‘Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.’ — Victor Frankl
Life is made up of choices as opposed to chances. In terms of creating the life that you desire, this is perhaps the most important lesson to be learned. The freedom to decide and the power to choose has enormous influence in our destiny. Sadly, many people go through their lives never recognizing this great freedom. Instead they blame circumstances, bad luck or other people for the lives they are living rather than taking responsibility for their own actions and making better choices to improve the quality of their lives.
Choice is a gift for all to freely take advantage of. There are some choices that we make that, while less than obvious, are crucial in determining the quality of our lives. Here are what I consider to be our most important choices:
1. We are free to choose our character and the type of person we become. We have the ultimate choice to allow ourselves to be molded by others and our environment, or we can commit ourselves to self-development. We can live to our greatest potential or instead choose to live less than which we are capable.
2. We are free to choose our values. We can allow society to dictate our values or we can create them based on our own inner beliefs. We can base our standards on what others are doing or on what we believe is right or wrong based on our own internal integrity and moral code.
3. We are free to choose how to treat other people. We are free to either pull people down or lift them up. We can be self centered and inconsiderate, or we can choose to be respectful, kind and loving, viewing people as unique and accepting them for who they are as individuals.
4. We are free to choose how we handle adversity. We can choose to be crushed, to give up and feel sorry for ourselves. Or we can choose to look for the source of strength from within, to persevere and to make the most out of any situation that life deals us.
5. We are free to choose what we will accomplish. We can allow our circumstances or other people to determine what we make of ourselves, or we can choose our own directions and goals. We can be undisciplined and lazy, or we can be self-disciplined and hardworking.
6. We can choose how much we will learn. We can look at learning as an unpleasant duty or as a great opportunity to better ourselves. We can be close-minded or open-minded. We can be stagnant or we can choose to grow.
7. We are free to choose our own life purpose. We can wander aimlessly through our lives, or we can search for a meaning in our lives and then live according to it. We can live only to please ourselves or we can find a greater cause that helps us understand and appreciate life more fully.
8. We are free to choose our attitude regardless of circumstances. This is by far the most important choice we will ever make because it affects everything we do in life. The greatest power a person possesses is the power to choose.
Much of our human potential goes to waste simply because we never use it. Often we fail to exercise our choices because we are not aware that we have them. The most important thing to remember is that, at any given moment, we are free to make choices that create who we are and what our lives look like. Human beings were not designed to live by chance. The greatest human beings of all live their lives designed by choice!
Elizabeth Savino is Personal Life Coach and founder of Sole Life Coaching located in Pennington, NJ. She specializes in working with women in transition and promoting empowerment to promote positive change. Elizabeth graduated from Bowling Green State University with a degree in Special Education. She has studied coaching through Mentor Coach and Coach U, which are coaching schools that train individuals to become Certified Coaches recognized by the International Coach Federation of which she is also a member.
Sole Life Coaching, Pennington, NJ. 609-737-9980. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.elizabethsavino.com