Empowerment Through Choice
What is the one thing that will always make you feel empowered?
It is the ability to make a choice. The problem is that we often forget that there is a choice in absolutely everything. Even if external circumstances prevent us from doing what we prefer, we have a choice in how we are going to approach the situation. We have control over our attitude, thoughts and feelings.
I often hear people talk about being "stuck" at their jobs. When asked why they don't move to another job that would be more fulfilling, their reply: "I can't because I need the health insurance" OR "I can't because I've built up my retirement" and it goes on.
Do you notice anything interesting about those responses? They all revolve around the word "can't". The word can't is disempowering... it's pretty reasonable to assume if your thought processes around your job involve the word can't, that you would feel "stuck", because according to you, you can't do anything about it.
What else did you notice about those responses? The one thing that I find interesting about them is that if you really dig deeper, you often find that these individuals place high value on their health insurance benefits or retirement packages and although they are unhappy and dissatisfied, the value of these benefits outweigh their dissatisfaction. So, essentially they have made a choice... the benefit to cost ratio tips in favor of the reason they stay.
Self-Empowerment Via Choice
Here is how we are empowered through choice: We are empowered when we are aware that we are choosing something.
Instead of being "stuck" - ask yourself:
Once you answer those questions you will have made your choice AND as you are going through the questions and answers you will become aware of the fact that you are making a choice. The next step would be to ask yourself: "How do I choose to feel about this decision?" This is where attitude comes in....
You Have the Empowerment to Choose!
Did you ever notice that the most successful people are always very positive and they don’t let things very powerful energy that they have inside of them that bother them for very long? How do they do that? The answer is that there is a makes it easier for them to turn away from negative things and toward more positive things. Some people are born with this ability but some people have to work at it to achieve it. Unfortunately, most people don’t have it and find it too hard to get it for themselves. This is because it takes real perseverance and effort over a long period of time to develop a new attitude about life. Here are some tips for getting started and doing whatever you can to stick to your plan.
The most important thing about developing a new attitude is to first recognize that your attitude is bad to begin with. Most people don’t want to admit this anyway so their plan never gets off the ground. Admitting that you don’t have such a great attitude is probably the most significant part of your future plan because it will help you to be able to see what you need to work on. Once you have admitted that you need help, you will be willing to try some new things like going to a group or taking up a new hobby to improve yourself. From there, you will gain some extremely positive ideas that can help you to develop an even better plan for the future.
After you have decided to create a new attitude for yourself, you can also make a commitment to finally improve yourself in some area that you had always wanted to improve but never had the courage to do so. Some people decide to take a public speaking course such as Toastmasters and others decide to take up drawing or painting. You can join a self-help group or begin to do formal meditation or yoga to improve yourself. Any of these things will help and they will all lead you to more ideas that could later be added to your list once you have begun. It is important, however, to have a long term goal and to stick to that overall plan in some sense. Otherwise, your plan to develop a new attitude might fall by the wayside as soon as you meet your first new friend or decide that you would rather go shopping with your group members instead of practicing your yoga routine!
A long term plan is one of the hardest things for people to stick by but it is paramount to developing a sincerely new attitude. Major changes to a person’s attitude don’t happen overnight so there must be a dedication to stay on the task and keep improving your plan over the long term. Eventually, over a period of many months or even years, you will find that you have become a completely different person from who you used to be. You no longer will feel depressed at all and you will never feel scared or worried about anything. This is true! It is really possible to eliminate all the negative emotions from your life if you truly want to. Say goodbye to fear, grief, shame and guilt forever. They are useless emotions that don’t help anyone at all! You can learn to weed these emotions out of your life over the long term and eventually enjoy a happier and fulfilling life.
As the saying goes, “Many are called but few are chosen” and this is your big chance to choose yourself as a person who is going to turn their life around and make something better of themselves. Getting serious at the onset is the most important part of the long term plan. How much of a serious heart do you have in you? Can you trust yourself to stick by a plan, even the smallest of plan, for a long period of time? How much can you depend on yourself to follow through and do this great task that you are setting in front of yourself? It is all up to you 100% and nothing can stop you if you are indeed very serious. Developing a new attitude can be the greatest goal a person ever makes for themselves and it can be the beginning of the best thing you have ever done. Make the move now and make it for keeps! You can do it!
Self-Empowerment Comes from Obeying Universal Principles
Abraham Lincoln was a man that found himself smack dab in the middle of a fight he didn’t want nor create. But it was a fight he could not run away from; for it was a fight concerning a universal principle on which he should have remained inflexible. That principle was, that men and women are all equal and must be treated with the same respect; the principle of "Independence". Now this universal principle was not a manmade law at that time. No laws had been written concerning slavery. So how was one to know what the truth was? If it was so universal, why did half of all Americans at that time side with the South who wanted slavery?
With no law to hang your hat on, it is very easy to side any way you choose for the moment for there is always the excuse one can make “I didn’t know sir. Is there a law that says we should not enslave our fellow man?” But Universal principle nevertheless exists and it does also demand a price even when no law states so. When we go against universal principle we sin against nature and our consciousness bears witness with us that we have committed a foul deed. There really is no place to escape. You know it as well as I. You may out wit the law, but how do you live with yourself afterwards? How do you sleep at night knowing you have committed a wrong deed? Lincoln made a decision not based on law, but based on principle, a higher principle of the universe.
When we discover the universal principles in life that may or should not be broken, we should wisely conform to those principles. It is when we try to ignore those universal principles that we eventually run into a stone wall or a world of trouble. I am a teacher and in my classes when I teach I usually use an exasperating example to illustrate how universal principles work. I stand in one place and drop a pen and then pick it up again. I repeat the action. I repeat it over and over again to the point of near irritation to the participants. I then stop and explain my point. The point is that it would be rather senseless if I kept doing the same old thing wouldn't It? You just can't fight gravity. It is one of those universal principles. So I would do well to obey the law instead of trying to fight it all the time. The correct thing to do is put the pen down on a surface and when you need it again you can always pick it up again. I would save time and energy and would seem a lot less stupid wouldn’t I? Well that is true with all universal principles.
The example of the universal law of gravity is an easy one to acknowledge. There are no toes to step on, no greedy pockets to be robbed, and no human pain to be inflicted. But there are other principles, some not as easy to recognize immediately but they are nevertheless important for us to observe and obey.
In the case of the universal law of independence, Lincoln chose freedom over slavery because it was the right thing to do. In the end it benefited mankind by creating a space for freedom to flourish. We may not have complete freedom but we created growth in this space for all kinds of things to flourish. The industrial era began leading to the technology of mass production, mass transportation, aerospace development, computer technology global marketing, the communication era we live in today. All of this came because of freedom.
We must choose the right thing to do every day. When we come up against universal laws like “Love they neighbor as thyself”, we should obey that principle. There may be no law to define in detail what actions should be taken during a special situation, but there is always the universal principle that exists. Follow the principle. Obeying universal principles is empowering. It is empowering because the universe acts in harmony with those laws. Together you and the universe conspire together to bring about good things in the space where you are.
Today as you go out to face the world, make it your priority to obey universal principles. Doing so will empower you to meet your challenges and who knows what might become of that!