Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Today's Lesson: Freedom

For every stimulus, there is a response, and between stimulus and response, there is a gap. In that gap exists a powerful agent: a choice.

Change is inevitable. Sometimes, it is brought on by our own doing, and sometimes, it is initiated by forces beyond our control. It can either be expected or unexpected. In my experience, the nature of it is rather irrelevant, because either way, it results in navigating unchartered territory, experiencing new things, and becoming familiar with the unfamiliar. It requires us to adapt. Change is neither inherently good or bad. But by its very nature, is introduces a new set of stimuli. For us, that means a new set of choices about how we respond.

I have always been an advocate for, and an agent of, change. Particularly in an organizational setting, I seek out opportunities to affect positive change, which usually means challenging the status quo. I believe in leaving things better than I found them. I believe in trying new things, in being creative and innovative, despite how things have always been done.

I have not always been as proactive in seeking those opportunities for myself, until recently.

I am currently experiencing many changes in my life: moving halfway across the country, starting a new job, living in a new place, learning a new culture, forming new relationships, and figuring out how to maintain old ones. Some of the changes I'm experiencing have been exciting, and some have been quite challenging, testing my own ability to adapt.

New stimuli, new responses. New choices I have to make. It's not easy, but I'm trying to choose positive responses. I'm trying to see these challenges not as obstacles, but as opportunities...to learn, to grow personally and professionally. Even within a single choice to respond positively, difficult as it may be, there is growth. It takes patience and persistence. It requires controlling impulses. Sometimes, it requires an act of faith.

But it is also empowering. We grow stronger when we realize that regardless of the stimulus, we can control the response. And when we act on that realization, we become powerful forces in creating our own destinies. We are no longer held captive by our circumstances. We understand that nothing can every take away our ability to choose.

We experience true freedom.

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