Creating A Better Life Through Choice

Creating A Better Life Through Choice

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread.  They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”  Viktor Frankl

At every moment we have a choice.  When we think of choices we tend to think of those big ones like career, partner, living location.  But it’s those moment by moment ones that create our life as well.

Choice gives us a sense of control and while we may not have any control in those difficulties that ‘fall’ upon us, we always have the choice in how we respond and in what we do with it.

Choosing to choose is very freeing and engaging.  It keeps us as active players in our life.  When we ‘just are’ (‘just be’ as the saying goes) we are passively reacting to what life throws at us.  Knowing, like the Frankl quote above, that even within our constraints we have choices, can help us feel more empowered and therefore stay afloat.

One such time became a defining moment in my life, where I made a decision that I feel so good about.  My daughter, Nava, was in a rehab hospital for nine months and I lived up there with her.  I had taken the first semester of the school year off as she was critically ill in the hospital.  When the second semester began, my supervisor called to tell me that I could return to work part time, something that I had thought I wanted.  I went up and back and finally got tremendous clarity that my purpose was to be up there with her full time; that looking at a watch at work waiting for 3:30 to strike so that I could drive back up to her just wasn’t the way to go.  Within the tremendous pain and out-of-control circumstance, I chose my way and felt great about it.  I knew what was most meaningful for me and therefore where I wanted to be.  (It was then that I started to see a couple of private clients which worked in well.)

I feel a bit pressured and stressed now in all that I have to prepare for upcoming workshops and for a project for my certificate course.  I can choose to continue on this stressful path or I can choose to view it differently which would ease the stress and get me moving on them in a more positive and productive fashion.  And so I view it as :  “this is all work that I want and care about;  I am sharing with others what truly resonates and is meaningful to me; it is a privilege to have these opportunities.”  This is not a big decision but rather a mindful choice in shifting my mindset.  And therefore it certainly helps me cope with the time pressure.

Now sure we all feel trapped at times and helpless but this attitude of Choice is very powerful.  So be mindful of choosing to choose.  It’s certainly easier to make excuses and say we’re stuck with the awfulness of something.  But that strips us of our biggest human quality of Choice – from the concrete of doing something action-wise to the non-concrete of perception and mind-shift.

“You see things and you say, ‘Why’?  But I dream things that never were and I say, ‘Why not?’”  George Bernard Shaw; later quoted by Robert Kennedy

‘Why not’ takes us on the path of being an active agent in our life, of bringing about positive change.


What have been some of your defining choices?  Choice is a choice.  Can you make it even when you feel there isn’t any? 

Thanks for stopping by.  Please share.


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