"We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experiencethem."-- Khalil Gibran
Our life works and can be full of joy when we make effectivechoices. Our life can be full of sorrow if we make ineffective choices.
Chooser vs. Victim
As a child, choices were made for me and I had little powerover what happened to me. This is normal for children, but when we take this attitude as adults I call it being a "victim"
The opposite of being a victim is to be "The Chooser"
The concept of choice is remarkable, and that we havechoices I consider to be a fact. Though in my life, I'veforgotten this fact many times when I was impulsive orreactive.
I find it challenging to take responsibility for my failures and pain as being the result of my own choices. I want to blame myboss, my ex-wife, the other driver, my parents; and for awhile I did.
I've had many wake-up calls that acting out of ignorance orimpulse doesn't absolve me of responsibility for making abad choice.
When I was sixteen, a new driver, and got a ticket for making a U-turn across a double-yellow line I told the cop honestly that I didn't know it was against the law, and felt it grossly unfair that he ticketed me anyway.
I fought the ticket in traffic court and lost. My onlydefense was "I didn't know! I didn't mean to break the law!"The judge told me ignorance was not an excuse for breakingthe law. That was one of my first wake-up calls that as anadult, I would be held accountable for my choices even ifthey were unconscious. Scary thought.
We live in a victim culture. It's usually the other guy'sfault that we go to war, get into a car accident, lose ourmoney in stocks, get a divorce. While victim-hood might makeus feel better and in the right, it also makes us helplessand perpetuates our problems.
The Law of Attraction
What do you want? A fulfilling life and relationship? Aloving family? Success in your work? Peace in the world?I've learned that to get what you want you must BE THECHOOSER.
Being the chooser means taking the initiative to create whatyou want, taking full responsibility for your outcomes, andmaking your choices mindful of their long-term consequences.
There is a law of the universe as powerful as the law ofgravity that helps choosers and brings suffering on victims.It's called the "Law of Attraction." Just like "what goes upmust come down;" "what is inside shows up on the outside,""energy follows attention," and "what you believe you canachieve."
If you believe you don't have a choice, you won't.
If you shove responsibility for your choices and outcomesoutside of yourself, the law of attraction will try to teachyou to take responsibility by repeating the lesson over andover until you get it.
This is the origin of crime, war, and most other sources ofhuman suffering.
I want to be happy and fulfilled. I want you to be happy andfulfilled. I've learned that happiness comes from within, bytaking responsibility as an adult for my choices andoutcomes. I've learned that I need to be "The Chooser" in mylife and my heartfelt desire is that I can inspire you to be The Chooser as well.
Be The Chooser
We have the knowledge and technology to create a wonderful life for ourselves and society for our children. Most of our social problems, such as crime, war, poverty, violence, disease, divorce, homelessness, and more, is the result of ineffective choices. Unfortunately, these social problems will continue as long as people believe they don't have a choice about them.
Choosers know what they want and how to get it.In charge of their lives, Choosers take responsibility forwhat happens. Being a Chooser takes a certain amount ofconfidence and effort, but anyone can be one! Being TheChooser means taking initiative for your outcomes: you arein charge of creating what you want in life. You do notrestrict yourself to what or who chooses you.
Very often, we are not aware of the range of choices available to us. We are often unaware of our power to choose, and of the true power of our choices. We might make choices unconsciously, reactively or impulsively. We might be unaware of the long-termconsequences of our choices.
A.I.M. To Be The Chooser
Step 1: Be AWARE that you have choices
You are never stuck! You always have choices, even if youdon't know what your choices are. Don't allow impulse orlack of information to result in a poor choice.
Step 2: IDENTIFY your choices
Always assume there are more choices than you are aware of.Seek to identify a variety of the choices available to you,mindful that "you don't know what you don't know." Identifyproductive choices and don't settle for unproductivechoices.
Step 3: MAKE productive choices
Use all the information available to you to make the bestchoice possible to achieve the outcome you desire. Evaluatea choice based upon the likely long-term consequences ofthat choice.
If you want to be the Chooser, here are some things you havecontrol over and can DO:
- BE CREATIVE: Seek new ideas and opportunities beyond theimmediate past and present
- BE A RISK TAKER: Accept rejection and failure as part oflife, and don't take it personally
- BE ASSERTIVE: Ask for what you want, and say "no" to whatyou don't want
- BE PROACTIVE: Don't merely react to events, or habituallywait for things to happen
- BE GOAL-ORIENTED: Clearly define and vigorously pursue your goals
- ASSUME ABUNDANCE: Believe there will always be plenty ofopportunities and resources
- BE POSITIVE: Always anticipate success
"Your life is the sum result of all the choices you make,both consciously and unconsciously.
If you can control the process of choosing, you can take control of all aspects of your life.
You can find the freedom that comes from being incharge of yourself."-- Senator Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah)
©2005 by Relationship Coaching Network / All rights reservedhttp://www.relationshipcoachingnetwork.org
David Steele, MA, LMFT is Founder and CEO of Relationship Coaching Institute, and author of the upcoming book "Conscious Dating: Finding the Love of Your Life in Today's World" to be published October 2005, from which this article is excerpted.
For more information visit http://www.ConsciousDating.com