I had a chat with one of my clients, who was going through a very rough time. I was trying to help her choose a path and asked her, “What are you going to do?”
She was quiet on the phone for a while and then she said to me, “Ronit, you make it sound like I have a choice”.
On the Be Happy in LIFE logo, I put the phrase “Happiness is a Choice!”. Still, there are the odd times when I ask myself whether it is a choice or not.
In my mind, choice always brings me to this great book Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankel, a holocaust survivor who wrote this about choosing:
We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread.
They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way.
The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity–even in the most difficult circumstances – to add a deeper meaning to his life.
It is hard to hear bout choices from a man who faced such a horrible fate, yet inspiring to find that choice is the only thing that kept him moving forward and that the choice of attitude gave him the meaning of life. Can you imagine how someone going through such fear and humiliation managed to create value from that experience? Doesn’t this put things in perspective?
If you feel overwhelmed and ask yourself, “What choice do I have?”, remember: many things happen to us in life, things that we cannot control but we can always, always choose what we do about them!
If you are ill, you still have a choice!
If you are facing a relationship breakdown, you still have a choice!
If you do not have money, you still have a choice!
If someone was rude to you, you still have a choice!
Life is not about what happens to us but what we do about it.