At Harvard —
Just 2 Choices® Links Epigenetics to a
Choice Revolution in Personal Development
In 2009, the first edition of Just 2 Choices pointed out—in both words and graphics—how all of life is choice. This specific use of graphics to explain choice, transformed the spelling of the word c-h-o-i-c-e—from its centuries-old history of being a mere mental concept into a new, tangible meaning that pioneers the ability for every person to literally see what a “choice” is—and how every choice, every day impacts every area of every person’s life. In 2015, the third edition of Just 2 Choices came out with more powerful graphics that expanded more insights into choice by introducing more visuals whereby readers could literally see and track all their choices visually. With this pioneering.
“Choice Tracker” visual approach, readers could see how to fine tune their choices so they could transform their lives from consistently using only partially effective choices which seem to “accidentally” tap into positive choice from time to time—to begin living “consciously aware” of the true power contained within consistent positive choice.
As a quick background, the inspiration for Just 2 Choices came from working with elementary school children for nearly 20 years. On his days off from his “real job” as a pilot (former military fighter pilot, now airline pilot), Rico would talk with kids about how to set goals and make positive choices in life—working with 4th and 5th graders, everywhere from the suburbs to the cities to rural areas, to even some less populated areas like Rosebud, SD. And one the things he would talk about is how every choice of action you take, will take your either closer to… or farther away from… whatever it is that you want to achieve. So he’d say, “OK, Kids, think about it—RIGHT NOW—will this choice of action take you closer to what you want, or further away from what you want? There are Just 2 Choices.” Then with graphics, he would show the kids how choice “activates” every person’s life instantly—how every choice counts! And he’d show them that they can’t avoid making choices because not making a choice is still a choice, and how whatever choices of action they take, that is the direction their life will go. So after saying this phrase “Just 2 Choices” over and over for many years to 4th and 5th graders, he thought: “Why not experiment with this idea of ‘Just 2 Choices’ and see where it goes?” As a result, over a period of about five years, that “experimentation” finally evolved into the book Just 2 Choices in 2009.
Then, in 2010, TIME magazine’s cover story (January 18, 2010 issue) inspired another insight tied into the idea of Just 2 Choices. TIME’s cover story by John Cloud stated:
“How You Can Change Your Genes: The new field of epigenetics is showing how your environment and your choices [italics added] can influence your genetic code—and that of your kids.” As the article went on to point out: “…there’s evidence that lifestyle choices [italics added] like smoking and eating too much can change the epigenetic marks atop your DNA in ways that cause the genes for obesity to express themselves too strongly and the genes for longevity to express themselves too weakly.” Then the article went on to say “…it’s becoming clear that those same bad behaviors can also predispose your kids—before they are even conceived—to disease and early death.”
This 2010 article inspired Rico the think about the science of epigenetics from another point of view. If epigenetics can explain the impact of “unhealthy” choices—i.e. in the form of creating “epigenetic marks atop DNA” that influence a person’s DNA as based on the impact of one’s “bad behavior” in lifestyle (smoking, overeating, etc.)—then, could epigentics also explain the impact of “good behavior” or “healthy” choices for creating epigenetic marks atop DNA? After all, since people’s choices lead to their circumstances, and their circumstances are where they presently are, then choice is necessary to create that next “circumstance” that they experience in daily life. Hence, choice is primal in life and all of life is a derivative of every person’s choices—both conscious and unconscious. Therefore, all of life is choice—because life happens at the speed of choice—nonstop, all day every day.
The idea of “healthy” and “unhealthy” choices is like two ends of a spectrum that applies not only to the choices in our physical lifestyle such as smoking, nutrition, and exercise, but also applies to our “healthy” and “unhealthy” perceptions of relationships, finances, career, attitude toward personal development, etc. Phrases like “unhealthy relationships” or an “unhealthy approach to life” are common. So, the idea popped into mind, why not take a look at the other side of the “Unhealthy-Healthy” spectrum using the science epigenetics? Why not take a look at the “Healthy” side of the spectrum that includes the world of personal development? After all, how each of us interacts with our environment (relationships, career, personal life, etc.), responds to illness or “dis-ease,” creates our daily lifestyle, or feels about the aging process—all of these are choices—sustained by each and every daily choice. Choice is universally primal to every one of these situations for having either a “healthy” or an “unhealthy” outcome.
While science is mapping genes, Just 2 Choices is “Choice Mapping” choice—mapping peoples’ perceptions of what percentage of life they see as choice, versus what percent-age of life they see life as circumstance. So far, those Choice Mapping answers have been a wide-ranging spectrum, everywhere from perceptions that life is 100% choice on one end (i.e., acknowledging that your circumstance is where you now are based on choice)—to life is 20% choice and 80% circumstance near the other end of the spectrum.
So, how far can you go with this idea of choice? Well, how far will you choose to go with your choices every day? Choice “activates” every person’s life—instantly. Every choice counts. You can’t avoid making choices because not making a choice is still a choice. Choice is life and life is choice—and whatever you choose to focus your attention on, there flows your life. The “New Frontier” of personal growth is choice—being consciously aware of your daily choices.
So as you explore this “Whole New World” of awareness of your choices, will your life be ordinary or extraordinary? Well, the choice is yours… Harness your choices—and harness Mother Nature’s epigenetic influence on your DNA. Stated in non-scientific terms: master your daily choices and you will master your life. So start your own little “Choice Revolution” today. Simply “revolutionize” your daily choices and you will “revolutionize” your life! Make it easy, like those 4th and 5th graders did. Think to yourself: “Just 2 Choices—will this choice RIGHT NOW take me closer to… or farther away from what I want?” Just 2 Choices — and “May the choice be with you!”