We typically live our lives in one of two ways: living a life that is dictated by unending responsibilities or living in a world that is full of abundant choices that we create. People are often shocked to find that these two places exist in the same universe. They question the fact that we have a choice because there are some things we just have to do.
The biggest shift happened in my life when I learned the power of choice. Sure we may not want to do certain things like taking out the trash or going to work. But, even the simplest acts like taking out the trash are a matter of choice. You could choose to never take out your trash and live in filth. You choose to do it because you want to live a clean, healthy life. I know plenty of women who aren’t fond of cooking but do it because they want their children to eat healthy food. The end result of that act is very important to them so it makes the choice feel better.
So how does this relate to something like your career? Everyone needs to make money. Even if you dislike your job, you are going to work everyday for a myriad of reasons. You chose to work to pay for your home and bills, because those values are important to you. You could choose not do any of it, but you may not be comfortable with the results of that choice. You may be working for the benefits because you want the security of knowing you and your family will get the care they need. When you look at these things as choices, not obligations, it takes the power out of the thought that you are stuck in your job.
You may get to a point, as I did, where you have to examine those choices and realize that you have the choice of accepting what the situation entails or leaving it. I was in a very secure job where I had tenure for life and great health benefits. What more could I ask for, right? Though I had security, I had no control of my future. I was under contract and was guaranteed a job, but no choice in where I could work or how I could move up the career ladder.
I had already been on the path of evaluating my choices and if they worked for my goals in life. Then another moment happened where I had to make a new choice. I was told I would be moved to another building for a portion of the day, but would share my current responsibility with a co-worker. When I went to my superior to discuss my options, I was told I had none. I expressed to him that while I knew how my employment contract worked, I had ideas of how to make the transition work more effectively. Though I knew there was little chance that I could arrange my schedule, it felt good being able to realize that I could express my opinion and then make a choice.
The fact of the matter is I did have a choice. I could work there forever on their terms and choose job security over job fulfillment. I made the choice to leave and experience the freedom of creating my own business. Any difficulties I have encountered along the way don’t feel like struggles because I followed my choice and have accepted anything that comes from it. When you realize the power of choice, the abundance of possibilities that you create are endless. Think about the choices you are making: do they feel self empowering or imprisoning?
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