In my last blog post, we explored owning our own choices. There is a book that has made me think about this a lot: The Hero’s Choice by Roger K. Allen. Mr. Allen promotes a process of “living from the inside out,” or being aware of your own perspectives and choices that affect and create the life around you.
Conveyed through the story of a man who loses his job in his own company and faces enormous obstacles with his partners, Mr. Allen gently educates us about how external events can be a result of our own actions and choices, and how our perspective on those events can change the outcomes.
My favorite example is one many of us can relate to. The main character, Hal, has the perspective that his wife doesn’t support him – he chooses to believe that she’s insensitive and doesn’t care about his problems. This perspective causes him to push her away emotionally and shut down communication with her. When a wise man helps him be honest with himself and challenges him to take his old belief and replace it with a more positive statement, Hal realizes that in reality his wife loves him deeply and cares about what happens to him. He realizes that perhaps it is HE who has been insensitive to and uncaring about his wife’s fears for the future. A new era in their relationship emerges as he embraces his new understanding and commits to making new and better choices. This also gives him a foothold to start to examine other relationships – such as those with his partners – and how his choices and actions may have had a hand in his troubles at work.
The commitments that the author introduces to Hal are relevant to us all – in our personal and professional lives. While it is easier to blame others and feel like circumstances are out of control, when we are honest with ourselves, accountable for our thoughts and actions, willing to choose a new path, and commit to doing so even if it takes time to change, we take control of our internal lives. This inevitably transfers to our external lives and positively affects those of us around us. Taking the hard road can vastly improve our own lives and have a ripple effect all around us.
Are you ready to choose differently?