Prefer a Choice? Or, Being Forced?


Forcing myself to go somewhere, do something, or think a certain way because “I should” leaves me in a place without a substantial direction.

Forcing my actions and thoughts…forcing others…forcing the life around me…yea…IF the stars align, then it is an experience that merits the force. But mostly, the stars do not move planets to make sure my life has the power to make me feel in control. Basically, if I leave it up to force, then I’ll just consider my happiness a 50/50 chance.

If I tell myself, “stop thinking that way, it is scary, you are better than this, you are great.” I am just throwing those consciously spoken words into a pot of hundreds of other words and emotions speeding at hundreds of miles per hour in my mind. It would be the same as if I was to helicopter over the autobahn, try to drop a toy car, and hope it flies down the road with the other cars.

In this extreme version of forcing expectations of an ideal world, I will




Life doesn’t offer control. When emotions become overwhelming, an effective option is accepting the context, pausing, breathing, listening to my thoughts (no matter how fast they are moving), write them down if necessary, truly hear what they are saying, and think through the most prevalent ones.

In other words, I need to choose my direction to match the immense direction of the world (my mind included). Either this, or, I am pushing against truth with stress and frustration.

world big

1. How do I find the universal facts of life and where is life moving right now?

  • Look at the facts
  • I need to observe the fine details of each moment with a relaxed focus. The fine details need to be curiously and vulnerably explored towards a pursuit of understanding
  • Be a student of life
  • Put my education to practice. Gather as much information in hopes of utilizing it to decide where I want to move within life’s intense motion.

2. What is the context and my options here?

  • Life only offers the options before me. I need to reflect on my observations and find the options I can choose from.

3. What will provide a lifetime of meaning?

  • Look at the options.
  • Maybe even create options never seen before in society.
  • Now. Which options uphold the values that instill meaning and long-term fulfillment?

4. Choose

  • Act.
  • The nice part about the prior step is the fruition of understanding “why” I am choosing the option. It is so important because this “why” will propel me out of my seat in a passionate jolt to act on the choice in front of me. If it does not, I need to continue thinking and building the desire.

Choice. The opposite of promises.

I choose to be with my fiancé everyday. I choose to be with myself everyday. I have the choice to leave these situations. This reality relaxes me among all the unknown. And, among all the negative and unnecessarily perpetuated pain I see in the world…a choice-based life is what gives me the warm and meaningful platform to fulfill all of my potential in my life in a positive way. I am relaxed and in tune with my choices. I truly want to create an emotional bond with my fiancé. I truly want to do this with myself.

It’s either that or how I used to live…and I see the majority of our society following this too…I was stressed, frustrated, and forcefully dragging my feet through an unconscious life not worth living.

Which one do you choose?



All of my posts have nicely tied into Glen’s songs in the past weeks…including this post here today. Of course, I love picking a variety of tunes. That being said, my applause goes to Glen on his dedicated work on this new album.

About Kevin Carlstead

I graduated as a hospitality and psychology student at University of Denver. I spent most of my teenage and young adult years in the hospitality industry. I am still searching for what industry suits my personality and talents so that I can feel more meaning throughout my days. My current career pursuit has me enrolled in a graduate program to become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I was born and raised in San Diego, CA. I love music with something to it. I love life with something to it. I have made it one of my purposes in this life to integrate both of these things that I love. This blog and my own songwriting has given me the platforms to do that very thing. Thank you for reading.
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