Choosing Not to Choose, Is Choosing

Right up until he passed away, Dr John Hinwood was a prolific blogger (an award-winning blogger in fact!). John’s blog’s shared musing from a rich history of experience, learnings, travel and wisdom.

The Hinwood Institute is named in honour of Dr John and to continue his legacy, we’re republishing his blogs to keep his wisdom, wit and wise words alive for the world to enjoy.

You can learn more about the legacy of Dr John Hinwood HERE.


In a relay race both of the athletes have to make a choice for the good of the team. Each baton change involves an athlete choosing to give and another athlete choosing to receive. The desired outcome is to have the smoothest changes possible while each athlete is running at maximum speed.

Every day on the stage of life we are called on to make choices. Some people are good at making choices and can do it quickly, while others, seem to take forever.

Choosing to live a life where stress is your friend, and not a life where stress is your enemy that continually wants to strike you down, is closely related to choose. Some people choose to let stress be their master, while others sit back and make no choice, with the result that stress chooses them.

The third group continually explore how they can use stress to enhance their lives.

There are also other individuals who appear to be virtually immune from stress being a problem affecting their lives adversely. These individuals live in a body that is Parasympathetic dominant. What does this mean?

The Autonomic (Automatic) nervous system is the unconscious mode that provides the body with the nerve circuits that operate our life support systems in breathing, circulation, digestion, the flow of hormones in our body, immune system, lymphatic system and so many more functions.

This system is made up of the Sympathetic aspect which is the ‘speed me up’ component that is very active, especially in our waking hours and the Parasympathetic aspect which takes over at night as the ‘calm me down’ component that support us as we sleep.

Each of us is either sympathetic or parasympathetic dominant and the majority of the population errs on the sympathetic side. I’m in the fortunate smaller group that is parasympathetic dominant so stress in my daily life is in most instances, not a negative for me. And sleeping is natural for me.

choose sleep

Head on the pillow and I’m ‘out for the count’ until the alarm wakes me, or I wake naturally on those mornings when I can sleep as long as my body clock desires.

Choosing to learn tools and strategies that support you to move out of the stress and into the calm is a life changer and enhances every aspect of your life.

P.S. If you’re feeling shit today, maybe just try to breath, stretch and yawn! Or why not try our quiz to determine if you’ve got your shit together.

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About the Author

Dr. John Hinwood
Dr. John Hinwood is a Global Leader in Stress Management. He is a very experienced and respected executive coach, mentor, consultant, sought after international speaker and author. He specialises in facilitation that leads clients out of the stress and into the calm. He has a reputation for innovative and transformational work in stress-life balance and mindset change for front line employees, to managers and business leaders.

Dr John Hinwood has shared the stage with Dr John Demartini, Dr Deepak Chopra, Dr Wayne Dyer, Dr Joe Dispenzia, Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul fame), Dr Bruce Lipton, Dr Masaru Emoto and others who are at the cutting edge of human behaviour and mindset change.

He has written 14 books with 4 being Amazon international best sellers. He has had papers published in academic journals and was once Captain/Coach of the Danish National Rugby Team. Dr. John’s experience as a health professional by training, successful businessman by effort and an inspiration by inclination has given him an awesome array of practical tools for success.