The Power of Choice

Between stimulus and response is a space. In this space lies our freedom to choose our response. In these choices lie our growth and our happiness (Stephen Covey).

Making choices is a huge part of everyday life. Thankfully about 40% of our decisions are habits (according to a Duke University study) and are made without thinking but that leaves about 60% of our decisions require a conscious choice when faced with that space between stimulus and response.

The journey of hoping for the best and dancing with the rest is all about choices.  It about choosing to hope when hope seems lost and choosing to poke around and look for purpose and potential when faced with a mess.

Lately, I’ve had to strengthen my resolve to keep choosing hope and choosing to dance with “the rest” due to an increase in physical pain.  It’s been a little like driving in a Saskatchewan blizzard with limited visibility yet believing the Greyhound bus in front of me has a better view than I do and can be trusted to lead me through the storm and safe passage.

Every choice has a consequence. The consequence can be good or detrimental.

You are free to choose…

  • hope for the future
  • to dance with your pain and adversity

                            or

  • to believe hope is lost
  • to see pain as a problem to be avoided  

But you are not free to choose the consequences of your choice!

In other words, if you fan the flame of hope and choose to see your adversity as an opportunity for growth and change – you will experience more strength, grow in character and inspire others in the process.

If there’s hope in the future, there’s power in the present (John Maxwell).
Hope is the foundational quality of all change (Alfred Adler).

If on the other hand, you choose to give up, quit looking for a greater purpose, stop reaching out for help, give in to despair, stop taking one moment at a time, you’ll be swallowed up by your own negativity and lose your way.

Hope is the great activator!

The belief that you will get through whatever you’re going through, will give you traction to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  To be honest, I feel like a novice at this game of hoping for the best and dancing with the rest.  But what I am learning is that as I step this out one day at a time and one moment at a time, I’m finding the peace and contentment I need to persevere.

Here are few of my “choice affirmations” that are helping me put hope into action!

  • I choose to keep going
  • I choose to believe things will get better
  • I choose to look for beauty around me
  • I choose to minimize my whining and keep it to a minimum
  • I choose to pray my way through pain
  • I choose to trust that God knows what He’s doing
  • I choose to keep filling my mind with stories that inspire and give hope
  • I choose to let things go when necessary
  • I choose to let go of end dates and inflated expectations
  • I choose to find things to do every day that can make a difference
  • I choose to lean on others and ask for help when needed

We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust our sails (City of Hope).

How are the choices you are making today going to affect your future?

Advertisements

About Cam Taylor

I'm help people live inspired, focused and tenacious lives. I work as a coach, facilitator, author, and speaker.
This entry was posted in Adversity, Change, choice, Growth, Hope, Opportunity, Optimism, Perspective, purpose, suffering. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to The Power of Choice

  1. chadcampbell says:

    Cam
    Wow…you are truly an inspiration. i’m sitting here in Marylou’s basement…just finished writing a blog of my own…and came across this. You have a gift and your strength is definitely inspiriational…thanks for sharing.
    All the best

    Chad Campbell

    • Cam Taylor says:

      Hi Chad – Thanks for checking out my blog & welcome to Saskatchewan!
      I’ve been reading your chadoutwest blog & love seeing the west through your eyes.
      Looking forward to staying in touch.

  2. I just started a blog because I am trying to develop a stronger foundation of hope. This entry confirms the need to believe in a greater good, believe in hope, and cling to the possibility of more while embracing what is. You are a strong person who has the ability to inspire so many of those who are blessed to come across your blog. I look forward to reading more.

  3. Eugene Parkins says:

    Hi Cam – I liked your Power of Choice post. It made me think of the Pregnant Pause principle which you probably have read about. Anyway here is an interesting link to one discussion on the topic: http://www.transformleaders.tv/the-pregnant-pause-the-most-important-tool-for-emotional-intelligence/

    I have often thought about the pause before making a choice – helps me often.

    Bye for now,

    Gene

    • Cam Taylor says:

      Thanks Gene (Dad) for that link to the “pregnant pause” article. What a great addition to the conversation on choice. It’s exactly like the gap theory I’ve heard it called as well with the addition of the added insight about emotional intelligence. I’d encourage every one to go & read your link – will probably insert it in my blog.

  4. rb says:

    Just sometimes the 60 % is found in verbalizing. And sometimes it’s in knowing we are not alone in the moras of our own situation. Even when totally alone, in the darkness of the middle of it all, there is a glimer of light and that is found in Him.

  5. Beth says:

    Thanks Cam! I’ve always believed life is all about choices, in the good times and in the difficult. And more than ever I sense the need to choose wisely on the good days so I’m prepared to make the harder choices when I may need to “dance with the rest”. We would all do well to have a “choice affirmation” list. Thanking God every day for you, and continuing to pray as you make your hope filled choices.

  6. John Wyness says:

    Thanks, Cam! This is such an encouraging post, especially when we know it is born out of your ongoing experience.

  7. Shirley Hull says:

    Cam, I thought of you yesterday in our Sunday School class. The teacher, Ken Miller, was speaking of Paul’s letters. He wrote most of them from a prison cell, but where would we be without his letters?! So too, because of your circumstances, we are the richer! They are a reminder to me of the necessity to hope in adversity, to trust Him who chooses our paths, to believe that “He is able to accomplish what concerns me”. I know you trust that as well. Praying for your healing, for joy in the midst of pain and adversity. Love, Aunt Shirley

  8. Cam Taylor says:

    Thanks Aunt Shirley – your words ring so true! Another great work that was written from prison was Pilgrims Progress so there is a pattern here.

  9. Curtis Congo says:

    Hi Cam,

    I believe one of the greatest gifts God gives us in our journey of life is suffering. Don’t get me wrong, I do not enjoy the ordeal of human struggle at its hightened level. I am just saying that it is in those dark moments that God is most clearly seen by us because of our utter dependence on Him. In those moments of life challenges we have to make choices: do I give up & quit or do I give it up to the Lord & in his strength persist. One is the low road & the other the high road.

    Thanks for your encouragement in words and example. Today I needed to read your thoughts & be reminded that I have a choice to make.

  10. Pingback: From a Mother’s Perspective | camtaylor.net

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s