Do you know where you are going? Do you know where life is guiding you? Are you plagued by stress? Are you happy? You can have a balanced, fulfilled, and happy life. The question for your life that uplifts and restores balance and happiness as your perpetual state of mind is, Do I boss or toss?

Making this powerful but simple choice—to boss or toss—makes all the difference. Whenever you are dealing with stressful or unsettling situations, you can choose to improve the state of your life. The choices you make affect your state of mind, regardless of whatever is happening in your life at present or has happened in the past. Learning how to control your reactions is one of the most powerful, positive, and productive choices you can make. You can train your emotions. You can control your reactions. You can choose what is beneficial for you without feeling guilty or selfish or ignoring the stressful precipitator.

When you choose to boss a situation, you are really saying that you are in charge of your reaction to it. Because you are choosing self-success, you begin to realize that you are the boss of your state of mind, regardless of how emotionally draining or how challenging the situation may be.

Let’s use a common professional example to illustrate the point. You are asked to add another work task to your already demanding workload that you cannot refuse to do. A boss state of mind makes the choice to plan how to integrate this new task by considering options. Some options could be to divide the responsibilities with a coworker, link it to a current function, plan implementation strategies, or devise a timeline to get the task finished. The personal success strategy here is factoring in the available options that enrich the state of your mind instead of complaining, stalling, elevating the stress serotonin, or inviting other work-related consequences that could spiral beyond your control. When you decide to boss a situation, you are big on self-success and recognize the mature state of mind that is required for responsible living. In essence, you are choosing your own success route.

A toss it person is adaptable, too. If your life is like those of most modern-day multitaskers, your to-do list is filled with at least 10 to 25 things to finalize in a day or week. In order to function best as a multitasker so that you are not always overwhelmed and frustrated, tone down your pace of activity. Scientific study and enough reports and articles about health confirm the damaging effect of stress—increased weight, insomnia, hypertension, diabetes, anger, snappiness, suicide, and strokes or other cardiac problems are known results of accelerated rates of stress. However, when you learn to toss in your life, you gain control over these ill effects by minimizing your stressors.

Plan better. Rather than stress about the frenzied pace of life, add balance to your list. Add things that create calm, rest, or relaxation. It is not necessary to plan just stress-inducing activities; plug into your list ways you can tap into your inner peace by rewarding your diligence in intervals. Take time to pause. Pace the frenzy. For instance, it may be that four of the things you need to do are in the same area—simply group them together so that you can get four things quickly checked off your list, then allow yourself to sit quietly for a few minutes right where you are and breathe in a relaxed rhythm rather than immediately rushing off to do the next thing on your list. Another way to turn off your stress sensors is to connect with something active that you love and that brings needed relief. Rather than putting off exercising, woodworking, gardening, or aerobic dance by adding them to the end of your task list, move these things up, and intersperse them into your habits or routine so that you add balance and give yourself a mental and physical break. Deliberately escape the rat race. This will in itself ease tension and recharge your energy. Then you can bounce back to the other things on your list with enthusiasm. With a mind that is not overengaged, you may even discover new loves or passions.

Make the choice. Dealing with choices is productive. At first you may battle with the effort, thinking it is a waste of time or that you aren’t really getting anywhere. Do it anyway. Take the time, and be disciplined to stop and deliberate the choice—whether to boss or toss—that you make. Take the time to change from wishing your life was better or different to knowing you can choose to make it so. The wishbone can never replace the backbone. Have the backbone to push on while you are on your path of discovery, and go beyond wishful thinking to making a definitive change. Don’t even think about stopping. It is always too soon to quit before you have made a choice. Get into your mind, look and see what pictures are inside, and then paint your pictures in vivid color, as an achiever would do.

Here are five simple ways to boss or toss vivid, vivacious colors of paint onto the canvas of your life.

1.Say no. Be mature enough to know what “enough” feels like. Don’t overschedule your time with extra events, projects, or invitations. Busy-ness is not a status symbol. Make healthy choices that add to the state of your life and elevate your state of mind.
2.Write down your plan. Write a daily to-do list. Relieve anxiety by using pen and paper or a PDA to remind yourself of what you have to do. Don’t forget to add in relaxation, reflection, or self-growth to your planned list. You will be excited and energetic during the day because you have determined your productivity and progress.
3.Learn. An active, engaged mind is a safe mind. Explore, and expand your knowledge base. You will be surprised at what you will uncover.
4.Simplify. Make your options simple. Go back to the basics. Even spend time making a pro or con chart, and list the benefits or negatives of your actions. Then distill your choice to simple, doable tasks.
5.Red light. Red light, or stop, and affirm yourself. Say to yourself, “I am happy” or “I am an achiever.”

Minimize your stress before negative health effects take their toll. Start your discovery, get excited, and begin to build a new life for a new you. Make a personal commitment to change your life by controlling the choices you make, for the better. Answer your life question. Know where you are going. You can play a part in deciding where life is guiding you. Make informed, intentional choices, enjoy yourself, and paint on your canvas all the way to happiness, health, fulfillment, and balance. It is your life, and you are in charge of living it robustly and to the fullest. Tap into your inner power for strength. Make a conscious decision to boss or toss.

** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. To get complete details on “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life”, visit

Author's Bio: 

Educator, speaker, trainer, author, and talk radio show host Anita Jefferson is the owner of WordSmith Revisions Communications. She has authored Climb Every Obstacle: Eliminate Your Limits! ( and For the BEST of You and Getting Things Done. Download your free gift and subscribe to the “Obstacle Climber” newsletter. Her expertise is leadership, customer service, and life enrichment. She helps clients discover personal fulfillment, link profit to inner development, and restore a healthy balance. Listen to her radio show, “Anita Answers,” on Monday nights at 8:00 (