by Daryl Daughtry, Publisher
– Listen to article here.
You can change your life with only 3 words. Are you ready for those 3 words? Here they are… MAKE BETTER CHOICES! It’s your choices, not your circumstances that determine the direction of your life.
Viktor E. Frankl, famed Neurologist, Psychologist, and Author once wrote… “The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”
Dr. Frankl found freedom under the most unlikely of conditions – as a prisoner in German concentration camps during World War II. It was a freedom far more powerful than simply escaping his incarceration. One that could only be unlocked using one specific “key” that can change virtually every aspect of anyone’s life.
Dr. Frankl, his wife, and his family were captured and transported to a Nazi concentration camp in 1942. It was there that he began to observe how other prisoners reacted to their dire circumstances. But it wasn’t until he was shipped to Auschwitz that he had his biggest revelation.
Throughout his captivity, Dr. Frankl concluded that all human beings were not shaped by their circumstances – even when surrounded by suffering – but by their choice of action when faced with those circumstances. In his own words,“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Even in the despicable and horrible environment of prison, inmates could still choose their attitude. They could choose to be hopeless or hopeful. They could choose to be pessimistic or optimistic. All inmates could exercise the “last of the human freedoms” – arguably, the greatest of them all – the freedom to choose. According to Dr. Frankl, those inmates who chose to have a positive attitude tended to survive longer, and those that chose to give up tended to succumb to their environment faster.
Thankfully, most of us have never had to choose between hope and hopelessness while imprisoned for no other reason than our racial or religious affiliation. And hopefully, we never will. But doesn’t that story illustrate the magnificent power of choice? And doesn’t it make you wonder how it effects your life on a daily basis?
If victims of one of the most horrific mass genocides known to man could experience freedom in such horrendous conditions, then what can you experience in your life? The possibilities should peak your curiosity and give you wonderful hope!
Dr. Frankl was eventually liberated in 1945. He devoted the rest of his life to studying the immensely powerful phenomena he observed inside of the concentration camps. That study led to his greatest piece of work called Man’s Search for Meaning, where he revealed to the world the profound truth that our freedom of choice – regardless of our conditions – is one of the most powerful forces on earth. Yes, choice is one of the most powerful forces on earth. It is the key to living a life of success, fulfillment, joy, and happiness.
The Truth About Choices
Choices – the opportunity or power to choose between two or more possibilities; the process of weighing the impact of each possible option and deciding which option is best for the given situation. We do it much more than we are aware of… In fact, some scientists say that the average person makes over 30,000 remotely conscious decisions every day.
Truth #1: You Will Always Have Choices And Make Choices
As long as you are mentally capable, you will always have choices and make your own choices. Even as a young child, you began making some of your own choices. And you will continue to make most of your own choices until your last breath.
Truth #2: Your Choices Are Inward Focused, Not Outward Focused
The courage of the Holocaust survivors Dr. Viktor Frankl spoke of in Man’s Search for Meaning is a perfect example of this truth. Their external circumstances were horrendous to say the least. Yet, these circumstances never dictated how they viewed themselves. It was their internal circumstances that made the decision. Let’s put it another way in a different example: you can never control the weather, but you’re always in control of how you respond to it.
Truth #3: Your Choices Are Your Voice
Your choices reveal your true self, both to outsiders and yourself. They communicate your morals, values, and principles. You might not be aware of it, but your subconscious is always listening to your choices and influencing your conscious thinking as a result.
Truth #4: Your Choices Are Never Neutral
Every choice produces a consequence. No choice is neutral. Each choice you make throughout the course of your day impacts your life – whether in a very small or very big way. While you can’t control the impact every choice has on your life (nor should you try), it’s important to realize that every choice you make can impact your life in one way or another.
Truth #5: Making No Choice Is Actually A Choice
Making no choice at all is, in fact, making a choice not to make a choice. You have also chosen to allow other people or circumstances to dictate the outcome of that particular situation. Whether choosing not to choose is out of fear, confusion, overwhelm, or being uninformed; you have still removed your influence from the situation and have made yourself vulnerable to the unpredictable consequences.
Together, these five truths have affected every human being to a certain degree throughout the course of his/her lifetime. So the best piece of advice or wisdom I’ll ever give you is this… MAKE BETTER CHOICES.