Recently I received an email comment on my posting Our Humanity Messiness and Choices. You can read the comment at that posting. The person rightly pointed out that some messes occur due to our being locked up by our holding onto false beliefs generated through culture, society, religion, family, and ect. The commentator then used the example that men often do not go for help with problems due to the false beliefs that they should be strong and figure it out by themselves. A false pride in self; which is only fear of breaking free from the belief controlling them. The email ended with victory in the power to choose to free oneself of the fears of false belief. So I wanted to look more at our power to choose.
We can face fewer false beliefs if we challenge them with critical thinking skills I mentioned in the post Living More Than OK By Using Critical Thinking Skills. I will discuss more on that topic as well in the future. Yet even using critical thinking is a choice we must make. I mentioned power along with choice. “The greatest power that a person possesses is the power to choose” J. Martin Kohe, (author and psychologist). We have amazing power for good possibilities and bad in our lives based on the choices we make. Hal Urban in his book Life’s Greatest Lessons says, “…we all have the potential to do more with our lives. Every human being is capable of making great strides in self development and major increases in achievements.” As I have mentioned before that is a driving force in my starting this blog --the desire to help people maximize their potential and possibilities in life.
Too many people fail to reach their potential because they feel they do not have control. They fail to see that each day is full of choices that affect our present and futures. Sure there are the flat tires that come in our lives. No one wakes up choosing to be stranded on the side of the road with a flat. Even then we make a choice to get out of the car to fix the flat or call Triple A to fix the flat for us. I am a firm believer in Chaos Theory. Happenstance happens. Yet when the stuff of life we cannot control come crushing in we still have a choice what to do in response. Even the response of allowing ourselves to be crushed by the circumstance is a choice. Been there, been crushed and don’t recommend remaining crushed for a length of time.
To maximize our living we need to see the positive choices we can make each day. Even to make lemonade out of the lemons that drop into our lives. One of my favorite Psychological theories, ( probably because I believe in the power of Choice), is Choice Theory by Dr. William Glasser. A central aspect of Choice Theory is the belief that we are internally, not externally motivated. While other theories suggest that outside events "cause" us to behave in certain predictable ways, Choice Theory teaches that outside events never "make" us to do anything. What drives our behavior are internally developed notions of what is most important and satisfying to us. … Another major concept in Choice Theory is the notion that we always have some choice about how to behave. This does not mean that we have unlimited choice or that outside information is irrelevant as we choose how to behave. It means that we have more control than some people might believe and that we are responsible for the choices we make. (from www.choicetheory.com). What is going on internally in us is more important than the externals that affect our life journey. We are responsible to make the best choices for our good and for those traveling on the journey with us.
I like Dr. Glasser’s thinking, as the quote states we do not ignore the external information. If I have a flat tire I don’t ignore it and keep driving. “ My the road sure seems to be bumpy!” Of course it is not the road it is the flat tire. If I ignore the external, the small problem of the flat tire turns into the big problem of a smashed rim and broken axle. That bigger problem was the result of my ignoring the small problem. So by understanding the power of our choices we can maximize our living and sidetrack many of our problems which are results of poor choices or choosing not to choose.
As you wake up each day understand that you, not others are in control of your choices. Make the choice to make choices that will be the best for your life journey and for those travelling with you. “It is the big choices we make that set our direction. It is the smallest choices we make that get us to the destination.” –Shad Helmstetter-
Do you take the time to use critical thinking in the choices you make?
How do you respond to the external flat tires in your life?
Are there some choices you need to make that may bring new possibilities to your life journey?