Many of us have a common mis-perception that we know who we are and what we want. Our minds think this way as a systematic approach to controlling our world. The problem is that we don’t realize we have more choices than what we think we know every day.
The Wall Street Journal ran an article last weekend called David Foster Wallace on Life and Work that speaks to this situation. In this article, David wrote about
being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed.
The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom.
Ironically, few of us believe in ourselves in this way. It’s out of our comfort zone. We are, in a sense, not free.
That is exactly why we should go there.
Coaching moment: Next time you’re stuck in traffic or in a long line, try to imagine that things are not what they seem to be. What if you were happy about things in your grocery cart? What if the traffic jam gave you time to try a breathing exercise to reduce stress? Can you remember to do this one time every day?