“Man is not the creature of circumstances; circumstances are the creatures of men.”
– Benjamin Disraeli
All my life I believed deep down I am exactly where I am today because of me. All that’s happened, all that is happening, and all that will happen is because of my choices. Subconsciously I knew I had way more control of my life than I gave myself credit for. But even believing and knowing this, I am still like everybody else. I am just another human being navigating my way through life, trying to find the answers as best I can. So then I thought to myself, in essence, that must also mean everyone has the same amount of control over their lives as I do mine.
Unfortunately, this realization is not exactly as easy to digest as taking a spoonful of cough syrup. Try telling this to someone who just lost their job or to someone who had their house broken into. Not only could this be an uncomfortable conversation, it could lead into a full-blown confrontation. This is exactly where I usually hit a snag. I’ve always had a hard time successfully relaying this philosophy to others. The moment they’d argue, “I didn’t choose this.” I was stumped. They’re right. Who chooses to lose their job? Who chooses to have their home broken into? No one!
But if you only focus on the event itself, then obviously that argument works. Yes, at that moment if you had control and a choice, you would definitely choose to keep the job or keep your home safe. However, if you were to open it up beyond that moment and start analyzing weeks, even years beforehand, you may actually see the trends and pathways that lead up to it. It simply could have just been a domino effect that took a long period to come to fruition.
Since picking up Tony Robbins’ book titled Awaken the Giant Within, I realize I was onto something. I didn’t have it broken down as eloquently as Robbins does but the concept definitely resonated with me. And now, I’d like to share it with you.
Are you ready for this? Here’s the game changer.
Robbins argues that our destinies are shaped by our moments of decision; Why? Because the father of all actions is the power of decision.
Let’s just let that sink in for a bit.
The father of all action is the power of decision.
So really, before any action is ever initiated, a precise decision must first be made. You first need to decide what it is you want. After everything is done, what is the best outcome you are looking for? This precedes the decisions of what it is you need to do to achieve your goal, and what plans can you put in place to ensure your success. This is simply the question of, “What do I want?” Change can only begin once a decision is made. The decisions we make now will not only shape how we feel today, but also who we’ll become in the future.
Maybe you’re finally hitting the gym these days because you’ve decided it was something you needed that was long overdue. Maybe you completed a task or job against your will because you’ve decided that to not do it would result in a negative consequence. Maybe you stayed out partying despite having an important business presentation the following morning because you’ve prioritized that night’s experience and gratification. We all have a choice, especially those of us living in a free country, and we make hundreds of them a day without even giving them a second thought. Whether you think about them or not, and am aware or not, they all add up and lead you somewhere.
We all come from different walks of life and we all are given a different deck of cards to begin with. Some are more advantageous than others. Some are equipped with more opportunities than others. But whoever says life is fair probably also thinks he’s Peter Pan.
I bet you have heard this one a million times; Life isn’t fair. It never was and I can’t imagine it ever will be. Some will start higher up on the ladder than others, there’s just no changing that. What you can change is where on that ladder you end up. It simply starts with a decision.
It starts with a decision for change. For more, for bigger, for better, and with this decision an understanding that our actions have consequences. Good or bad.
Sure, your climb may be harder than others. Not all of us have the ability to slide through life with plentiful opportunities. Not all of us are given the same advantages. But nevertheless, climb! If you want, you can. And if you can climb, CLIMB! Who knows, maybe one day you’ll climb higher than you ever thought possible.
The faster you realize you have way more control over your life, the faster you can take your life into your own hands and run with it. Wherever you want to go, go. Whatever you want to do, do. It all starts with you making a decision to create the change you want to see.