A good book to read is ‘Man’s Search For Meaning’ by Victor Frankl. Mr Frankl survived the horrible conditions of a Nazi concentration camp and yet, he said, no one can ever take away a person’s ability to choose how to feel. He points out what a few already know. YOU always have the power to control your feelings.
You have the power to be in charge and live life victoriously and not to live as a victim. All of us do. Some live this way some others may not.
He states, and he should know, that, ‘Everything can be taken 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 own way.’
He also stated, ‘I do not forget any good deed done to me and I do not carry a grudge for a bad one.’ For this man to say this is an incredible testament to the ability to forgive and let go. I previously posted about the power of forgiveness citing someone else as an example. I think this is wonderful. He includes remembering kindnesses.
He says it again a little differently, but he states these from his life experience. ‘Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.’
It may be that because of all that he went through he was able to discover his ability to control his thoughts and emotions as he did. The horrible challenge provided him the opportunity to recognize who actually was in charge. Even though circumstances were beyond his control he discovered what he did control and it saved him.
I think for us to do any less with our daily challenges is to not live as we can and as we should. We have such incredible power within! We only need to tap into our own strengths and live with purpose and in charge. We can do this. Difficulty or not we can find our ability to choose.
The final quote I’ll include is, ‘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.’
I include share these quotes because this was a man who had everything taken away and he survived. He went on to not be a ‘survivor’ but one who thrived. He went on to share his findings with others and to attempt to help others come into their own power.
The reason he could thrive and forgive and love and move forward was because he took 100% responsibility for his response, his reactions, his thoughts, feelings, and actions, not only during the most trying of circumstances but, for his entire life. He understood holding a grudge only hurt him not the object of the grudge. He became aware of a life changing way to live.
He didn’t shift the blame to those outside himself, he placed responsibility squarely on his own shoulders. He spent the rest of his life pointing out that it was this which could made an incredible difference for all humans.
Certainly, it would have been easy to blame his captors, the circumstances, God anyone and everything, but he chose not to. He chose to focus on what he could control. He understood where the true power resides.
Many of us would not blame him or anyone else who is incarcerated and tortured if they complained and hated or threw in the towel. Most of us would accept that is allowed. I don’t post any of this to make any judgements against people going through any difficulty at all. Everyone should still be held in the highest esteem and allowed to be whomever they are without criticism. We should accept all possibilities for how people respond.
Still, Frankl became aware of something greater in him and that was that he was ‘the chooser’. He was the one who decided. He was the one in control and the one with the power and though anything and everything else could be stripped from him no one could take that power from him. That realization alone IS POWER!
Most of us never know the circumstances of a Frankl. Yet, some do suffer immensely. If Victor Frankl and others can come to this conclusion and alter their lives toward the positive we can too.
If we begin to accept our own powers of choice and responsibility then we are able to, as Victor Frankl and others are able to, live our lives more as victors and less as victims, complainers and haters.
There is incredible power and freedom in learning to take 100% responsibility for everything that happens in our experience. I cannot say that I know what this means fully because I have never been tried as he and others have been.
I do know when I take responsibility for EVERYTHING good and not so good in my life, when I face it and not attempt to pass it off onto anyone or anything else something wonderful happens. Some positive changes occur and I find the power and the opportunities to accept it or make it different. Once I accept that it is ALL only in my hands it then is up to me what I do from that moment on. There is immense power and opportunity knowing that you can always choose.
Some people may feel the need to disagree we me on this. They may think that some things just happen. ‘Bad things happen to good people’, they might say. They may not agree that anyone person is 100% responsible. That is okay.
What I say in response, is, it doesn’t matter who causes what, if you ACT AS IF are in charge of your own response to it then you come from the place of a victor. When you assume you are 100% responsible for what and when and how and why and where you respond (even if that isn’t actually true) you are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul. You are in charge.
Even if, in actuality, it ultimately is not accurate that we are in charge of everything, we still would live with so much more incredible power and forcefulness if we acted AS IF we did. It is a mental framework to adopt.
I think Mr. Frankl was onto something and that perception is everything. We see what we believe and what we want to see. We accept our situation either as hopeless and unable to do anything about it or we accept that there is ONE single thing we can control even if we can’t control all else.
We can control our thoughts, our response, our attitude. That right there is incredible power.
What else is the alternative to taking responsibility? That we live as a victim, drifting, without any power or control. That certainly is not how I choose to want to live.
Every single day you and only you can make the decision to be happy. You can decide to have a great day no matter what. Regardless of whatever circumstances arise YOU can CHOOSE how to respond.
You have the power to control your thoughts and determine how things will be. Even when the outer circumstances may remain difficult you can choose how you will go through them. IT is always your choice what you attend to and focus on. WHAT you attend to and focus on determines what your experience is. Life is truly exciting and wonderful!
Enjoy this brief Ted Video of the historic Frankl delivering a talk. It runs about 4 minutes.
LIve fully today!
Subscribe and Follow Daily Inspiration and Gratitude! Visit often. Feel free to comment. If you think others would benefit please share this blog with others.