The Power of Choice

People speak often of concepts like ‘destiny’ and ‘free will’. Are we, as humans, able to choose our fate through a series of choices, or has our path, or destiny, been mapped out already by some unknown force regardless of which choices we inevitably make (or don’t make)?

I’m sorry to disappoint, but I don’t have an answer for you. 

If our lives are following some predetermined destiny, then we are not the result of our choices, for they’ve already been made. At that point it is like we’re just playing a part we’ve been assigned. The people who got rich and famous were always going to get rich and famous; the singers who made it big were always going to make it big, etc.

If everything in this world has become the way it is due to the consequences of choices that have been made by billions of people throughout history up to and including the present day, then we are truly living in chaos. The permutations of possibility are so vast and unimaginable that the human mind literally can’t comprehend it.

(A person would find it very difficult to answer accurately if someone asked them to guess how many grains of sand there are in the entire world off the top of your head, or how many molecules there are in the universe – our minds aren’t made to comprehend numbers that large)

However, there IS one thing that I do know.

You have the power to decide, to choose, how you are going to perceive the world around you.

This power is one of the reasons that people’s lives are so different, even though from an outside perspective they may seem very similar.

The innate truth of the Power of Choice is that you are the SOLE CONTROLLER of your own thoughts.

Conquer Fear The Power of Choice
Every stranger you encounter leads a life as complex and intricate as your own.

Let’s say you go for a hike with a friend. You’re watching the birds fly… You’re feeling the wind on your face… The babbling brook pleasantly meanders next to the trail. You soak it all in. But your friend starts wishing they were on the couch eating pizza and watching a movie. One of you is going to enjoy that hike a great deal more than the other. 

And I’m sure you know which one.

After you started the activity your friend decided that they would rather lament about what they weren’t doing than enjoy what they were doing.

And that’s entirely their own fault.

You’re both using The Power of Choice – just in opposite ways.

1.) Don’t go and do something if you know it’s not what you want to do (and I do realize that this isn’t always possible when you’re not in charge).

2.) Be present in what you are doing. You decide how to perceive the situation you are in, so look for positive things. Or, look to learn as much as you can about negative things in order to avoid them going forward.

You are 100% in control of this.

It’s classic optimism vs. pessimism. Is the glass half-empty or is the glass half-full? They’re both correct. You can define something both by what it is, or by what it is not. Did you already enjoy quenching your thirst with half of a glass of water; or are you halfway to running out of water? No matter the situation, you should be adopting the positive mindset.

Use the Power of Choice to bend situations to your favor.

Conquer Fear The Power of Choice
In every situation, you have the opportunity to choose to look for happiness.

The Power of Choice becomes so clear when it comes time to choose your friends; to choose who you are going to spend the most time with. If your four closest friends are eternally pessimistic and negative, how are you going to outshine them with your positivity? Even if you somehow pull it off, they’re likely going to ostracize you for being different and for making them feel bad about themselves.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t help these people, or that you should ignore them. What I am saying, is that they aren’t going to change unless they want to change. So don’t pour your time and energy into them, because honestly, you’re probably working harder on improving them than they are on improving themselves.

Spend time with the people that love life.

These people are the ones that get excited by things. That’s how you’ll know. They’re the ones that can’t control their voice or the rapidity of their speech when you get them talking about one of their passions. Hold on to these people. Banish the miserable cynics, and surround yourself with people that simply love the action of doing or creating. You don’t even have to love the same things!

If your four closest friends get up every day and tackle life’s challenges and focus on chasing and achieving their goals and dreams, then you will become the fifth person.

Conquer Fear The Power of Choice
Who will you choose?

You must also choose the right relationship.

In a talk with Bill Gates at Columbia Business School on January 27, 2017, Warren Buffett said that the most important person that will shape you throughout your life is your spouse. They have to be someone you admire – and you need to choose the right one because they will become an unstoppable driving force in your life. The right spouse will inspire you to your successes, and help you learn from your failures. 

And when you find the right person, choose them every single day. For you must also lift them up as they will lift you. I know from experience that most failed relationships come from the choices that you don’t make – usually when you choose to do what is easy over what is right. When you choose to be selfish instead of selfless. When you choose to take instead of to give.

Remember that you are who you associate with. So if you want to attract a certain kind of partner, then you may need to work hard to embody the qualities that you find desirable – and then people will want to associate with you.

In this endeavor, I recommend that you set the bar high.

And you can take that advice from the billionaire himself. 

Conquer Fear The Power of Choice
Let your strengths cover each other’s weaknesses.

You have the capability to build the life that you want!

You get to choose your perspective, your friends, your partner, your career!

And you get to choose the kind of person you want to be.

Who you have been, and who you are – don’t let these versions of you inhibit you from metamorphosing into the person you must become in order to achieve the life that you have chosen.

We live in a world of constant innovations and updates – but when was the last time you updated yourself?

Don’t let anybody else define you. That privilege is yours, and yours alone – through your thoughts, your actions, and your choices.

One of my favorite speakers of all time has a fantastic quote that I will share with you. Click his name for one of my favorite motivational videos. Dr. Eric Thomas is my mental chiropractor, and that happens to be the video I go to for a mindset readjustment.

“How do you wanna live? Stop waking up like an accident! What do you want?!” – Dr. Eric Thomas

You have been gifted with The Power of Choice. Choose wisely.

So what do you want?!

*Disclaimer: The Power of Choice is a privilege that is not guaranteed in all parts of the world. Be mindful of what Warren Buffett likened to a lottery. If you are reading this on the internet, it is likely that you were born in a place where you have access to opportunities that can improve your life.

Originally Posted February 4, 2017

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