We all have a choice

choices

Today, we look at the tenth and final of The 10 Greatest Gifts principles outlined by Steven W. Vannoy in his 1994 book.  You will recall that we examined “responsibility” the last time.  These principles also apply very well to adults working in the business world and can help us work better with others and understand, for ourselves, how we can be most productive and effective in every walk of life.   Here is the full list of these Greatest Gifts:

  1. Feeling fully
  2. Self-esteem
  3. Compassion
  4. Balance
  5. Humor
  6. Communication
  7. Abundance
  8. Integrity
  9. Responsibility
  10. Conscious choice

What is the principle of conscious choice?  Vannoy defines it like this as he discussed the importance of this gift to our children:

“Once you know that you have the gift of choice in your life, there is no more powerful tool. It allows you to figure out how to make things happen and how not to be a victim, no matter what the circumstances.”

Choices…. Being able to shape our own life and destiny is truly a powerful tool.  We are not necessarily confined to the destiny others envision for us, but by the choices we consciously make for ourselves.  There are many others that have described this much better than I ever could.  Let’s take a look at some of these quotes:

  • “Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.” – Kevyn Aucoin
  • “One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “When you wake up every day, you have two choices. You can either be positive or negative; an optimist or a pessimist. I choose to be an optimist. It’s all a matter of perspective.” – Harvey Mackay
  • “I don’t condemn anyone for making their choices. If someone chooses those roles, fine. But not for me. When someone stops me and says, You’re the reason I became an actress, that lets me know I made the right decision.” – Cicely Tyson
  • “Wise choices can put us in control of situations where we might otherwise be tempted to compromise our principles. We cannot control all that happens to us; however, we can choose to be in control of our responses.” – L. Lionel Kendrick
  • “There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.” – Denis Waitley
  • “I’m a big believer that your life is basically a sum of all the choices you make. The better your choices, the better opportunity to lead a happy life.” – Karen Salmansohn
  • “Ideas matter. The world matters. Our lives matter, and the choices we make as we navigate our lives perhaps matter most of all.” – Lauren Myracle
  • “Eighty percent of all choices are based on fear. Most people don’t choose what they want; they choose what they think is safe.” – Phil McGraw
  • “I believe without a single shadow of a doubt that it is necessary for young people to learn to make choices. Learning to make right choices is the only way they will survive in an increasingly frightening world.” – Lois Lowry

 

The key themes from these quotes are: a) our choices define who we are, b) we must accept responsibility for our choices, both good and bad, and c) our own choices determine our happiness. Learning to make appropriate choices, then, is a critical tool in our arsenal of life.  How have your choices altered your life?  Can you narrow down the critical choices in your life to 2 or 3 that made the most difference?  Would you do anything different if you could do it all over again?

We can’t go back, but we can make better, more informed decisions in the future. The rest of our lives may depend upon it.  So, go do it… be bold, be informed, and be prepared for adventure!  Have a fabulous day!

 

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