A mom needs to carefully teach life lessons to a teenage boy.
I’m very conscious of giving him gifts that serve him in that moment, while knowing that the journey that follows for him will be a lifelong learning process that will unfold for him as he experiences life.
My hope is to teach lessons that many adults have yet to learn – ones that I wish I had been taught much earlier in life.
A Life Lesson in Free Will…
“Mom, Do I Have To?”
One day my son asked that question in his very powerless, controlled, whiney and victimized voice – one that any parent would recognize – whether he had to do something.
Was I going to force him to do it? All these things coming at him all the time, happening TO him, that he HAS to do.
And I said no, of course not. You have free will. Therefore, you can make all the decisions to do whatever you want to do.
You have free will as a human to decide and choose anything you wish. It’s an incredible gift.
Whether it’s acting kind or being ethical, taking a shower or exercising, we don’t NEED to do anything. We are not forced or obligated to be anyone or do anything we don’t want to be or do.
I love when my son responds to me and others by stating that we all have free will – and that includes him, too!
Keep Your Power. Don’t Give It Away.
Recognizing your free will is the most powerful, responsible, and empowering place any person can be.
My son now realizes:
He gets to choose – and own – his thoughts, beliefs, emotions, actions, and results 100% of the time.
As a result, when this is his underlying operating system, he gets the gift of seeing that all his results around him in life were created solely by him and the choices he makes of his own free will.
At first this seems like a dream come true to a teenager.
At some point, it sinks in and the realization of the weight of that responsibility (perhaps for about a minute), makes it a bit scary.
What’s the reality?
“I’m in control, so that means I’m responsible for all of it and I will feel and see the results myself and only have myself to look at for them.”
It feels heavy to be responsible for what you choose and create.
With Control Comes Responsibility
When we wish to have all the control, we accept all the responsibility that comes with it by default.
I learned this much later in life than I would have liked- AFTER I had experienced results that I wished I didn’t have to. Yet knowing that I had created the situation and was in control – exactly what I wanted- I only had myself to “pat on the back” for it. There was no one else to blame.
You can’t blame others, or things outside of yourself, if something doesn’t go well. The pressure of that weight sinks in. Feel that. Let it move in you, through you.
When you realize that you GET to choose, you can choose and decide anything for yourself:
- You can willingly feel whatever emotions come.
- You’ll be able to take action.
- You GET to feel the pride of having done it yourself.
- You chose it, felt it. Then you learned. You did it – you created a part of your life’s path and you grew.
- You get to see who you are and all you are capable of being.
- And then you get to choose again. Freely. Independently.
This is the most incredibly empowering belief and way of living you can have. Your free will.
And when you screw up, fall, fail…you own that, too.
Not Being In Control
It’s hard when there is nobody or nothing else to blame. Blaming anything or anyone else is what completely disempowers us.
Being disempowered and not in control of ourselves is the worst thing we can do to ourselves.
It will cause us to react, respond and treat ourselves and others in ways we no longer want to- all because of feeling disempowered.
When we feel disempowered and put ourselves in the position of victim to outside people and circumstances, we lose exactly what we were hoping for in the first place- free will, independence and being in control of everything within ourselves- our thoughts, emotions, and actions. We give that power and control away to the external thing. Our results will follow that lead.
When we blame things outside of ourselves for failures, we are always looking for things outside of ourselves for success. When we deny our ability to fail, learn, grow, and then succeed on our own, we diminish our worth and value because we create a belief that things and success don’t and can’t come from within ourselves.
- We get to choose how we wish to stand before others and ourselves.
- We get to choose the kind of people we want to be and the path for our life.
- Other people are not responsible for our success, or lack of.
- Other things, objects or circumstances do not limit us or stop us.
Our Free Will Chooses Our Unique Path
Our free will makes the decisions along the way.
We get to decide whether things are happening TO us or if they are happening FOR us.
- We decide how we want to stand proudly before our company and team.
- To stand lovingly before our family- spouse, children, parents, and other loved ones.
- To stand blameless before God.
- Or choosing to be who we want to be when no one is watching – to see the best version of ourselves in the mirror each day.
We get to make our own decisions, with our free will. This is our gift. Living into it each day can create our most rewarding and incredible lives.
To deny our power, our control, and our responsibility fully and give it away to anything or anyone outside of ourselves is to deny our innate gift.
Live This Gift of Free Will Fully!
- Enjoy the power AND the responsibility.
- Appreciate the successes AND learn from the failures.
- Face your fears honestly AND overcome them with your intelligence, strength, bravery, and courage.
- Love yourself and others, especially when they don’t love themselves – or you – back.
- Appreciate the obstacles as gifts FOR you rather than something that has happened TO you.
Why? Because you can. Of your own free will. Because you have that power.
Check out Strive, where we develop strong leaders every day who are learning, practicing, and changing their lives and affecting the lives of those around them every day. It is an amazing place to grow into the best version of you!