The best lifestyle hack ever and why it's worth you try it outDecember 16th, 2013
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
Viktor E. Frankl
The mere fact that we are living means we are able to respond. No matter who we are and what situation we are in; we can always choose our next step or response. In that sense there is no greater responsibility than the one we have for our own choices in life. It’s the freedom to select out of all the options which are available in any given moment; we choose what we do, say, think or feel… English language can’t be more precise: Responsibility = ability to respond. This ability is a muscle. Therefore I see our freedom of choice as the greatest lifestyle tool; using it bit by bit, choice by choice we shape our life and who we are. And lets not fool ourselves – being passive is also a response ;)
One of my favorite quotes is what Viktor Frankl said after surviving a concentration camp:
Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose ones attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
Freedom triggers responsibility. Each choice creates different consequences.
We make choices all the time – from the relatively minor choices we do daily such as what will I eat for breakfast, which T-shirt to wear or do I continue watching TV or get a pack of chips to greater choices such as ‘Will I marry this person?’ or ‘Which projects will I invest my time and energy in?’
I was reminded of this link between our freedom of choice and the consequences it triggers once again last week. In summer I agreed to volunteer to support the organization of a local TEDBrnoWomen conference. When I made the decision I had lots of free time. I grossly underestimated how challenging the preparation of this event might get and of course I felt responsible for its success. It turned out to be quite a big ball alongside with many other balls in the game called my life In short, the choice I made several months ago impacted all other areas of my life. Not that I regret (btw, the conference was a success!) just sharing one experience where I didn’t quite figured out all possible consequences of my free choice…
Our responses, attitude and lifestyle are our choices. If we shift our attention to the things we can control – attitude being one of those – and we act from the state of joy rather than fear, our whole world starts to change. That’s the power of our focus. In a way there is no such thing as a failure in life. We either succeed or learn something. If we see life as a game we can identify what we want from the game, why we want it and how we want to feel once playing that game… Then we start choosing our responses accordingly; channeling our passions and gifts, investing our time and energy with things that matter to us and gradually we are living the life of our choice rather than someone else’s… Treating life as a unique game we designed to have certain experiences, learn from them and follow our joy is a lot more fun. And since I stopped taking myself so damn seriously and started enjoying this game I feel much more energized!
This blog is a good example of my own game. Does it have to be perfect? No. Do I learn and enjoy writing it? Absolutely! What amazing things could happen if I inspire someone with my stories? Someone could become more happy, healthy, focused or creative. I might make someone aware of their energy flows, more conscious about their energy investments, inspired to take care of themselves and encouraged to create their best possible life… That’s exactly what I wish and I know why I want it; I can picture how the desired outcome reflects back – I am inspired and excited by people being in a good shape and good mood, doing great things using their unique talents. That’s why I created this blog – this is part of my game!
Personal energy is something I have been researching and experimenting with for over 30 years. I’ve been ill for a considerable part of my childhood and while reading books on Chinese medicine, buddhism, meditation and yoga I realized pretty early on that though I couldn’t always change the circumstances I could always choose how I respond to any situation. I remember when I was about seven I watched out of a hospital window suddenly realizing how precious life is and that once I recover I shall never ever complain about anything, because health alone seemed like a big enough reason for my life-long happiness. Now if reading my blog helps a single person to take a step towards their joy, it was all worth it!
Clearly, I often struggle to keep this perspective in mind. To be aware of the space between and to choose my responses wisely. I don't have all the answers and I have no idea what your specific situation is. I don’t know what options there currently are available for you to choose from. I just happen to be passionate about personal energy and have some ideas on how to feel more in charge of our life. Using some space to choose my responses definitely helps me. Now – you will always be the best expert on your own life. Go find out what works best for you and what you wish to apply in your own case. If you’d like to lead your personal energy you can try creating some space to consciously choose your response to the next situation. Keeping this freedom and the associated responsibility for its consequences in mind is a habit. It can take some time for it to stick. But I believe it’s totally worth it. It helps us to focus on the right things and take part in the games of our choice.