One of the great facts of life is that we are free to choose our response to whatever happens to us. At any point in our lives, we can decide to try again, to change course, to choose a different path. This is part of being proactive. Each of us is blessed with four human gifts that give us the ability to choose.
First, we have self-awareness, which is the ability to stand apart from ourselves and observe what we like or don’t like. Second, we have a conscience, which helps us discern between right and wrong. Third, we have an imagination, which allows us to visualize and imagine what the future could look like. And fourth, we have willpower, which allows us to act independently despite outside pressures.
Animals do not possess these four human gifts. Your dog doesn’t have self-awareness. He cannot stand apart from himself and think, “I need to stop chasing cats. I’m better than that.” Your cat is unable to imagine, “One day, I will be the best groomed cat in the entire neighborhood.” Your parakeet doesn’t follow his conscience, but rather just acts based on instinct and conditioning. And so on. You get the picture.
So, whenever you’re feeling out of control of your life or emotions, remember that you are free to choose and you have been endowed with unique gifts. Just use your four human gifts and watch how they can help you gain control. No matter how you’re feeling about your life or where you may be headed, there is always hope that things can get better. There is always hope that a year from now you can be in a far better situation. As humans, there is always hope that your best days are ahead of you. It’s a choice and it’s yours to make.