February 17, 2013

The Power of Choice

When I was younger, I came upon a truth that had two aspects. I designed a coin to express this truth, each side bearing a statement that represented one of the two aspects. The coin is about taking responsibility for your choices; and allowing others to be responsible for theirs.

One side of this coin had the words, “You cannot MAKE anyone do anything.
The other side had the words, “No-one can MAKE you do anything.

Only you can be responsible for the choices you make. The only exception to this is a parents choices until a child is of age to make their own.

Some have argued that a person can be coerced or forced. While there are many situations where that seems to be the case, this truth is about the choices people make. Others say there are choices that effect their lives which are not choices they made. I would say that in such cases, they have made a default choice; allowing someone else to make choices for them - which is also a choice. -Opting not to make a choice is a choice in itself.-

~ What Is Responsibility? ~

The way to exercise control of your life and express your personal power and freedom is to take responsibility for your choices. Occasionally I feel it is a burden to be responsible, and seek to hand that off to someone else in order to “let go” and “have fun”… Then I remember that is the lure of those who want me to allow them the power of making choices for me. I can have fun and be spontaneous while still taking responsibility for my choices.

There’s another way to phrase “taking responsibility” that is generally viewed more positively; that is “taking credit”. When we create something and share it with others, we happily take credit for the accomplishment. That accomplishment happened as a result of a choice.

It would appear that taking responsibility for a choice and taking credit for a choice are two aspects of the same thing. One cast in a desirable light, and the other as a burden; and this seems to be the difference between the terms.

~ Owning Choices ~

By definition, we want desirable outcomes for our choices. Why else would we make the choices we do? It’s well known throughout most cultures that growth and wisdom come as a result of learning from mistakes. When we shy away from our mistakes and fail to learn from them, we are destined to repeat them.

Personally, I find it empowering to own my choices. My choices are always made in the most desirable way I know how to make them. If they turn out to be a mistake, then I find power in learning why I didn’t get the desired outcome. This curiosity to learn from mistakes enables me to make ever better choices as I continue thru life.

~ In Conclusion ~

I choose to own my choices, and take both the credit and responsibility for them. In doing so, I continue to grow and learn and become a more excellent version of who I am. My choices become my lessons; both accomplishment and mistake. If I get desirable results, then I know what to do next time, and if I don’t, then I know what not to do.

At the same time, I don’t seek to make choices for others. To do so robs them of the chance for them to grow and learn. I made the choice to help others become more excellent versions of themselves; I do that by sharing with them, not making choices for them. Own your choices by taking responsibility for them, and allow others to be responsible for theirs.

There is power in owning your choices. Claim it, own it, the choice is yours after all!

Questions, comments and discussion are all welcome at the Fellowship of Excellence G+ community. Looking forward to your thoughts!