dinner tonight sort of animals. Right. But we talked about a turkey.
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Jason Mefford: Turkey. Turkey go
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kathygruver: Uncle Joe
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Jason Mefford: Joe, Joe. But, you know, and this is again to wear a lot of times you know the anxiety that comes into choosing because you know you know like that, like you said, you know, I’m
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Jason Mefford: I’m allergic to the turkey. But if I don’t eat the turkey, then you’re telling yourself some story about all that’s rude. Right. So first off, that’s probably a false story.
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Jason Mefford: Know if you’re allergic to something and you choose not to eat it. It’s not that you’re rude.
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Jason Mefford: It’s actually smart for your body. It has nothing to do with being rude, it would actually be rude for somebody to try to force you to eat something that
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Jason Mefford: You’re allergic to
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Jason Mefford: Right. But a lot of times you know when when when we get to that point when we can actually choose either. We’re so anxious about things that probably will never happen.
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Jason Mefford: And so out of fear we choose to do something that we don’t necessarily want to do. Or, on the flip side, what happens so much of the time, too, is we’re afraid.
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Jason Mefford: To choose because that means there’s going to be consequences. And so a lot of people, you know, go through live without ever really choosing their just deciding and letting life happen to them instead of actually choosing what they want from life.
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kathygruver: Yeah, and you know, I grew up with this concept of getting in trouble.
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kathygruver: And there are still certain things that I don’t do for fear of getting in trouble.
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kathygruver: And it popped up back in June, the, you know, we graduated high school and I had a huge graduating class. I think we had like 1200 people in my graduating class or some gigantic number
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kathygruver: And it was sent out to everybody that if you through your cap in the air like you do when you graduate, that you were going to get suspended, they were going to withhold your diploma or like whatever it was.
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kathygruver: But here’s 1200 people who are wailing their caps up in the air, and I still had this feeling of, oh, they send out this memo that I shouldn’t do that because I’m gonna get in trouble. So I literally kind of went, yeah.
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kathygruver: Just like a bike. Keep an eye on it.
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kathygruver: Suspended the entire graduating class, you know,
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kathygruver: It was with that. But I had this drilled in my head that there was this permanent record. I thought into like my adult life.
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kathygruver: To go on your permanent record. I thought shit.
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kathygruver: You know, I’m going to apply for a job at 60 and there to be like, you know, you didn’t do very good on chemistry. And I’m like,
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Jason Mefford: Well, I need to you through your cap during graduate. So we’re not gonna be able to hire
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kathygruver: Call Uncle Joe. He’s a great reference
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kathygruver: But it’s like I think we do. We have these these misperceptions and these old
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kathygruver: Records that run in our head that you know you’re going to get in trouble, nice girls don’t do that. Boys Don’t Cry. I mean, it’s like, you know, we
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kathygruver: These stories that we tell ourselves are limiting our choices. And I don’t know that that’s healthy. I mean, you don’t you know I don’t know I just feel like we need to drop some of those old stories.
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kathygruver: And look at the reality of now and stay in this present moment and know that you have choices. And again, you can always change your mind. That’s the biggest choice we have
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Jason Mefford: Well, it is. And I think that’s why to, you know,
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Jason Mefford: There’s a thing called midlife crisis right and and i think you know a lot of people that I’ve seen. I kind of went through part of it too, right, is, is you know until you finally don’t give a fuck. And then it goes away. Right.
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Jason Mefford: But a lot of times I think those those feelings or five people get to that point.
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Jason Mefford: Because they’ve lived the first half of their life.
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Jason Mefford: Making decisions that they wish they hadn’t made that if they had been conscious and present as they were making those choices they wouldn’t have decided the same things. Yeah. So all of a sudden you wake up and you go, Man, I’m halfway through my life and I’m not where I want to be.
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Jason Mefford: Yeah i. And so again, you know, kind of with choices, making sure that every choice that we make is getting us closer to where we want to be. And having that clarity on you know what it is that we want out of life and then making more choices.
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Jason Mefford: To help us get that
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Jason Mefford: Down again. Sometimes those choices are going to have consequences.
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Jason Mefford: But do you want to get to where you want to get or do you want to wake up halfway through your life with a midlife crisis.
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kathygruver: Right, and I think so much of that a societal so much of that is parental so much of that is religious.
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kathygruver: It, you know, I was raised in a household where you go to college, period. That’s the end of the story. You go to college.
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kathygruver: And when I told my dad. I wanted to go straight to Los Angeles and go to American Academy of Dramatic Arts, which was a two year performing arts program. He said, No.
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kathygruver: He goes, you can go, but I’m not paying for you. I want you to have a four year degree and you know There’s part of me that thinks, God will what would have happened had I left home at 18
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kathygruver: Driven to Los Angeles and gone straight to that program as opposed to four years at Point Park. Now, other things unfolded from that.
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kathygruver: But, you know, there’s this obligation to family. There’s an obligation to these these things that we so often do, and I will share a quick story. So I had a client when I was doing my PhD.
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kathygruver: I had a client who was doing a PhD program at UCSB in psychology. Now the psychology program at UCSB is not clinical so much. It’s more research based. It’s not like I’m going to counsel later.
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kathygruver: And I was talking to this client and we’re talking about PhDs and you know she’s 22 and I’m 40 or whatever it was. And she said, God, it must be so nice to be in a PhD program that you like.
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Jason Mefford: And I said, what
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kathygruver: And she said, well don’t you like psychology and she goes, No, actually I really don’t. I said that. Oh my god, why are you in a like post graduate like huge
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kathygruver: Read. Like, why are you in this program. And she said, my parents made me and now here’s this 2223 year old whose parents made her get a PhD.
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kathygruver: And I’m like, oh my god. That sounds horrible. And I said, Okay. Well, let me ask you this. I said, Well, what, what do you want to do.
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kathygruver: And she said, Oh, this sounds stupid. And I said, No, nothing to me sounds stupid. What do you want to do. She said, I kind of want to be a baker.
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kathygruver: And I went, oh my god, that’s awesome. I said, well, have you ever worked in a bakery.
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kathygruver: And she said, no, but I just I you know I love baking and I love cooking and I just think it would be so great. Like, you know, I want to start my own bakery and I want to supply food for homeless. I mean like shoot this great idea.
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kathygruver: And I went, Okay, I have an assignment for you. She goes, okay, because it was. We’re just about approaching summer. And I said, do you get a summer job. She goes, yeah, my parents make me
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Jason Mefford: Okay, great. I’ve seen a trend right here.
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kathygruver: Yeah. And I said, I want you to work in a bakery over the summer. I said, even if it’s a week internship, even if you spend an afternoon there call the local bakeries and say,
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kathygruver: I’m considering this. Will you let me do it. And she goes, What a great idea. I said, because that will, you’ll know
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kathygruver: If that’s truly what you want to do. She goes away. I don’t see her for months she comes back like six months later.
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kathygruver: And she goes, Kathy, I have to tell you you changed my life. Which. That’s the greatest thing to hear. Right. And I said, oh my God, what happened. She goes, Well, I got a job in a bakery this summer.
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kathygruver: And I worked there for six weeks over summer break, and I said, Oh my God, how was it and she said, I fucking hated every second of it.
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kathygruver: And I went
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Jason Mefford: Yeah.
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kathygruver: Because now, she doesn’t have to wonder
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kathygruver: Yeah, she really, she liked baking for fun. She actually ended and entered like some baking contest on the Food Channel and one SOME PRIZE I mean look like. So she realized she wanted to do psychology
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kathygruver: She ended up continuing that program. She now works with youth who has eating disorders because she herself had an eating disorder.
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kathygruver: And it’s like she has this amazing career and she bakes for fun. She never would she would have wondered forever if she made the right choice had she not experienced that summer so it’s like take those moments take those choices. Look at your options.
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Jason Mefford: Yeah well and you know her story is what we hear from so many different people. Right. My parents are making me do it. My parents are making me do it.
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Jason Mefford: Your parents don’t make you do anything right. It’s, it’s still your choice. You’re still deciding to do that. And so, you know, again, if you’re not happy where you’re at, then some of it might have to do with the decisions you’re making that you’re actually making decisions, instead of choosing
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kathygruver: Yeah, well, and so much of that comes from fear. I’m reading a book right now on
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kathygruver: Staying and relationships are leaving relationships, specifically with a narcissist because I have a lot of clients dealing with narcissistic partners.
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kathygruver: And it’s not an easy decision to make. I mean you and I are both divorced. We know how hard that decision is, you know, so it’s not always easy. And there are consequences.
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kathygruver: If I leave, what will happen, kind of thing and an exercise I put my clients through
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kathygruver: Typically with coaching is all say what is the best outcome of you staying in this situation.
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kathygruver: What is the worst outcome of you staying in this situation, what is the best outcome of you leaving. What is the worst outcome of you leaving. And we actually make these lists.
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kathygruver: And so we end up with the square of these lists of things all be, you know, I won’t have as much money. I’ll have to leave the house. The kids will be split up, you know, whatever it is.
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kathygruver: And then see which one of those when you have the information which one of those feels best to you because there’s consequences to every action and not taking action is taking action itself.
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Jason Mefford: It is it is
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Jason Mefford: So, yes. So, you know, don’t, don’t just make decisions, but actually think about and choose because again.
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Jason Mefford: Choosing is not the same as deciding between the options that are in front of you. If you want a different life. The only way you’re going to get there is to actually start consciously choosing and doing things different.
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kathygruver: And be brave.
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Jason Mefford: Be brave, because it does. It does. It does take courage, because again, just like you know you do with your clients when you go through and do some of those assessments. What’s the best that can happen. What’s the worst that can happen sometimes the worst things are kind of scary.
00:17:57.360 –> 00:18:09.540
Jason Mefford: Yeah, you know, but but everybody that I’ve seen that’s had the courage to choose and do what they really believe that they need to do and where they want to get to in life.
00:18:10.050 –> 00:18:22.590
Jason Mefford: Even though there’s pain in the middle, you come out on the other side exactly where you need to be. So keep making changes or choices that will get you closer and closer and closer to where you actually want to be
00:18:23.070 –> 00:18:28.890
kathygruver: Absolutely. Cool. Oh, I love this conversation as all of them. Alright, so go out shoes.
00:18:30.360 –> 00:18:32.550
kathygruver: Let’s go get some mint chocolate chip ice cream because
00:18:32.640 –> 00:18:33.120
Jason Mefford: We’re gonna
00:18:33.480 –> 00:18:41.340
kathygruver: Add a little early, but that’s okay. And yeah, be brave, with your choices. I’m Kathy Gruber. I can be reached at Kathy Gruber calm.
00:18:41.790 –> 00:18:55.020
Jason Mefford: And I’m Jason method I can be reached at Jason method calm, so go out. Choose wisely and have the best life that you can. We’ll catch you on the next episode of the fire and earth podcasts. See ya.
00:18:55.530 –> 00:18:56.010
kathygruver: See ya.