In The Forgotten Choice: Using Your Inner Decisions to Shape Your Outer World, award-winning author and corporate coach Brenda Bence presents a lively historical perspective of how we came to look outside ourselves for happiness, despite the luxurious amenities our ancestors didn’t have, and addresses the “forgotten choice,” described as “the ability to consciously choose the Joy of Possibility over fear in order to shape the lives we want.”
Bence’s overarching philosophy is that that there are two states of personal energy: destructive and based on fear versus constructive and based on the Joy of Possibility. She believes that what you think drives how you feel, which drives how you behave. The answer to life’s challenges, she posits, is as simple as shifting the way you think. The Joy of Possibility, she says, “doesn’t have to be learned—it just needs to be remembered.”
Throughout, the author clearly and thoroughly explains the two states of energy and how they impact us, with step-by-step instructions, thoughtful exercises and concrete examples of how her philosophy works, ranging from having enough money to finding the right life partner. Many of her lively anecdotes revolve around conversations with clients working through fear-based issues, from the woman whose dieting efforts weren’t productive to the man who talked himself into believing he was terrible at making presentations.
Bence also shows us how to reword debilitating inner dialogue. Instead of assuming a Chicken Little attitude, for example, she urges us to mindfully repeat, “Everything is always working out for my greatest good.” “The key,” she writes, “is to trust whatever is happening.” Her warm, comforting writing style is crisp, trustworthy and spot-on, resulting in a rapid, easy read.
The Forgotten Choice delves much deeper than the usual take on positive thinking. In all, it’s one of the best guides around for redirecting your perspective on life, creating what you want, and being happy with what you have.