Be the Best or Die Laughing Trying
If This is Your Life You Need Help
The Power of Choice
If your life is like the traffic signs in the picture and you feel you have no choices. Think again. The power to choose, even if it is only in how you feel about your situation, is one of the most powerful weapons a human being has.
When Viktor Frankl was in a Nazi prison camp, he was subjected to subhuman conditions and virtually no freedoms. In his despair, he came to a realization that changed his life forever. The only thing he had the power to change was himself. Little by little he explored the things he could experience and change until a vast world opened up to him. As he practiced lectures he would give to his students or planned a garden, he began to realize that he had more freedom than his captors.
The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances. ~ Victor E. Frankl
In Frankl's case, instead of letting his conditions determine his attitude, he made choices to change his attitude and in doing so altered his situation.
Stephen R. Covey, in "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" says in life we can either be reactive or proactive. If you find yourself going along with things and feeling bad about it later, maybe it is time to make your own decision. If you really don't want to go along, you can suggest an alternative. If they refuse to consider your wishes, maybe an honest no is the healthy choice. If you decide to go along because you weigh the outcomes and prefer to allow others to choose, you will find yourself feeling better afterward because it was a choice you made.
Just for today, whenever you encounter a situation that makes you feel helpless or boxed in, practice making a choice. It doesn't have to be a sublime one, it can be anything that is an expression of yourself. If it is anger or peace or love or an action---the test is: if it increases your self-respect, it is probably a healthy and empowering response.
Fear Can Keep You From Your Ability to Choose
When our current recession was the main topic of conversation among presidential candidates, I kept waiting for someone to say something positive about the economy---unfortunately there seemed to be a contest to paint the darkest picture possible, perhaps to distance themselves from the current administration. Business owners I knew were huddling in the shadows of their dwindling prospects, waiting for the next pronouncement of what the economy was saying so they could know what to do next. I got so fed up I sent off a letter along with FDR's famous quote from the first paragaph of his inaugural address at the depth of the depression, our country's darkest economic crisis."This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."
Jim Collins, best-selling author of Good to Great and Built to Last, says that mediocre companies tend "to explain away the brutal facts rather than to confront the brutal facts head-on."
I asked this question: When has our country ever sat back and let 'The Economy' tell us what to do? The economy is only a report of what we, the people, decide to do. It is only a record of the many individual choices we make. When we choose to have no confidence, often fueled by our elected leaders and negative press, the stock market goes down, commerce holds back and 'The Economy' is bad. When we choose to have confidence in ourselves, in our businesses, in our country and in our ability to outperform other systems of government, miraculously the economy goes forward, the market is up and we feel justifiably proud of the America that has long been the envy of the world.
It is time to remember that We tell the economy what to do, not the other way around. Our future is not determined by an elected leader's ability to turn things around, but by those of us who choose to have confidence and act accordingly.
My goal in this hub is to help you see that everything you need to change your world is within you. I happen to believe that we were created with tremendous capabilities and if we need help there is a spiritual resource that transcends our situation and fallible leaders. When you face something today that would ordinarily make you afraid or anxious, try looking for the positive alternative choice that will increase your self-respect. Don't put it off, most of our fears are like darkness that only needs a small light to dispel it completely.
- "Why" is the Secret to "How"
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