The Real Me
Your Greatest Power
By Donnie McKinney ©2003
There is one power we humans have that no other creature on earth can have. God gave animals instincts. He gave humans the greatest power of all - the power to choose. Adam and Eve were given the power to choose in the Garden of Eden. God said, "Obey me if you will." They chose not to obey Him. It's been downhill ever since!
How can you use your greatest power? Simple. You can choose how you will live life. Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. Yes, you choose to be in a good mood or a bad mood. The bottom line:
It's your choice how you live life.
Here are some simple ways to start choosing how you live.
Each morning wake up and say to yourself, "Self, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood, or you can choose to be in a bad mood." Choose to be in a good mood.
Each time something bad happens, you can choose to be a victim or choose to learn from it. Choose to learn from it.
Every time someone comes to you complaining, you can choose to accept his complaining or point out the positive side of life. Choose the positive side of life.
The biggest choice you will ever make is to take responsibility for your own life. You can choose to design your life the way you want it, instead of letting other people design it for you. You're going to learn how to find out what your natural talents are and how to set huge goals for your life and achieve them. You're going to learn what makes people truly happy in life. You’re going to learn how that all-important self-concept, your self-image, sets your limits in life. Then, you're going to learn how to change your own self-image to allow you to live life to the fullest.
Wisdom of Willie Wonka
"So much time, so little to do. Wait. Reverse that," said Willie Wonka in the classic movie Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I probably watched it half a dozen times when my daughters were young. I like Wonka's attitude.
He also said, "And Charlie, don't forget what happened to the man that suddenly got everything he ever wanted. He lived happily ever after." We could all learn something about life from Willie, couldn't we?
Gene Wilder, who played Willie Wonka in the movie, became quite a philosopher in real life when his wife, Gilda Radnor, died of cancer. "Life is very short," he said. "You hear it, you know to say it. Everyone says, 'I know, I know,' but . . . if they knew they'd stop doing what's unimportant and do what is important. There's no time for anything else. And, it's sad to learn it when it's too late".
The only time you can really live is in the present moment.
When we're young, we say, "I can't wait until I get to high school." In high school, we think, "As soon as I get my driver's license, I can really start to do things." Then, "As soon as I get out of high school, I can go to college and really start learning." In college, we're thinking, "As soon as I get out of college, I can get a real job and start getting ahead in the world." When we're working we think, "When I retire I can really enjoy life."
One day we wake up, and we realize that we've missed life. We spent all of our time thinking about the future and missed the only time we can possibly live - in the present moment. During all the hours we spent thinking about the past or worrying about the future, we missed life. Art Linkletter understood what I'm talking about when he said, "Life is not a rehearsal. This is it!"
So, let's learn from Gene Wilder and "stop doing what's unimportant and start doing what is important." There really is no time for anything else. Do things with the people you love. Don't waste time playing games in relationships - be open and honest. Tell that girl or guy that you really like her or him and want to go out. Do things that help other people. Get rid of that attitude you've developed, and hug your mom. Tell her how much you love her. Do it while you can.
"but . . . if they knew they'd stop doing what's unimportant, and do what is important. There's no time for anything else. And, it's sad to learn it when it's too late."
It's your choice.
Throughout the ages great men have said the same thing – you are what you think. Marcus Aurelius (A.D. 180-121) said A man is what he thinks about all day long. Earl Nightingale summed up fifty years of studying by saying You become what you think about most of the time. The Bible says As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. James Allen, writer, said You will become as small as your controlling desire, as great as your dominant aspiration. What does this mean in real life?
It simply means that regardless of: environment, family, physical characteristics, financial status, or any of the other things people value, you become who you think you are. It’s your choice whether your life is going to be determined by others (conditioning), or designed by you. Right here is where you can make that choice. Choose to make your life what you want it to be. It's your greatest power - USE IT!
No one states the case for using your power of choice better than Og Mandino. The following is an excerpt from The God Memorandum in his book, The Greatest Miracle in the World:
. . . for I gave you one more power, a power so great that not even my angels possess it. I gave you . . . the power to choose.
With this gift, I placed you even above my angels . . . for angels are not free to choose sin. I gave you complete control over your destiny. I told you to determine, for yourself, your own nature in accordance with your own free will. Neither heavenly nor earthly in nature, you were free to fashion yourself in whatever form you preferred. You had the power to choose to degenerate into the lowest forms of life, but you also had the power, out of your soul’s judgment, to be reborn into the higher forms, which are Divine.
I have never withdrawn your great power, the power to choose.
What have you done with this tremendous force? Look at yourself. Think of the choices you have made in your life and recall, now, those bitter moments when you would fall to your knees if only you had the opportunity to choose again.
What is past is past . . . and now that you know [this] great law of success and happiness . . . Use wisely, your power of choice.
Choose to love . . . rather than hate.
Choose to laugh . . . rather than cry.
Choose to create . . . rather than destroy.
Choose to persevere . . . rather than quit.
Choose to praise . . . rather than gossip.
Choose to heal . . . rather than wound.
Choose to give . . . rather than steal.
Choose to act . . . rather than procrastinate.
Choose to grow . . . rather than rot.
Choose to pray . . . rather than curse.
Choose to live . . . rather than die.
Choices I make
Can you think of some choices you have made in the past that haven’t been in your best interest?
Can you think of a time you were in a bad mood?
Do you think you can choose to be in a good mood now that you’ve learned that you are in control of your emotions?
What choices do you need to make now to take you toward becoming the person you want to be?
Can you think of some times you have let other people jerk your around instead of choosing your own emotions?
How do you think you can react to those kinds of situations now that you know you are in control of your emotions?
Now that you know it's within your own power to choose who you are, you can't blame your current circumstances on anyone else. Take charge and make your life what you want. Stop living your life on autopilot!