Things happen in the world. The weather is bad. Someone flips you off in traffic. Your kids fight. You drink a bottle of wine when you only planned to have a glass.

These things are neutral until we have a thought about them.

Whatever you choose to think (yes, it’s a choice even if it doesn’t seem that way at times), creates a feeling.

That feeling drives an action.

You see where this is going.

It’s like a choose your own adventure book.

There’s an array of things you can think about any given situation and each different thought will have a cascading effect that gives you a different result.

If you decide to make drinking the bottle of wine mean you are hopeless, you will feel ashamed, and perhaps eventually drink more to escape the terrible feeling.

If you decide instead to make it mean you’re learning to change your relationship with alcohol and this is part of it, you might feel curious, and look more closely at where you got off track so you can correct for the future. No shame, no need to hide.

Same situation. Different thoughts, different actions, and, if you play it out, very different results down the road.

Notice that I’m not saying think happy thoughts. Just reach a thought that serves you a little better. Something more neutral. Something believable.

It’s these tiny shifts that change a life.