Year To Success

Lesson 12: The Power of Choice

Where we are today is largely a result of choices we have made in our past. Choices as minor as what to have for breakfast to choosing what we want to do for a living. Each of us has the right to create our destiny by a series of lifelong decisions. Accept responsibility for who you are and where you are today, and understand that you are where you are largely as a result of the choices you have made.

What about choices such as going to work? You may be saying, “I have a family to support, and I cannot choose to skip work. If I skip work, I get fired.” The reality is you choose not to skip work and keep your job. The choice of skipping work is yours, and you must accept the consequences of each of your decisions. Even in the extreme situation that someone has a gun to your head, you have the choice to do what they request, or risk getting shot. Choice is always present and always yours.

What about the person who gets hit by a bus? He obviously did not choose to get hit by a bus, but providing he is still alive, he can certainly choose how he responds to the situation. He can spend the rest of his days focusing on “why me?” and how unfortunate he is, or make millions writing the bestseller, Life After Being Hit by a Bus, and help others who happened to get whacked by a Greyhound while picking up a penny on the highway. Although we cannot always choose what happens to us or around us, we can choose how we deal with it.

A successful person understands this concept well and understands that her choices make her who she is today. She does not use the negative statement “I HAVE to” but rather “I WANT to.” Having to do something makes you subconsciously believe that you have no choice in the situation, which is rarely ever true. Once you truly understand that you choose to do something rather than have to do it, your attitude becomes positive, and you see the benefits rather than focusing on the negative.

Other people will respect you for your candor when being more truthful with a statement such as “I prefer to.” The words “I have to” are often used as a defense mechanism and used as an excuse not to do something. Understand that you have a choice in the matter and be savvy enough to avoid the words “I have to.” Those with whom you communicate will respect you more for it.