“Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” ~William Jennings Bryan
Are you relying on luck and random acts to determine your life? Or are you making conscious decisions and steering your own ship?
These are two dramatically different ways to live. The former is not effective or enjoyable – it’ll just set you up for plenty of anxiety, uncertainty and general dissatisfaction.
I don’t know about you, but in my experience, the latter method is much more effective and satisfying. In any case, I’m very interested to hear what you think about all of this.
Take a look at the following 14 points and apply them to yourself 0 do they make you feel anything? Do they make you want to change yourself, or are you already on the right track? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot me an email at angyatkinson at gmail dot com.
- Entropy is your enemy. Entropy is the idea that all systems have a gradual decline into disorder. A sandcastle tends to fall apart over time. You won’t see a sandcastle spontaneously rise from the beach. A clean room becomes more cluttered over time. It won’t become less cluttered on its own.
- If you’re living by choice, you’re adding energy into your life and moving in a predetermined direction. There’s regular improvement. This is all that’s needed to overcome the effects of entropy. You can outrun the pull into disorder.
- If you’re living by chance, you lack direction. Your life is always becoming more disordered. It’s only when your discomfort is great enough that you’ll get busy and make it tolerable again. But it will never be great. You deserve more than this type of life will ever provide.
- Great things rarely happen by accident. The odds of anyone becoming a brain surgeon, movie star, astronaut, or president or living an amazing life are slim without intention. All of these things require an intention.
- If you’re living by choice, you know what you want and you’re making it happen. You have a pretty good idea of what your life will look like in the future. Anything is possible with enough time and effort.
- If you’re living by chance, you likely have a job you don’t want and you’re living a life you don’t enjoy. You spend a lot of your effort putting out fires just to keep your life the same. Life becomes one minor catastrophe after another.
- A great life requires some thought. It’s hard to get what you want if you don’t know what you want. If don’t know what you want, you’re stuck with whatever you get.
- If you’re living by choice, you’re able to set goals. Attaining them creates the life you desire, step by step.
- If you’re living by chance, you don’t set goals. Failing to choose the direction of your life means not being clear on your desires. Without a target, you’re just drifting through life.
- Consistency is important to enjoying a balanced life. It’s not just important to be consistent, but to be consistent effectively. Watching five hours of TV each night is consistent, but not effective.
- If you’re living by choice, you are in the position to take effective, consistent action. A great career, body, social life, or anything else requires consistency, day after day. Making choices about your life provides the opportunity to be consistent in an effective manner.
- If you’re living by chance, you’re consistently inconsistent. Your life is too random to make progress in any meaningful way. The only consistent part of your life is passivity.
- Choose the life you want to live. Any other alternative leads to unsatisfactory results. Make decisions and choose to stick with them. Live a life that you’ve designed. Avoid living life by default.
You can create a much more satisfying and enjoyable life with choice than you’ll ever achieve through chance alone. Be bold: choose your life. You’ll be glad you did.
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This author follows an order for developing self mastery. Reading Jim Pritchard’s Book, “The Warrior Mind,” reminded of this book, as Pritchard used 6 energies to overcoming obstacles which manifest as people and situations can become intimidating. Every morning I wake up to incantations and affirmations, with stretching and 2 glasses of water. I was able to take what Atkinson wrote, and fit it into my routine and my psychology database. I also like the fact that Atkinson stresses the importance of change. Muhammad Ali once said, that he didn’t count his pushups, but did as many as he could til he felt pain. Patience is another term Atkinson uses which is a simple term, but she stresses that rewards come with patience and consistency. The book is straight-forward, but its all the things we forget when we are depressed or have anxiety. Pritchard had discussed that fear doesn’t serve us, as their is only risk versus danger. Atkinson touches on when you decide to do something, creating a schedule and deadline are keys or tools for your toolbox. The only thing I have to say with that is, sometimes we hit walls, and the deadline can cause extra anxiety. I can’t tell you how many walls I have hit, and used fear to drive me home, which was not healthy. It made me laugh to, that Atkinson include flossing, she couldn’t be more right. Flossing tremendously decreases your change of heart disease. One thing I would include in Part-2, is to include always using sunscreen. Vegetables and water are the key to weight loss, and her idea of a financial worksheet has helped me through my military and government career. I could see a a 1-page outline listing all of these facts, displayed as bullets, as a daily reference sheet. Rock on.