Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Necessity of Choice!

A note from:

Say hello to Thursday.

Yesterday’s video presentation created such a buzz that it took me nearly three hours to respond to all of the mail that it inspired. The video was filled with metaphors, and those who watched it closely clearly saw the message that was meant for them alone. Powerful stuff indeed!

One of the most heart-warming notes came late in the afternoon from a subscriber who teaches school in Bogata, Columbia. He shared with me that he was, at present, preparing to take a group of students on a leadership training retreat over the Easter holiday.

He noted that some of his class had began to openly complain, to anyone who would listen, when they realized that they would be away from their families for the entire holiday weekend. As usual, he shared, it was a small group of vocal “influential” students who were at the center of the dissent.

A quick note here: All of the students “volunteered” at the start of the year to participate in this extra-curricular event.

He shared with me, that when he saw Wednesday’s (Video) Reader, a showed it to all the other teachers involved in the project. Collectively they decide to show it to the entire school. Class by class, they gathered the students, and for six minutes with each group, they show the video.

In his own words, “Peter, within one hour, one at a time, all of the “dissenters” came to my class to re-dedicate themselves to the weekend project, and most asked if there was more they could do to ensure its success”.

, needless to say, the rumor that my bladder is parked right behind my eyeballs just about was confirmed.

The whole day, and the next few to come, are reflected on appropriately by our friend Philip.

The Necessity of Choice
by Philip Humbert

This week I was reminded that one of the great questions of life is the choice to do, or to experience.

Too often we get so busy doing that we forget to experience and enjoy our lives. Life can be a constant source of love and wonder, but sometimes in our hurry we fail to notice. We so badly want "success" that we forget to live well and enjoy the ride.

We live "lives of quiet desperation" not because we are poor, but because of our desire to have, to do, or to be, something else. We are anxious because we fail to realize that what we have is, in fact, quite enough.

The good news is that we are already wealthy! Most of us have access to more books and education, entertainment, travel, and business opportunities than we can possibly explore in one life time. We all participate in this "rising tide" of experiences.

As Christopher Marley noted, “true success is living your own life in your own way”.

Success, it seems to me, is about choosing the lifestyle you prefer and accepting responsibility for it. Most North Americans choose to work about 40 hours a week, earning what we call a "middle class" income. This supplies our need for food, clothing and shelter, and allows us to enjoy a nice car, some travel, a few luxuries and time for television, friends, and relaxation.

A few, however, make other choices. Some choose to work more, play more, travel more, or make other choices that diverge from the average. While no example will apply to everyone, typically those who choose to have more children will have less free time, and perhaps less discretionary money. Those who maximize recreation may be promoted less rapidly, while those who pursue an entrepreneurial or business path may have less of something else.

The key, of course, is that there no mythical right choice. There is only the requirement that we make our choices and accept responsibility for the results. You can have almost any life you desire, but you cannot avoid the necessity to choose.

One of the great tragedies is that many of our choices are made unconsciously, without adequate thought or consideration. Someone offers us a job, and we grab it. We buy a house, settle down, make friends and believe these things define our life and "the way things are." False!

The reality is that we have the power to choose the life we want. At any time, we can choose to change. We all know people who have transformed their lives through the power of choice, and so can you! It's not easy, but it is possible. We all know people who went back to school, who started a business, who made a decision to live the life they truly wanted. That potential is inside each of us.

This weekend, take time to dream. Clarify the life you truly want, jot some notes, make some plans, and take action.

From this day forward, move in the direction you truly want to go!

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