|If you were to take all the choices you have made to this point in life and magically add them all together, you would have - you. Each of us is the equivalent of the choices we’ve made to this point in our lives. Choices. We all make them. But why?
Have you ever taken an action and wondered why? Each day we are faced with literally thousands of choices. Some occupy our thoughts on a conscious level, some do not. I thought about the color of the tie I would wear today, but I gave little thought to the turn I made out of my driveway, I just took it. Each of these were choices. Have you ever wondered why you make the choices you make?
After years of teaching golf, I discovered that many things that people do are done passively, without thought or planning. Tiger Woods does not think about how he grips the club in a tournament, he does it by “feel”. Yet when he practices, he may take great care in adjusting his grip to the optimum position each and every time he grips the club. When driving a car in excess of two-hundred miles per hour, Dale Earnhardt Jr. doesn’t think about how he will move the wheel, he does it naturally.
These are examples of learned responses, things that are done almost by second nature by the performer and they are very similar to the learned responses we all have in our lives. Each of us has things we do almost subconsciously, you may visit a drive through coffee virtually without thinking about it. Marketers know this and they prey on our habits, our learned responses. McDonalds and other fast food restaurants have spent billions of dollars to train us to effortlessly and thoughtlessly spend our money on a number four with a large diet coke.
Have you ever observed the people at work and how they will instinctively reply to the question “how are you today?“ Some will reply, great!, some, fair to middlin‘, and some I’m tired. How can someone be tired first thing in the morning? Ok, perhaps a rough night every once in a while, but these folks are tired every day. To quote Earl Nightingale, “they are just reciting their lines.” Learned responses are a part of our every day life. “How are you today?” The response is the same each and every day; “fine!” Rarely to we examine the conditioned, learned responses we give and where they come from. More important is the effect they have on our lives - the learned responses we have dramatically effect our lives by providing us with our perceived reality.
What if we could alter the perception of our reality? What if we had, literally and perceptively, no limits? What could we accomplish? What could we do? How happy could we possibly be?
In order to destroy our self imposed limits, we must examine their origin and the validity of them. Each of our learned responses, our locked assumptions can be traced to one of Your Ten Relationships in Life.
The first relationship is with your family. This is the first thing you encounter in life. You were issued a mother and father, perhaps siblings and a host of in-laws and relatives. These people are in your life whether you like it or not and your reaction to them and with them directly effects your ability to have further relationships.
Next you have the relationship with your body. Once again, issued without choice. This is the first opportunity however to control.
Third: your environment. This is a vast relationship with multiple opportunities to control. Not only the immediate environment around you, but also the local, national and global environment.
Forth: Your relationship with people. Now comes the tricky part, we believe we can control for a short time, now some joker who has ideas of their own shows up.
Fifth: your spouse. Ok, significant other, long time partner, you name it. This is a person that you will allow to change your locked assumptions and perceptions. Finally, we get a choice.
Sixth: our education. Here we have a relationship of long term that we will reflect on much like our family. We are in total control of this relationship.
Next comes work. Surveys abound and the more they are conducted, the more we find people hating their jobs. Yet off we go, every day. Is this the tail wagging the dog?
Eighth: Money. No one thing in human existence is more misunderstood and misrepresented than money. If work isn’t the tail wagging the dog, money is.
Ninth: the relationship you have with your past. Most people can’t let go of the past and most of the time it is so exaggerated in our perception. Let’s face it, nothing is ever as good or as bad as we remember it.
And most importantly, your relationship with your creator. Each of us, believers or not cannot deny that we have been created and our relationship with the creator is the most important relationship in our lives. For those who believe, this truth is self evident. For those who are non believers, your ability to justify and quantify your existence and the creation of that existence will in large part determine your ability to interact with the rest of creation.
These ten relationships will shape the way you will react in every event of your life. Most of the time you will give little thought to how they effect your decisions. You will make decisions about your life based upon your perception of your relationships in each of these 10 areas.
Our ability to determine our perception of our relationships will in large part determine our ability to achieve. Our limitless selves are there for the taking if we only adjust how we perceive our relationships in these 10 vital areas.
We must recognize from the list above and our reactions to these ten areas that life is the search for control.
About the Author
Glen Gould is a Director of The Inspiration Agents, a company of individuals with the mission of bringing positive change to the lives they encounter. He is the author of "I'll Never Be Who I Want To Be As Long As I Am Who I Am". For further information visit www.inspirationagents.com