I have used this quote many times to illustrate the power we have to make choices. Having read the book Man’s Search for Meaning as a college student for my Psychology class, I recently listened to the audio version. I appreciated it so much more this time and I became quite emotional as I heard those words I’d often repeated. In context, they are even more powerful.
Frankl, a Holocaust survivor, writes with incredible eloquence about how he and others rose above despair, enduring daily atrocities and indignities. He experienced first hand just how much can be taken away from a human. That is, all but his power to choose.
Sometimes we take choice for granted and often, we narrowly define the elements where choice is available to us.
Or, we convince ourselves “I have no choice.” There is always a choice.
You can choose your attitude, your behavior, your emotions, your beliefs and your response to a particular set of circumstances. You can choose where to focus your attention and your energy. And, you can even choose your thoughts!
Think about it: before you actually do anything, it all starts with a thought or an idea. Your thoughts turn into action. So whenever it makes sense to do things differently, it also means you need to think differently. This is why, for me, any workshop or seminar or leadership retreat I facilitate, always starts with mindset. Once you know how to think about something, the doing becomes much easier.
The power of your thoughts to control your destiny is profound. To me, this is so important, I wrote a book about it. Becoming Deliberate: Changing The Game of Leadership From the Inside Out is available now from your favorite online retailer and soon in bookstores nationwide.
As you go about your life in the next week, think about this: In what area of your life right now do you need to be more deliberate about your choices?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.