Tuesday, June 1, 2010

How To Choose Even When You Have No Choice

When we look at our lives many of us often feel like we have very little choice. We have to work, meet family obligations, and attend to the daily chores of "making a living." This lack of choice often makes us feel helpless and disempowered. We feel that we are not in control of our own lives.

The good news is that there's a simple way to regain our personal power. It's called "choosing even when you have no choice." Consider going to work, for instance. Most of us have to work to earn an income for basic needs, and while we might have the freedom to change jobs, we don't really have the choice to not work. So how can we choose in this situation where we have no choice?

Pick a segment of your day at work (could be as little as 15 minutes and no more than one hour) during which you will experiment with choices and personal power. Now make a choice about something for that segment. If you have some freedom in your work, choose what you will do during that segment. Decide precisely when you will start, exactly what you will achieve, and when you will stop. When the time comes, start your chosen work and end whenever you've chosen. It's important to end at the chosen time--the ending is just as important as the starting point.

If you don't have the freedom to choose what you'll do, then choose something internal to focus on. For instance, you might choose to focus only on thoughts that put a smile on your face or work with a smile on your face. You might choose to be aware of the sensations in your right hand while you work. You might choose to see how much work you can complete in 15 minutes. You might choose to take off one earring or one sock during that segment. It doesn't matter what you choose or how trivial it might seem. The key is that YOU'VE chosen it.

Why does choosing in a situation where you have no choice make a difference? Because any intentional choice is an act of personal power, and will increase your personal power. The more acts of power you do, the more personal power you will gain. The more personal power you have, the less you'll feel trapped by daily life. Just remember that you can do acts of power in any situation, no matter how little freedom you appear to have.


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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/geishabot/2390725183/

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