Be the Best or Die Laughing Trying

If This is Your Life You Need Help

Two wrongs do not make a right, but three lefts do.
Two wrongs do not make a right, but three lefts do.

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.

Purr Softly and Carry a Big Paw

The problems you face are never as big as the resources you have to conquer them.
The problems you face are never as big as the resources you have to conquer them.

More by this Author


Comments 59 comments

stricktlydating profile image

stricktlydating 6 years ago from Australia

Great Hub! I love it!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Thanks stricktlydating. So glad you liked it.


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 6 years ago from Michigan

Another Great Hub! Your perspectives in life are so refreshing and right on. Your ability to make words come to life really draw me in... you are a great writer - have you ever written a book?


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Thank you Mekenzie for your generous words. As to writing a book, my project is one which I am calling "How to Have the Best Day of Your Life Every Day." I've been thinking about some principles and values gained from what I would do if I could do it all over again. This way, maybe I can do it right the first time. :)


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 6 years ago from Michigan

Sounds like a winner of a book. One that would be thought provoking, reflective and helpful. Keep us informed on your progress. Blessings


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

I love Victor's famous quote. I wrote that in a notebook which I kept to this day! :) Such an inspiring hub. The Hubnuggets Team picked this hub for the Hubnuggets! Yippee...Do vote and promote your hub okay? Here is the link: http://hubpages.com/hubnuggets10/hub/High-Stakes-H... The more votes, the more chances of winning! :) Have fun!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Ripplemaker, so happy you stopped by, I've enjoyed your comments in the forums. Hubnugget....wow, thank you Hubnugget Team! I am honored and appreciative. RM what are the odds that you would have that quote in your notebook? There is nothing more powerful or liberating than applying the choice of a positive attitude to life's challenges. I'm currently learning that some of the negative reflexes we have to disappointments or setbacks can be just as easily converted to a reflex of gratitude or affirmation. It is, after all, only energy and we can choose how it is expressed. Amazing. =:)


Chaotic Chica profile image

Chaotic Chica 6 years ago

So true, informative, and easy to read. I enjoyed this hub!


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

His words written about concentration camps and finding the power of choice amidst this challenging situation struck me when I was still in my twenties. So I wrote those words for it reminded me beautifully that we have a choice. As I re-learn this lesson constantly, so I kept Victor close to my heart :) So amazing huh?


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago

Winsome - I'm not sure how this one got by me. I absolutely love your introduction it really grabbed my attention. This is truly an amazing hub. Not only did I love your intro, I also loved the closing and everything in between.

I, like you believe, that we were created with tremendous capabilities. Everything we need we have inside ourselves. We just need to tap into it. I have learned that closing your eyes to the fear only gives it more power. Although, traveling in unknown territory and taking risks may be scary. Taking the necessary steps will unleash you power of freedom. You learn that you have the right to choose and like you said, you will gain self confidence and respect.

I admire your ability to apply your knowledge and principles to issues on a much grander scale such as, the recession, economy and the leaders of our world.

You did an awesome job. Congratulations! on being nominated as a HubNugget.

Sage


Ricky Lee from EC 6 years ago

Great hub!!

I specially liked the very last part: "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."

It's so easy to put something off, then stay up all night worrying about it and then... the next morning you pull yourself together, make decisions that should have been done already and presto.... it wasn't as bad as you thought and things worked out for the good after all!

Thanks for a great hub!!!


Supergranny 6 years ago

LUV YOUR HUB!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

CC thank you so much for stopping by.

Sage, you sweet little Hubnugget you, thank you for your kindness. I can always count on you for just the right words, affirming, positive and eloquent.

Ricky Lee, so glad you made it all the way from EC! =:) Thank you for your gracious comment. I agree with you about just doing it when it stares at you. I have a note stuck to my computer that says: Do the thing you fear first, every day! Courage is not the absence of fear, but what you do in spite of it.

Supergranny, thrilled you like it! You should sign up for hubpages yourself and let us enjoy your thoughts. =:)


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida

Most absolutely! I have been trying in my small way to say the same thing. The choice is ours. Complaining and debating will not fix the economy, we the people are the economy, we are the ones who can fix it, one person at a time! Well done.


Ghost32 6 years ago

I agree with the previous comments--the power of decision is the greatest power of all.

But I still say that kitten photo is the best part of the whole hub!


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain

*applauds* Absolutely! This is my philosophy and you said it in a nutshell. Dont concern yourself with the actions of others, just concern yourself with you.

I try and live life with good intentions and even with this, these intentions can result in going pear shaped. However, if I concentrate on my actions and what I feel from within, I know that I have done my best and am the best that I can be.

Thanks for writing! x


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Faybe Bay, Thank you for your kind words. I am so glad that you see where it all begins. "Your small way" is where all the power is and always will be. Please visit anytime.

Ghost, I knew you were a softy at heart. I admire the choices you've made with that fine home you're building. Can I send you a few dozen kittens to help you break it in? =:)

shazwellyn, so delighted to see you here. I always enjoy your comments in the forums--Thank you for your positive and gracious words. You rock!


rocknrodeogirl profile image

rocknrodeogirl 6 years ago from The Columbia Gorge

I think I've been at that stop sign, lol. Great hub, congratulations on your nomination! Good luck! ;)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Thanks RRG! I think the key to that sign is that no one can really tell you which way to go--you just have to rev up (in your case your Ford Escort) and put the pedal down heading for the destination of your choice. Give Sug a hug for me. =:)


cosette 6 years ago

dude, i just rated this UP and voted for it! :)

good luck, and keep rockin' it.


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas

What a wonderful hub, I can see why it was chosen for the nomination! I agree 100 percent that attitude and the way you view the size of the mountain determines whether your outcome will result in a win or a loss. Thanks for sharing, congrats on being selected, and good luck to ya! :)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Cosette, dudette? Thank you and thank you and I will. =:)

MG, cool initials! Thank you for driving your sportster this way and for your gracious comments. I agree about the mountain. My hardest part is getting past how I think the mountain views me. =:)


Duchess OBlunt 6 years ago

Winsome, well done - again! I love your outlook and am grateful that you are sharing it with us all.

Congratulations on the hubnugget nomination. Well deserved. GOOD LUCK


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

And I love yours! How wonderful to find kind and courageous kindred souls who resonate with the greater passions of life.

Who knew that something ok would come from all those years of listening to teachers say "Pay attention!" =:)


Katrina Ariel profile image

Katrina Ariel 6 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

Excellent! Yes, remembering that how we feel our way through life is constructed by our own choices is super empowering. It asks us to take responsibility for ourselves, which is more work but infinitely more rewarding. Great hub! Congrats on being a hubnugget!


hypnodude profile image

hypnodude 6 years ago from Italy

Your definition of Economy is simply perfect, great hub, rated up and stumbled.


webcoach bill 6 years ago

Excellent hub, so positive. I often use Victor's story with clients in therapy and coaching. It is truly awesome and inspiring.

Bill


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

Winsome - I couldn't have said it better.

All my life, and we're talking major years here, I have believed that every one of us has the power to change - not other people - but ourselves if we can stay positive about life.

Happy to see you concur with this beautifully well-written hub. Congrats. And the graphic at the end was the icing on the cake. Thanks.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Wow guys, thank you so much for your comments!

Katrina, you are so right, I can see it now: Life Choice Construction Co. =:)

Hypnodude, great to see you here, people who wait for the economy to change reminds me of a cartoon with two vultures on a limb--the one turns to the other and says "Heck with patience, I'm going to go kill something!" =:)

Bill, we need your kind of positive coaching. When I hesitate in making a choice, I think of John Woodin's classic advice: "Never dribble away from the basket!"

drbj, happy to concur and appreciate your kind words. We can't control often what comes our way, but we can sure control what comes out. =:)

A great big Winsome grin and hugs for everyone who voted. I am honored and grateful for the positive support and gracious comments from the wonderful Hubpages community.


Michael Shane profile image

Michael Shane 6 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

Great job Winsome! You won me!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

That's a great compliment Michael and I appreciate it very much. With your business and criminal justice background you are just what this country needs to fix the economy and throw the crooks out. =:) I'm proud to have you as a hub friend.


JannyC profile image

JannyC 6 years ago

See why this got a hubaward. Great hub!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Thank you Janny. By the way, I know it is for children but I love this one:

Gud, som haver barnen kar,

se till mig som liten ar.

Vart jag mig i varl den rander

star min lycka i Gud's hander.

Lyckan kommer lyckan gar,

den Gud alskar lyckan far,

Amen

Glad you stopped by.


Madison22 profile image

Madison22 6 years ago from NYC

Great!! I agree with you 101% when it come to us having choices. No wonder you were awarded for this one, awesome hub. :-)


the pink umbrella profile image

the pink umbrella 6 years ago from the darkened forest deep within me.

your right, i love this hub. Im not exactly in a nazi prison camp, but im polish, he's german, and i occasionally feel oppressed! You write well, and this hub is helpful to those of us who havnt chosen our current situation but are trying to make the best of it maybe if only for ourselves. Very inspireing. Thank you for writing it.


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

It's so obvious that you've done your homework on this hub, winsome-I am really, really impressed!

It is often difficult to remember that choice is involved when feeling 'stuck,' but thanks for the reminder!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Ladies, I'm honored!

Madison that means a lot coming from you...especially that extra per cent. =:)

Pink, I'm glad it speaks to you and you are most welcome.

Lorlie6, thank you for coming. Yes, you are right, I can't believe I have to have a sign posted in my office saying: "Choose!"


trose 6 years ago

WOW! Great hub! The picture of the stop sign has definitely reflected my life in the last 2 years due to unfortunate circumstances.

Then, I found Victor Frankl's book. It helped me change my perspective completely. Now am I reading Stephen Covey's "7 Habits" book and am enthralled.

It's ironic that I read your hub today, because just yesterday I made a choice to practice being more proactive and less reactive through this next month.

Very uplifting writing here. Thanks!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Trose, so nice to find you here. Thank you for the kind words. I'm glad you found it helpful, since I've been looking at each day as if it's the only one I have, being proactive means I can have a "best day" every day.


yensid profile image

yensid 6 years ago

Great Hub--I, too, am a fan of Frankl. What a great way to start my day. Thanks!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

You are so welcome. Thank you for stopping by. I have had days that I thought were impossible and simply going back to the idea that I still have choices has turned most of them into surprisingly winning days.


Gigi2 profile image

Gigi2 6 years ago from UK

I have had a tricky few years and have with help, discovered the strength of choosing my destiny. I have wallowed in muddy waters once too often, the power of optimism and enforcing it regularly has started to turn my life around. Needless to say your hub has moved me immensely. I've felt helpless and boxed in so often, following your philosophy is so liberating. Having finally seen that small light I am in awe of your hub. Thank you.


ainehannah profile image

ainehannah 6 years ago from Dublin

This is so wonderful! And I LOVE the purr softly bit. Your new pic is cool too. All the best from Dublin :o)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Gigi you are so kind. I am delighted it was a fuel for the fire that burns within you. I'll be watching your hubs for some great sharing.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Ainehannah thank you for the gracious comment and for noticing the little things. I can hardly wait to visit Ireland, I'll be needing you to fill me in on the best flea markets. =:)


fucsia profile image

fucsia 6 years ago

Very good these words: "Do not put it off, most of Our Fears are like darkness That only needs a small light to Dispel it Completely"

Good because real! I was full of fears and insecurities, someone very important to me helped me to light a match, with the match I lit a candle, with this candle I lit other candles.... so the light is growing as I am growing!

Reading you is a pleasure ...


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Fucsia, what a lovely application of sharing and building of light in your life. Thank you for the kind words. =:)


Iggy Sarducci profile image

Iggy Sarducci 6 years ago from Wherever I am now

I had to give this one a "useful" rating. These ratings must be new since it's your first one. Hmmmm. Anyway, thank you for writing about Victor - I'm very interested in him.

The best takeaway for me was the line, "the test is: if it increases your self-respect, it is probably a healthy and empowering response." It's very helpful to keep this in mind.

Thanks much, Winsome.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey Iggy, thank you for the kind words. The Rotarians have a four way test but I agree with you, this one is easier to remember. One of the best things Frankl said is if in life you have a "why" you can handle any "how." Pleasure to meet you. =:)


Iggy Sarducci profile image

Iggy Sarducci 6 years ago from Wherever I am now

Winsome, this Frankl comment sounds intriguing but I can't quite wrap my head around it. Would you mind elaborating a little?

Pleasure to meet you too!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

I have to apologize Iggy, I didn't miss your request, I just went off and started writing a hub to address it and forgot to tell you. I hope to post it late tonight. =:)


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

Congrats for this, this is awesome, Maita


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

So glad you liked it Maita. Congratulations to you too and the thousand fans who recognize how special you are. =:)


crystolite profile image

crystolite 5 years ago from Houston TX

Lovely hub,i love i this.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

I knew you would like the theme of this C, it is right in line with your positive attitude and willingness to do the hard thing to make a change for the better. Keep making the triumphant choices, God has great things planned for you. =:)


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

I love this Hub from start to finish. Thanks to rebekahELLE for posting the link. (I will do the same on some of my hubs and on my blog too. Wish I could syndicate the whole article.) Regarding our economy, I've read a lot of excellent political Hubs but your words present the sanest solution to the country's problems. Thanks, rated Up!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

GL thank you for that very positive vote of confidence. (and you too Rebekah) Because of the internet and virtual forums of discourse, we have the opportunity, maybe for the first time since its inception, to be a government "of the people, by the people and for the people."

I think of our economy as one giant lane of traffic that is stalled because of something going on in the opposite lane. There is no accident ahead of us--no obstacles other than our "rubber-necking" reflex and all that is necessary for the traffic to pick up is to stop worrying about everyone else and simply each of us begin to move ahead. It is really that simple. Maybe we need Eliza Doolittle's "Move your bloomin' ass!" to go viral. Thank you for stopping by and may you have a super day! =:)


kml285 profile image

kml285 5 years ago from Flagstaff, AZ

I completely agree with you. Looking at the bright side of every difficult situation makes life so much better. Humans most definitely have a lot of issues, but we are powerful creatures, and I wish everyone could see the power inside themselves because it would make this world a much better place.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Kelli, thank you for coming over to read. It took me a while to realize that even if I can't change a difficult situation, my power starts when I make a choice about it. I was feeling a little low and vulnerable last night and so I chucked my sensible activities and went to a late showing of X-Men First Class. I had heard mixed reviews so I had no real expectations and was pleasantly surprised. The movie would have been simply average were it not for James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender. The way each faced their difficulties was illuminating. Michael (Magneto) faced his with cynicism and revenge while James (Xavier) chose optimism and faith in the goodness of man.

Seeing such a positive example of standing by your character regardless of how the world treats you, totally drop-kicked me out of my funk. When we have a natural inclination to choose the best anyway, all it takes is a reminder to get us back on track.

Again thanks so much for the comment and the visit. =:)

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