Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Power of Choice

Each day of our lives, we are presented with countless opportunities to make choices.

Sometimes they are "good choices" because it appears to us things work out the way we expected or at least in a way that makes us happy.

Other times we call them "bad" choices because things didn't work out the way we expected and the resulting experience does not make us happy.

On the surface, making choices is a simple process. We see what's in front of us and we choose the best option. But is it really that simple? Smokers continue to smoke. Drinkers continue to drink. Drug users continue  to abuse. If making choices is so simple, what about the above problems?

Most of us are not aware that our personal history helps determine why we make the same faulty choices over and over again.

Why does an abused woman continue to choose to stay with an abusive man?

Why does a man continually succumb to the definitions and desires of others?

Because there is no conscious choice in those examples, only repeating patterns.

Once something is done enough times, repeating the action without having to give it conscious thought saves time and helps assure a consistent outcome.

Tying our shoes is a good example. Imagine how overwhelmed we’d feel if we had to consciously think about every simple thing we did each day!

However, too many times, some pretty important choices we make unknowingly become patterned behavior based on our personal history, habits and fear.

the power of choiceWhile there may be a vast array of choices at our disposal, we are only able to see a limited few. Like a worn groove in an old vinyl LP that got stuck repeating until we gave it a nudge, our mind can get stuck in the same way. Until we give it a “nudge”, our choices remain limited to that groove.

The ability to make choices based on the evidence at hand, and not the "programs" from our personal history is life transforming. True freedom comes when our personal history is laid to rest, our old habits are broken, our fears are conquered, and we free ourselves from the “groove” of old ways that no longer serve us. It is then that our world expands and the choices we thought were so limited, become vast.

Patterned behavior is a natural part of living. It is behavior that we have done with enough frequency that we are proficient at it and it no longer requires our conscious attention.

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