The Freedom To Choose
"You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."
- Maya Angelou
Most of us value our freedom and won’t dream of giving it up willingly. Few realize however that by not using our freedom to choose we often become prisoners of the challenges we are facing in our daily lives.
I read a sad story this week about a woman who had an abusive childhood. As an adult she became addicted to gambling, stole a huge amount from her employers to feed her addiction, and ended up in prison as a result. In prison she realized that she cannot blame her past for the challenges she was experiencing and that she had a choice about where her life was going. She is now studying and is an A student.
It is possible to become imprisoned by your circumstances when you feel that your challenges stop you from achieving what you are hoping for. It can sometimes be easier to blame rather than making that decision to change even if you feel trapped and unhappy about the results you are getting.
Stephen Covey once said: Every human has four endowments – self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom..... The power to choose, to respond, to change”.
Imagination paints the vision of what we are hoping to achieve. For example good health or great confidence. We can also rely on our creative imagination to create new plans if the current plan fails to get us to our desired goals.
Conscience helps us to become aware of how our own choices have an impact on our desired goals. For example: “That second portion might not be in the interest of my health”.
When we choose to act for or against the results we are hoping to get, we do so with a completely independent will. Nobody can take the freedom to choose away from us if we don’t give that freedom away.
People tend to use many reasons to explain why they are not where they want to be. Think about this: If you are feeling a bit frustrated about where you are at the moment: Are you using your freedom or are you a prisoner of your challenges?
Choose to free your self by responding to your challenges with your four endowments: Self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination instead of blame. The results may surprise you.