Your Choice Library

Choices Library Zilvold Coaching & Training Blog
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Imagine the existence of a library of choices. There is an unlimited amount of books on the shelves. Each book describes your life after making a certain (conscious or unconscious) decision. Such a library could help you make the right decisions in your career or personal life.

Normally, I only read non-fiction books, but I recently read “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig. It was a page-turner for me since the story is about making choices and the effect of choices in your life. My last article, “Experience Gratitude more Intensely,” is about choices and how grateful one can be about the choices that have led to positive events in your life.

Lessons from the Midnight Library

This article is a short book review, including lessons I distilled from it. They can also help you make more conscious choices that ultimately can lead to more positive events and love in your life.

Meet Nora, a young woman who lives in a little town in England. Her relationship with her fiancée has ended, and she gets fired from the music store where she works. She came in late too many times.
Nora lives with her cat, Voltaire, in a tiny apartment. After her cat gets run over by a car and dies, she decides to end her miserable life.

“The only way to learn is to live.”

-Mrs. Elm

The book of regrets

To her surprise, she wakes up in a library, and there she meets her old librarian from middle school, Mrs. Elm. The kind older woman welcomes her in the midnight library. On the many shelves, there are books with green covers. Some are big, and others are thin like a folder.

First, Mrs. Elm lets Nora read the book of regrets. It contains all the regretting moments from Nora’s life. Examples are her regret of not joining her best friend on a trip to Australia, that she ended the relationship with her fiancée, or the time she quit a music band.

Next, Mrs. Elm lets Nora choose a regret and offers her the book with her life story when she chooses a different path on these crossroads.

“Doing one thing differently is very often the same as doing everything differently.”

—Mrs. Elm

Nora lands somewhere later in each life, so she does not know what happened between her making a different choice and the future (present). And always, she checks her social media timelines to see if her close friends are alive and what (or what not) she has accomplished.

She is a retired swimmer who has won an Olympic gold medal in one life. She is a successful writer and has many speaking engagements.

Other lives are about her adventures with her best friend in Australia, her being a rockstar in a music band, or her being a researcher of glaciers.

“Every second of every day we are entering a new universe.”


Bad experiences

Something out of the ordinary happens in all her lives, something unpleasant (no spoilers here). She can decide at any moment to return to the library. Although she can spend many days or months in a life, it is always midnight when she returns to the library.
In one of Nora’s lives, she’s attacked by a polar bear. That is when she realizes that she wants to be alive. The lesson here is that bad experiences serve a purpose.

“You can choose choices but not outcomes.”

—Mrs. Elm

Nora has lived all of her regrets at one point, but there are still many more books in the library. It represents the unlimited number of lives based on her choices in one life.

“Every life contains millions of decisions. Some big, some small, but every time one decision is taken over another, the outcomes differ.”

—Mrs. Elm

Choose a life with love

In the final life, Nora chooses a life with warmth and love. That was missing in her original, root life. And that, dear reader, is the main lesson for me of this book: Whenever you face a choice or decision, look for warmth and love. I am not talking about human or intimate love but unconditional love. Can this flow freely in a path you’re deciding to walk? If yes, go for it. If not, you might want to consider another alternative.

There’s unconditional love when I am in flow, when I do things according to my values, and when I aim to serve life and do something good. I am alive when I use my talents and live in line with my WHY, purpose, or mission.

“To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three-parts dead.”

—Mrs. Elm

Choose your own book

Are you facing tough choices within your career or personal life? Your WHY can help you make the right choices and do those things that keep you on track. Your unique WHY is actionable and always positive. It is your contribution that has an impact on the world. Your WHY is very close to who you are and what you feel. It is not about what you aspire to be.

We can help you to discover your personal WHY in two sessions. In the first session, we help you draft your draft WHY statement based on your experiences that profoundly impacted your life and those around you. In the second session, we help you define WHAT to do and HOW to live your WHY by making the right choices that lead to experiencing unconditional love.
Interested? Contact us today for a FREE introduction (or start right away!)

How do you make choices in your life that make you feel alive?/On what do you base your choices or decisions? The other readers of this article and I are looking forward to reading from you! Let me know in the comment field below.

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Have you seen an error in this article? Let me know! I am grateful!

“The Midnight Library”, Matt Haig

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