“The last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Viktor Frankl
I am re-reading “Man’s Search for Meaning”, by Victor Frankl. If you are not familiar with Victor Frankl, he was imprisoned by the Nazi’s in World War 2. He lost his parents, wife and children in the Holocaust. He was tormented and persecuted by the Gestapo, in fact at one point they had him strip naked. As he stood there they noticed he still had his wedding band on and they made him take it off as well. He stood and thought to himself, “You can take everything from me but you can not take away my freedom to choose how I will react to what happens to me”!
It is our choice how we respond to our challenges. Dr. Frankl’s situation was an extreme set of conditions. Most of us would collapse under that pressure, many folks did. But what about our everyday challenges? Do we react or do we respond? When we react we choose to play the role of the victim. When we respond we focus on what we can do to turn the challenge into something good.
How about when we have caused the condition by our actions or inaction? The only difference is in what our actions will be and not in our emotional state. Guilt is healthy however, dwelling on guilt is unproductive. We focus on remaining emotionally stable, review the situation and causes and then amend our actions. The most important decision we make is in how we choose to respond!
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