Exercise Your Freedom to Choose Success

You may lead a rich, full life or a shallow, empty existence. But whatever you gain from life is largely a matter of choice – your choice. You are free to choose whatever you want to do or to be. Your greatest power is the power to choose your own destiny. That freedom of choice is your birthright and no one can steal it or deprive you of it. The reality of the power that comes from your freedom of choice becomes evident when you understand the unalterable principles under which this freedom works.

? Choice is a talent that you must develop and use.
Like any other talent, the power of choice can be developed. If you are reluctant to make choices and decisions because you fear failure, you may choose to play it safe and miss experiences that could lead to making better choices. Good decisions are based on prior decisions.

? You must choose for yourself.
Because no two people are exactly alike, no one can make a completely satisfactory choice for someone else. When you allow others to make your choices, you hand over to them your destiny and rob yourself of your birthright. You then bear the consequences of borrowed choices.

Certainly it is wise to collect all the facts before you choose or make a decision, but the opinions you solicit should be considered for what they are – the opinions of others. The choice is yours.

You are eminently more qualified than anyone else to choose what is best for you, what course you should take and what destiny will be yours. The world stands aside for you when you know where you are going, but it gives little notice or attention to one whose choices are dictated by others.

? The choice determines the consequences.
You may select any action you choose; but once you make a choice, the consequences follow the principle of cause and effect. A poor choice leads to undesirable results as surely as a wise choice produces a favorable consequence. Often a desirable result must be paid for in advance with work and effort while the resulting penalty of a poor choice is often deferred. Postponement of the date when we must “pay the piper” may lull us into the belief that we will somehow escape making the payment, but it doesn’t happen that way. You cannot have the pleasures of one choice and the rewards of another; nor can you blame fate or luck when you must subsequently pay the price of a carelessly-made choice or decision. To control the outcome of your ventures, guard your decisions and choices with meticulous care.

Once you accept responsibility for exercising your freedom of choice, you can use it to make whatever changes of habit or attitudes are necessary for developing personal leadership and self-motivation. Give your choices time to yield results; be patient. Today’s habits are the result of choices made long ago. Tomorrow’s habits will be the result of the choices you make today and the attitudes and habits you adopt.

Making Choices with Self-Confidence

Self-confidence comes from practical know-how; know-how comes from knowledge and experience; and experience necessarily involves confrontation and engagement. When you know from first-hand experience that you can do something, you are incomparably more confident than if you have merely observed how someone else did it. You can always acquire knowledge; libraries are full of it. But experience is something else. Real experience – the kind that turns theoretical knowledge into practical, personal know-how, and results in self-confidence – comes only when you are willing to become involved in situations that others avoid. Conflict and involvement give you the assurance that you are truly in control of the situation. Once you recognize the significance of practical experience – what it is and what it can do for you – you usually welcome even those stressful experiences that stretch you to the limit of your abilities.

When you know where you stand and where you are going, your confidence knows no bounds because you are motivated by results, not by methods. But if you do not know where you are going or what path to follow, you have confidence in nothing and are fearful of everything.

Self-confidence allows you to be realistic instead of dependent on vague hopes. When you are realistic, you do not wait for time and circumstances to come along and transform your dreams into reality. You take the lead and work progressively toward achievement; and most important, you have confidence in your own ability to lead, to grow, and to make the internal changes necessary to reach your objectives. You believe in the concept of continual change. You know that you are indeed a creature of change. Your response to new experiences is that they are natural and to be expected. They pose no threat to you.

Plan Each Day with Positive Expectancy
An attitude of positive expectancy is crucial to accomplishment and success. Here are some tips on how to plan each day with positive expectancy:

First, you must vividly imagine. You must develop the faculty of seeing, with your mind’s eye, a concise and clear image of your expectations. The law of attraction is demonstrated by the tendency to draw to ourselves that which we set out for ourselves. It is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve beyond our self-imposed expectations. You must understand and exploit the natural tendency of becoming precisely what you imagine yourself to be. Your mental picture of expectancy is most likely to become a reality.

Second, you must ardently desire. The more vivid your expectancy, the stronger your desire becomes toward the achievement of your goals. An ardent desire burning within creates a success consciousness that develops habits of success. Those habits drive dividends commensurate with your investment; they consistently challenge you to climb to greater heights. You enthusiastically accept the challenge of accomplishing your dreams.

Third, you must sincerely believe. The accomplishment of your goals, however vividly imagined and ardently desired, also depends upon a sincere belief in your ability and worthiness to attain them. Speaking of the power of such belief, Benjamin Disraeli said, “Man is not the creature of circumstances. Circumstances are the creature of man.” William James affirmed the same truth when he said, “Our belief at the beginning of a doubtful undertaking is the only thing that insures the successful outcome of our venture.”

Fourth, you must enthusiastically act. Enthusiasm and action are effective partners in bringing imagination, desire, and belief into reality. You must plan the short-term actions required to accomplish your goals. You must consider all the obstacles you expect to face and accept them as opportunities for creativity. Actions empowered by enthusiasm breed a positive state of acceptance of yourself and others. In such an atmosphere of acceptance and selflessness you find that the more you give, the more you are capable of giving, and the more you give the more you receive in return. The unfailing cycle of giving and receiving reinforces your commitment to positive expectancy.

When you live with positive expectancy, it does not mean that life will be free from disappointment, frustration, and difficulties. Positive expectancy allows you to transform problems into procedures and adversity into opportunity. With the pervading thoughts and concise mental picture of positive expectancy, you seek personal growth and welcome change.

Challenge yourself today to plan and live each day with thoughts and dreams filled with positive expectancy.