No matter what the situation, you always have a choice and can choose your thoughts. These choices are a significant factor in determining your life. The sooner you become aware of this, the less stress you’ll experience.
Realize that regardless of a situation that cannot be changed, regardless of a stimulation that prompts emotions to erupt, and regardless of an urge or impulse, you always have the power and freedom to choose your thoughts and how to respond. The ability is referred to as choice-response thinking
Learning choice-response thinking—that you need not be a victim—may be one of the most valuable thinking patterns you can develop.
The Power of Choice
Choice empowers. Choice, control, and responsibility are so woven together that one significantly affects the others. Make a choice, and you enhance control. Fail to choose, and you diminish control. The more responsibility you choose, the more control that follows. Deny responsibility, and you relinquish control.
We become more responsible by being aware of the choices we make. This realization plays an important role in how people direct their lives. As Harry Potter’s mentor, Albus Dumbledore, advised the youth, “It is not our abilities that say who we are. It is our choices.” It’s not only the circumstances in which we find ourselves—but also our choices that make us who we are. Because we always have the freedom to choose, we are therefore responsible for our own behaviors. When you choose your thoughts, you become conscious that no one else chooses your behaviors for you.
The critical difference between optimistic thinking and pessimistic thinking has to do with the perception of control which, in turn, depends upon the perception of choice. The optimist believes choices are available; the pessimist doesn’t.
Tip: Here are a few thinking starters that help in making responsible choices:
My choice is….
I made this choice because….
The results of my choice will be…
If you were to write these thoughts, carry them on a small card, and refer to them each day for twenty-one (21) days, they would enhance your life. It would become a natural way of thinking.
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