Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Freedom to choose

The freedom to choose may be the most powerful attribute and precious you have in your life. It shapes who you become, how you express yourself, the success you achieve, and your influence in the world. You are a product of your choices, not your conditions. Your choice will determine whether you become a person who is truly indispensable or one who is hardly missed. Choice is essential to freedom and anatomy, and freedom is at the core of everything we want in life, including feeling strong, secure, and resilient; finding meaning; and experiencing joy and peace. These are the things that make us feel alive and cause us to become more engaged. Freedom, therefore, is critical to your happiness and well-being.

By the time you lay your head on the pillow at the end of the day, you will have made hundreds of choices that will affect the quality of your life. The nature of these choices will affect the quality of your life. The nature of these choices will determine how much freedom you have and the degree to which you live an empowered life. Many choices you make today will enable you to control your destiny, and some of them will put your destiny in the hands of others.  Freedom is yours for the taking- even at work- but the problem is that we all frequently fail to embrace what is immediately available and already ours. That’s because many people think that freedom lies “out there” in a better boss, a more enlightened culture, a different job, a bigger office, or a more solid customer base rather than “in here”, in them.

But freedom is a choice. Freedom is a state of mind. It is established from the inside-out. Not choosing is itself a choice. When you abdicate this most basic of freedoms, you imprison yourself. You choose to become helpless, powerless, mindless, less influential, and less happy. You’ve benched yourself in your own game of life. If you work in a high-paying job for a toxic boss who makes your life miserable and you say,” I have no choice,” what you really mean is, “I am choosing to prioritize making money over my own job fulfillment,” or “I am choosing to embrace safety versus risk, or the known instead of the unknown.” In reality there are other jobs that will enable you to pay out your bills, and other leaders who are more enlightened.  For any number of reasons, you are not willing to confront the uncertainty, That, in and of itself is a choice. By rationalizing that you no choice, you are choosing not to recognize legitimate alternatives that are yours for the taking. You are stuck in a comfort zone of inaction that is functional and safe, but leaves you dead and disengaged.

Research from Gallup, Walker information, Hudson Institute, and others shows that approximately Seventy-five percent of the workforce is disengaged at work and are not loyal to their companies. You know them, because you work with them.  They are in the next cubicle, down the hall, in your department, on the front line, and yes, even in the executive suite. So, what about you? If you had the opportunity to hire you tomorrow, would you do it?  

When you will realize your career is a result of choices and not conditions, the effect will be absolutely liberating. You will begin to think big and act bold. You will become impassioned and engaged. Coworkers will look to you for leadership and inspiration. Leadership does not come from having an official title but from making choices: to serve others, take on risk, assume responsibility and discover a life where passion and excitement replace ho-hum routine.  

There has been a lot of research that shows that every leaders ask how they can motivate their people. Therefore, if your are unhappy with your job and with your work environment, there are basically three choices: fix it, change it, or leave it. Whatever decision you take, it is your personal decision. Remember: Taking responsibility, engaging yourself, and getting involved not only help you to be more satisfied at work, it also will help to live a more rewarding private life.

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