DAY #170 CULTIVATING POWER (again)


THE LIFE COACH PODCAST – Episode 303

We bought 11 more chicks. That puts us at 33 chickens, all together. The children are obsessed. Julia wants one to call her own. She wants to name it Martin, and feed it, and clean up its droppings, and dress it up like a ballerina.

Today, let’s look at power again. From Brooke;

“THE MOST POWERFUL THING I DO IN MY LIFE IS MAKE DECISIONS.

I make decisions about who and what I will spend my time with, what I will do in my life, what I believe in, how I want to feel, what I want to create, what I’ll say no to. That is where all of my power is.”

And there are some things that we need to decide in the moment, and deciding, rather than getting anxious and indecisive, is how we have power in that moment. Like how we will interpret and act in a situation that wasn’t anticipated.

Or maybe we will need to decide in the moment how we will respond to a person who is upset, right?

“When we allow other people to be upset and we don’t take it personally, we generate all of the strength from that moment. We are the ones who are powerful in that moment because when you put love up against something, love always wins.”

I love that – when we put love up against something, love always wins. And making the decision, right then and there, to love instead of react or becoming defensive, is power.

But I think maybe there is even more power in making what decisions we can, in advance.

“We will feel out of control in our lives when we haven’t developed the capacity to decide what we want for our lives. We will feel so powerless.

Force is trying to control other people in the world.

Power is creating yourself in your own world, mentally, physically, and emotionally.

That quiet work that we do when we self-coach ourselves puts us in a position of power.”

The most powerful thing I can do in my life is make decisions – to use my agency.

Agency is what we fought for before we came to earth, in the War in Heaven. Christ wanted to give us agency – the ability to choose to follow God’s commandments and return to Him or not. Satan wanted salvation to come to all people, “without regard to individual preference, agency, or voluntary dedication.” The Bible Dictionary continues: “The warfare is continued in mortality… The same contestants and the same issues are doing battle.” No wonder we feel as we feel – ever ready to battle for our agency!

Our power comes in using our God-given, hard won agency, and not giving it away. In what ways do we sometimes find ourselves giving it away? Indecision. Misusing substances. Victimhood. Not managing our monkey brain. Reacting instead of acting. Letting others tell us what we think.

When I decide what I want to think – what thoughts will serve me best – I have the power to make my life what I want it to be. This is thrilling! This is true power!

How does this work? We know this. Thoughts –> feelings –> action –> results.

And our thoughts, thus our feelings, actions, and results, are entirely our decision. And we can choose empowering thoughts like “nothing has gone wrong” or “this doesn’t need to be easier, I’ve got this”, or we can choose victim-y thoughts. But if we choose to not choose, then we will be simply reacting to whatever thought may come to our mind. We are at the mercy of our environment, the people in that environment, the past, the weather. Whatever.

But THERE WILL BE THOUGHTS! You guys! “No decision” IS a decision. We cannot escape thoughts – whether we choose them or not. And thoughts always always lead to feelings. And those lead to actions. And those lead to results.

I cannot get enough of this. It is the HOW of making my life what I want it to be.

“Power, to me, is my ability to make my ideas happen. If I know that power comes from my decisions and I understand that every decision I make is about how I think, and if I believe in my thoughts, I can make my ideas happen, that is the ultimate in power for myself. So I can think of an idea, I can think of something that I want to do and then I have the power to create it.

I’m not depending on the world to change to give me something. I’m depending on myself to generate it. That makes me feel incredibly powerful.”

Brooke continues:

“Don’t just be a passenger in your own life, but take control internally of your own decisions. Having those thoughts and feelings generates actions that show up externally.”

Let’s take just another minute to do some of that “quiet work that we do when we self-coach ourselves”.

In what areas of my life have I abdicated power? What decisions can I make now that will give me back that power? Is the “why” behind that decision strong enough to enable me to make and stand strong in that decision? Is that “why” reflecting who I really am, and who I really want to be?

Since it is FRIDAY FITNESS AND HEALTH, I want to answer these questions in this particular area of my life. This will be silly example, but it will get me practicing this kind of thought work:

  • In what way have I abdicated my power, in reference to the health and fitness of my body?
    • I have always thought my teeth were crooked, and that is just how they are, and that is how they always will be. I am a victim to my genes. Ha ha.
  • What decisions can I make now that will give me back that power?
    • I can decide what thoughts will lead me back to power over my circumstance. I can choose to think, “my teeth don’t define my beauty, and I could change them if I wanted to, but I don’t have to, to feel happy.” Or I can choose to think, “Just because they have always been crooked doesn’t mean that they need to stay crooked, even another year. It’s easy for me to change this.” Or there are probably a hundred other thoughts that I could choose to adopt that would serve me well.
  • And if I do decide to change my teeth, is the “why” behind that decision strong enough to enable me to make and stand strong in that decision?
    • If the “why” is vanity, that may or may not be a strong enough reason to realign my teeth at this age. If my “why” is to do something new that I have never thought possible before, that may be a better, more exciting, “why” to uphold my decision to change.
  • Is that “why” reflecting who I really am, and who I really want to be?
    • If the “why” is vanity, definitely not! That is not who I want to be. If the “why” is curiosity about a new experience, and to challenge what I have always believed about the power my genes have over me, then definitely! That is who I am – that is who I want to be.

What obstacles may be in the way of me making the decision that will serve me best? How can I resolve that obstacle?

“Our genes, circumstances, and environments matter very much, and they shape us significantly. Yet there remains an inner zone in which we are sovereign, unless we abdicate. In this zone lies the essence of our individuality and our personal accountability.”

https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/neal-a-maxwell/free-choose/
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