Currently viewing the tag: "choice"

Dalai Lama Choose to be optimistic, it feels better

Don’t be stuck thinking that there’s only one solution to your problem. –Communion of Dreams by James Downey

Fiction Writing Prompt: What options does your character have to solve his/her problem? What options is he/she not aware of? How could he/she become aware of them?

Journaling Prompt: What problems are you struggling with? What options do you have that might not seem possible. 

Art Prompt: Options

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell  your audience about the idea that there are always more options available than are readily apparent. Give them ideas for brainstorming more options.

Photo Credit: BK on Flickr

Dead in the battle

Then Brodar caught his axe and rushed upon Brian. Taken unawares the king nevertheless rallied his strength which in his day had been greater than that of any man of his time, and still only half risen from his knees he smote the Viking a blow across the legs with his sword. The other thereupon lifted his battle-axe, and smote the king upon his head, cleaving it down to the chin, then fled to the woods, but was caught the next day and hacked into pieces by some of the infuriated Irish. So fell Brian in the very moment of victory, and when the combined league of all his foes had fallen before him. When the news reached Armagh, the bishop and his clergy came south as far as Swords, in Meath, where they met the corpse of the king and carried it back to Armagh, where he was buried, say the annalists, “in a new tomb” with much weeping and lamentation. –The Story of Ireland by Emily Lawless

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of a hero who leads his army to victory but dies in the process.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you had to sacrifice something in order to get something else you wanted more.

Art Prompt: Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about setting priorities and making sacrifices to achieve a large goal.

Photo Credit: Jakub T. Jankiewicz on Flickr

Suicide underground

More than one million people worldwide, including over 40,000 North Americans commit suicide on an annual basis, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2012 estimation.
In a research article, Flett and his co-authors Professor Paul Hewitt of the University of British Columbia and Professor Marnin Heisel of Western University note that physicians, lawyers and architects, whose occupations emphasize on precision, and also those in leadership roles are at higher risk for perfectionism-related suicide, citing the recent cases of prominent perfectionists who died by suicide…
The authors document how being exposed to relentless demands to be perfect, a concept they refer to as socially prescribed perfectionism, is linked consistently with hopelessness and suicide. Other key themes discussed are: how perfectionistic self-presentation and self-concealment can lead to suicides that occur without warning; and how perfectionists often come up with thorough and precise suicide plans. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the internal dialogue of someone who is considering suicide as he or she goes through the day.

Journaling Prompt: Write about your experience with perfectionism and how it affects your mood.

Art Prompt: Perfectionism and suicide

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the dangers of perfectionism.

Photo Credit: Simon on Flickr


A very long time ago, in the time before time, an old woman left her village and went out into the fields. Why she left, no one knows. She took nothing with her but a knife and a song. –Child of Earth by David Gerrold

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the first line of the week as the starting point or inspiration for a scene, story, poem, or haiku.

Journaling Prompt: What 2 things would you take with you if you had to leave suddenly?

Art Prompt: A knife and a song

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a story about choices and resilience.

Photo Credit: dog.breath on Flickr


In every waking moment, it is our next choice that makes us who we are. –Cephrael’s Hand: A Pattern of Shadow & Light Book One by Melissa McPhail

Fiction Writing Prompt: What choice will change your character’s life? Write the internal monologue that leads up to the decision.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a choice that you made that changed your life.

Art Prompt: Defining choice

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Use today’s quote as the inspiration for a speech or article.

Photo Credit: Lucias Clay on Flickr

The Power of Choice

…power is the fundamental ingredient of the human experience. Every action in life, every thought, every choice we make-even down to what we wear and whether we are seated in first class or coach-represents a negotiation of power that we engage in somewhere on the scale of the power that constitutes life. Power expresses itself as the psychic force of which you are most aware: who has it, who doesn’t have it, what type of power you are dealing with, what type you want-and what you have to do to get what you want. –Caroline Myss, Defy Gravity

Fiction Writing Prompt: Add to your character sketch. How aware of his or her personal power is your protagonist? How does he or she exercise it? What choices reflect it?

Journaling Prompt: How do your exercise your personal power? When are you reluctant to exercise it? When does it feel comfortable to use it?

Art Prompt: Personal power

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about personal power and how to use it effectively to make life better.

Photo Credit: tastygoldfish on Flickr

Take that, Baskin-Robbins

Retailers have known for decades that consumers prefer large selections and are lured by more options and greater variety. For example, when planning a family outing to an ice cream shop this coming weekend, a consumer would most likely choose the local shop offering 33 flavors over another in the neighborhood offering fewer options.
How universal is this demand for more choice? Are there instances when smaller selections are acceptable or even desirable? The authors find that consumer preference for larger selections decreased for psychologically distant decisions, such as when consumers have to make decisions that are six months away or while on vacation across the country. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Add to your character sketch. How does your character make decisions? Does he or she prefer a big selection or a small selection of the more popular choices? What are his or her “go to” choices in common decisions, like ice cream flavor, type of reading material, meal at restaurants, leisure activities, etc.?

Journaling Prompt: Do you prefer a large number of choices or a small number? Why? Does it vary on the type of decision?

Art Prompt: Too Many Choices

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about how to deal with choice overload.

Photo Credit: technodad on Flickr

Life is about Choices

Every day we have to make a number of choices, and it is not always easy to know what the right choice is. That is why we often seek advice from others before making decisions. The Internet provides us with entirely new ways of finding out what other people feel about different products and services….
The second experiment showed the same results as the first one. Participants who used their emotions were influenced, while those who followed their sense of logic were unaffected by reviewers who resembled themselves. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a short story about a character who has to make a big decision.

Journaling Prompt: How do you get advice when you are facing a decision?

Art Prompt: Decisions

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about techniques for using advice to come to a decision.

Photo Credit: Playingwithbrushes on Flickr

The Ruling Class

“People like to think they are inherently moral creatures — you either have character or you don’t. But our studies show that the same person may make a completely different decision based on what hat they may be wearing at the time, often without even realizing it.”
Leavitt, an assistant professor of management in the College of Business at OSU, is an expert on non-conscious decision making and business ethics. He studies how people make decisions and moral judgments, often based on non-conscious cues.
…”What we consider to be moral sometimes depends on what constituency we are answering to at that moment,” Leavitt said. “For a physician, a human life is priceless. But if that same physician is a managed-care administrator, some degree of moral flexibility becomes necessary to meet their obligations to stockholders.” –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Work on a character sketch which shows the way that situation affects ethics.

Journaling Prompt: Are you a different person at work than you are around your friends or your family? Write about your different personalities.

Art Prompt: Situational Ethics

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about ethics and how our choices are influenced by the situation in which we find ourselves.

Photo Credit: Alex E. Proimos on Flickr

Railroad Switch

In the virtual world, each participant was stationed at a railroad switch where two sets of tracks veered off. Up ahead and to their right, five people hiked along the tracks in a steep ravine that prevented escape. On the opposite side, a single person hiked along in the same setting.

As the boxcar approached over the horizon, the participants could either do nothing — letting the coal-filled boxcar go along its route and kill the five hikers — or pull a switch (in this case a joystick) and reroute it to the tracks occupied by the single hiker.

Of the 147 participants, 133 (or 90.5 percent) pulled the switch to divert the boxcar, resulting in the death of the one hiker. Fourteen participants allowed the boxcar to kill the five hikers (11 participants did not pull the switch, while three pulled the switch but then returned it to its original position).

The findings are consistent with past research that was not virtual-based, Navarrete said.

The study also found that participants who did not pull the switch were more emotionally aroused. The reasons for this are unknown, although it may be because people freeze up during highly anxious moments — akin to a solider failing to fire his weapon in battle, Navarrete said.

“I think humans have an aversion to harming others that needs to be overridden by something,” Navarrete said. “By rational thinking we can sometimes override it — by thinking about the people we will save, for example. But for some people, that increase in anxiety may be so overpowering that they don’t make the utilitarian choice, the choice for the greater good.” –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a scene or story about a character with a moral dilemma.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a moral dilemma you have faced and how you reacted.

Art Prompt: Moral Dilemma

Photo Credit: Beige Alert on Flickr