The Power to Choose

18 11 2010

“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically – to say ‘no’ to other things.  And the way to do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside.  The enemy of the ‘best’ is often the ‘good.’  ~Stephen Covey

When you think about it, self control is really about the power to choose.  To choose what is good for you vs. what is bad.  To choose what you should do instead of what you should not do.  It is ultimately the choices we  make that dictate the life that we live. The choice to eat all the fast food you want or to eat healthy.  The choice to get up and go to work every morning or to be lazy and lose your job.  The choice to buy those brand new pair of bad boots or to say no and stay on budget so that you can pay your bills on time and not go into debt.  The choice to clean up your house or live in filth and with filth comes roaches and all kinds of new roomates.  ALL things that will ultimately benefit us for the good, takes choice.  As a matter of fact, this morning before I started to write this blog I had to make a painful choice.  I could either lie in the bed or get my butt up and go downstairs to get on my elliptical machine.  You see I have NEVER been one that enjoys working out so this choice is never an easy one for me to make.  Because I really NEVER feel like working out!!!!  However as the singer Shakira says, “the hips don’t lie” so if I want to stay the size I am today, I MUST work out.  But in all seriousness just like everything else in life, if we are ever to produce anything worth having, we must exercise the self control we need to stay committed toward working to receive it.  Here’s another example.

We all have heard the story of Tyler Perry and his climb to become a box office smash.  Yes he rose from being homeless to producing his own plays and now TV shows and movies but did you know it took him from 1992 until 1998 before his first play event took off?  It was 6 long years of commitment and perseverance in the face of uncertainty that Tyler had to endure before he even began to make it.  Check out his story in this month’s issue of Oprah Magazine.  In it Tyler shares that he saved $12,000 to put on his play the first time in 1992, only to have it fail miserably.  He then worked hard and attempted to produce his play two more times, so pretty much he failed a total of three times over the course of six years before it took off in 1998.   All of this while Tyler was homeless and living in a car; however when you have a spark inside of you that says this is your calling, you have to truly exercise the discipline to not give up in the midst of adversity just like Tyler Perry did.   

Everything in life takes making choices based on discipline and self control.  Part of exercising the power to choose really is understanding how our emotions come in to play with our decisons.  You see your emotions can guide you down the wrong path.  I say that because sometimes you may not feel like doing something but if you know it is the right thing to do on your given path, you must push past those emotions and do it anyway!  This can be hard because we all grow up learning that if it is the right thing to do, it should feel right. Well I am here to tell ya that this is not always the case.   So instead of following how we feel, we must follow what is the best choice!  That is where we exercise the power of arriving at the destination of choice.  Just ask Tyler Perry!!  That’s the cross we all bare and we have got to learn how to muscle up enough courage inside of ourselves to find the self control and discipline to make the best choice.

So what are good choices?  Good choices are based on what’s real for you, not emotion.  So how do you exercise your power to choose?  It all starts with making good decisions and here are the ingredients you need o make good decisions. FIRST – Weigh out all your options.  You must first stop and think about the positive and negative aspects of the two variables you are deciding between.  Here’s an example – to buy or not to buy that new pair of boots.  What are the benefits to buying the boots and what are the drawbacks? SECOND – Gather all of the information.  In order to make the absolute best decision you need to look at all the information at hand.  For me, if those boots are not in my budget and I buy them, it would mean another bill will not get paid which in the long wrong will mess up my credit.  So I begin to say to myself, “ I don’t really need these boots, I just want them” and I realize that this is a emotional purchase and I can then walk away from potentially making a choice that is not good for me.   That indeed is gathering information but depending on the situation it can indeed be much more complex than that. However all it really takes with any choice is those 2 steps.  Why is this so important? It is virtually impossible to exhibit the other eight fruits of the spirit we have talked about over the course of this last year unless we walk in self control. So let’s get power over our choices by learning what is best for us in the long run and then exerted the power to choose only that which is good for us.

The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.” – George Eliot

“It’s choice – not chance – that determines your destiny.” -Jean Nidetch 

“Every choice you make has an end result.” – Zig Ziglar

“Look for your choices, pick the best one, then go with it.” -Pat Riley

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One response

21 11 2010
darrylon evans

Good morning Nicole! Excellent blog as usual. Making the right choices. I still struggle with being at a job I am not pleased with as I do not feel fulfilled. However, I make a choice everyday to get up and go to work in spite of my feelings because I know that not going to work will mean more stress on my husband. I still have another choice to make however: finding another job which has been an adventure in and of itself but I have to remain persistent! Thanks Nicole!

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