Even on a personal level, you have no control over how your children might behave, how your spouse might react to something that happened or how your boss or company might respond to a declining market. Still, although you have no control over these events, your circumstances today do not determine what’s possible for tomorrow. As James Allen so famously said- “Circumstance does not make the man; it reveals him to himself.”
Regardless of what happens to you; you always have the Power of Choice. The popular adage advises that, it’s not what happens to you but how you respond to what happens to you that is important. As Stephen Covey puts it, “Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions.” Responsibility—response-ability—suggests that you have the ability to chose your response. No matter what you are experiencing, you can choose a new direction – how to act, how to react, how others will affect you. These choices are not made only once but every moment of every day. Like an artisan, they mould and sculpt your experiences and actions in the moment and ultimately your life.
Let me invite you to reflect on your own life for a minute. Think about two decisions that you have made in the past.
How different would your life be today if you had made a different choice?
Whether your life would have been infinitely better or turn out disastrously is not the point of this exercise. My goal here is to demonstrate the powerful impact the choices you make have on your life. This is true regardless of what your circumstances are and so it stands to reason, as I intimated earlier, that it is not so much the conditions of our life that control our destiny as much as it is the decisions of our life.
Of course, your choices create consequences. In other words our actions produce outcomes. Surmounting your particular circumstance begins with a choice. Different choices produce different results. The way to take control of the direction of your life, your business, your career is to consistently make sensible choices.
As Tony Robbins so aptly said “we are where we are today because of the decisions we’ve made—decisions about what to focus on, decisions about where to place our priorities, decisions about what things mean and decisions about what to do. “
For example, if your business or career has been affected by the recession, how did you choose to respond?
Do you feel that you are being punished or challenged to find a new path? What are you going to do about it?
Are you going to give up or give more?
No matter what we have experienced in the past, our history is not our destiny—we all have the power to make new decisions today.”
Accepting this allows you to take responsibility for your life as oppose to relinquishing that power to fate. Recognizing that you have power over your circumstances, wielding that power and accepting the results of those choices is the beginning of a successful life.
Keep On Pushing!
Devon Harris is a three-time Olympian and original member of the Jamaica Bobsled Team. Today, he is a highly sought-after international motivational keynote speaker and author, sharing his philosophy of Keep on Pushing and Never Stop Dreaming with Fortune 100 companies across many industries. Visit his website or connect with him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.