In every moment of our lives, we have a choice. Yes, every moment.
We may not always realise this but it is true. Everything in life is a choice.
Yes, I can hear the argument that we don’t always have control over a situation so how can we have a choice? And, what about the people in war zones and hospitals, surely they didn’t choose this for themselves or their families?
Yes, very true. No one deliberately chooses misery for themselves and their loved ones.
Let us break this down.
There are 3 types of situations in life:
- Situations where we have total control
- Situations where we have some but not total control
- Situations where we have absolutely no control.
There is one thing that runs common in all these situations; No matter the situation and our level of control, in every situation we have complete and total control of how we relate and respond to the situation.
There is a simple, yet beautiful concept popularised by Jack Canfield, that situations and events alone do not determine the outcome, it is how we respond to events that determines the outcomes.
Event + Response = Outcome
How we respond to anything in life, is our choice. Yes, the situation/event/circumstances may not be in our control but our response is. That is always a choice and is always up to us.
Example: If someone insults you, you can choose to respond with humour, with sarcasm, with an insult of your own, or you can choose not to respond at all. Choices.
Now that is surface level, let us go one level deeper on this. If someone insults you; you can choose how you wish to feel about it and how to internalise it. It is absolutely your choice if you wish to be upset about it, be angry about it, laugh at it, agree with the insulter or completely ignore it.
It stems from your own ability to know yourself and your own level of self-confidence and self-esteem.
In tough situations and rough times too, we have a choice. Our efforts and sufferings are in our control. We can choose how much effort to put into something and how much we wish to suffer over something.
Life doesn’t just happen to us. Our lives are defined by the choices we make. Big and small. We choose how to internalise, handle or respond to a situation.
Our lives are a collection of choice and decisions. Our past choices have brought us this present. And the choices we make today will shape our future.
Choose wisely, and remember… There is always a choice.
It may not be an obvious one, a popular one, or the one accepted by our families, peers and cultures… but there is always a choice.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” —Viktor Frankl