This past weekend, I flew on an airline that charges $5 for all soft drinks including water.
When the airline staff informed me of this, I immediately became irritated because I’m accustomed to flying on airlines where soft drinks are free. I felt like they were trying to rip me off.
“Who do they think they are?”, I wondered.
Then another voice kicked in:
“Who do you think YOU are? Someone without a choice, apparently.”
That’s when it dawned on me:
It’s really none of my business how much the airline charges for soft drinks. They can charge $50 for a bottle of water if they wish because I have the freedom to decide if it’s worth the cost to me or not.
I could’ve chosen to wait until we landed (I wasn’t dying of thirst) or I could’ve decided that going without water was less of a sacrifice than spending $5. Either way, my experience was mine to create.
Placing too much emphasis on what we think other people should or should not be doing, almost always causes us to lose sight of the most important element of our experience: we can choose to opt-in or opt-out of the realities in which we participate.
There will always be people who live or conduct business in a manner that we find objectionable.
Their behavior, however, does not take away our power to choose what is best for us.
The notion that someone is doing something to you that you’re powerless to do anything about is completely useless. Belief in such an idea turns you into a victim without offering you anything of value for your troubles.
The powerful thing about Patrick Henry’s mantra “Give me liberty or give me death”, is it reminds us that life always happens on our terms if we’re willing to pay the price to live freely. Patrick Henry knew the price he was willing to pay.
Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, we forget that the situation we’re in is one of multiple possibilities that we decided to actualize.
Even when it seems as if we’re being forced to do unwanted things like work at our jobs, deal with irate customers, pay high prices, live near loud neighbors, tolerate obnoxious friends, etc., we are actually choosing, from the available alternatives, the option we believe will offer us the greatest value.
We always have options. Others may not have taught us how to look for them, but we have the option of educating ourselves.
Is someone ripping you off, causing you trouble, manipulating you, or taking advantage of your vulnerabilities?
If so, actively decide to create a new reality.
Choose to opt-out of the experience or take ownership of the benefits you’re creating by choosing to stay put.
You DO have a choice, but it’s going to cost you something.
This is what I paid:
I gave up my right to complain. I gave up all the wonderful luxuries I onced received when I chose to blame others for my unhappiness. I gave up the idea that someone other than ME is responsible for the happiness of ME.
I spend my time conditioning my mind to think healthy thoughts. I spend my energy giving my attention to the people and passions I love. I spend my intelligence looking for more and more evidence that I create my own experience.
What are you willing to give up?
What are you willing to spend your resources on?
What price are you willing to pay to live freely?
I would love to hear your thoughts.