You Have the Power to Choose

(Read in :03)“When you make a choice, you change the future.” ~Deepak Chopra

Let’s talk about “aha!” moments. Is there one you’d say is your big one? You’ve experienced them, I’m sure. From time to time something you never really thought about suddenly shoots into your consciousness, just like that. Bam! It’s clear. Until that moment, it had been no more than a fuzzy, muddy concept. Before the curtain went up you may even have wondered why anyone was making such a big deal out of it. Sometimes we call them lightbulb moments. Once in a while they even qualify as a junior epiphany, are you with me?

Have you ever noticed the way certain things keep popping into your path, again and again, à la Ground Hog Day? There’s a reason for it, folks. If there’s a lesson the universe want us to learn, it will repeat itself over and over again until we “get it.” Guaranteed. This particular lesson is essential to happiness, success, relationships, and all achievement. It’s as basic and available as the air we breathe. Curious?

Here it is.

We have the ability to choose our response to anything that happens to us.

And that is a big deal, maybe the biggest deal of all. Life is not a lottery and we are not defined by our circumstances. It’s sometimes called the critical inch. If it’s that simple and that available, why’s  it such a difficult concept to master? That’s a great question!

You know by now that I get excited about learning new stuff and being exposed to new ideas. (Once in awhile, I even get excited about old stuff if it’s presented in a new way.) And sometimes, the same message shows up in so many iterations it seems written in boldface, italicized, underlined and like, “Hello?? Are you listening?

We can always choose

Here’s a little trip through the decades to show you how this message repeats and repeats. (Notice the overlap.)

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”~William James 1842-1910

“The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”~Victor E. Frankl 1905-1997

“There are two primary choices in life; to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.” ~Denis Waitley 1993-

I’m taking a ground-breaking class that finally fired the message right and hit the bullseye for me. The subject? The entrepreneurial mindset. The textbook? Who Owns the Icehouse? Eight Life Lessons From An Unlikely Entrepreneur. For some reason, it’s been the key to a personal tipping point on my journey to clarity.

Why does it matter?

It matters because it’s empowering. It matters because it’s virtually a “one-size-fits-all situations” tool. We have the power to choose our words, we can choose who and what we listen to and how we respond. We can choose to respond instead of to react. We’ve got the ability to choose our next steps, right down to the myriad of micro-decisions we make a hundred times a day. And finally, we can choose to bear the consequences of a bad choice!

Does that mean we can do anything we want? Does it mean nothing is impossible? Of course not. It does mean that if we embrace an internal locus of control through our ability to choose, we are finally liberated from any victim mentality. No blaming the situation, the people, the weather, the economy or the government.

When you finally internalize and embrace this power, it will change the whole trajectory of your life.

Let’s turn back the clock to antiquity (170-180 AD). Truth and wisdom are fundamentally unchanging and timeless. Marcus Aurelius wrote, “You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” And you will. See you Monday.

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