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It doesn’t mean anything until you choose it

“We are our choices.” -Jean-Paul Sartre

We are set apart not by the size of our wanting, but by the intensity of our doing.

“What do I want?” reveals my fantasies but determines nothing.

“What am I willing to pay?” reveals my character and determines everything.

A man’s life equals what he actually chooses to create. Beyond that, there is nothing else.

Without focused action, a life and its dreams are condemned to the status of an aimlessly wandering ghost with neither a voice to tell its story nor a body with which to make its presence felt.

 

You’re free whether you like it or not

The ability to say “I hate my life” does not make one a victim.

Not liking reality isn’t the same thing as being devoid of power.

Personal freedom is not a mood. It’s an ontological fact.

Its existence does not depend on the absence of unwanted conditions.

Its presence is not always confirmed by an abundance of positive emotions.

Feelings wax and wane, but the fundamental being-ness of freedom always remains.

You can wait until you feel free or you can decide to live as if you are free.

I feel like a victim today, but I know better

This past weekend, I experienced an unprecedented variety of unanticipated inconveniences.

The amount of time I lost almost made my blood boil.

I had to reassign so many tasks that I am now in the unenviable position of managing twice my already abnormal workload.

I woke up this morning thinking thoughts like “I should have never promised A that I would do B” and “I should have never told X that I would attend Y.”

Deep down inside I truly felt like a victim.

I felt like I was being forced to do all sorts of things that I didn’t want to do.

I felt completely powerless.

I felt as if I was being pushed around by a universe that refused to take it easy on me.

That’s how I FELT!

Here’s what I KNOW:

I am always creating my own reality even when I don’t feel excited about the consequences of my choices.

My ability to say “I don’t like this” or “this doesn’t feel good” does not make me a victim.

The process of manifesting and maintaining the things that are important to me involves creative challenges that sometimes seem to push me to the brink of frailty. Taking ownership of these creative challenges are part of parcel of what it means to be a self-determined being.

Buying a new car means dealing with the DMV. Choosing to travel means sorting out the nuances of flight details. Being part of a business means actually doing something that improves the business. Having a job means showing up for the job AND doing some work. Having successful relationships means making time for the people I love even when it’s easier to make excuses. Wanting good health means investing valuable energy into making healthy decisions even though it’s ten times more convenient to just grab a whopper with cheese and call it a night. Having dreams means getting out of bed and getting physically involved with those dreams.

It’s so easy to say things like “I have to eat this”, “I have to go here”, “I have to stand in this stupid line”, “I have to stay up late”, “I have to make time for that”, “I have to get this done by that deadline”, and “I have to cancel this”, and “I have to sacrifice that”, but such talk is all a distraction from the simple fact that we are choosing, in every moment, how we want to live.

We decide what’s necessary. We choose what’s important. We make up the rules. We are the glue that holds our commitments together. If we really wanted to, there’s nothing that stops any of us from saying “to hell” with all of the things we allegedly have to do.

“I have to do this” really means “I am determined to do this, regardless of the inconveniences involved, because I am THAT passionate about the results I freely decided I’m going to create.”

C.S. Lewis defined “Faith” as the art of holding on to what we know to be true in spite of our shifting moods.

Sometimes my mood says to me “T.K. life is being so hard on you right now.”

I’m in touch with my mood cycles enough to know that “this too shall pass.”

But until then, it feels good to know that my faith will see me through.

If you’re in a similar place, I hope the same is also true for you.

Cheers to knowing that it’s always up to you,

T.K. Coleman

Exceptional Laughter

make me laugh

There is a laughter of compliance and there is a laughter of defiance.

The former is when laughter is invoked by our agreement with a joke of some kind.

The latter is when laughter is summoned from within as a decisive expression of one’s will to survive in the face of formidable opposition.

This is the of laughter of “still I rise.” This is the laughter of “I think I’ll die another day.” This is the laughter of “I will get there.” This is the laughter of one who is “not afraid.“This is the laughter of “the fighter.

Defiant laughter is the recourse of the one who boldly faces his illusions of impossibility and says, “Go ahead, make me laugh.”

The sense of humor is like a muscle. The more it’s exercised the better it gets at making heavy things feel light.

But as with all forms of muscular development, the sense of humor cannot be strengthened unless the one who possesses it is willing to put it to work in the face of resistance.

That is, one cannot become exceptional at laughter until he learns to laugh even in the presence of apparently contradictory reasons for doing so.

Laugh effortlessly. And when that seems too difficult, laugh exceptionally.

Don’t forget to vote for yourself

Freedom can’t be forced on you from the outside

No matter how “free” our nation becomes, we will still fail to inwardly experience the joy of that freedom if we lack the consciousness of it. Getting “the right guy” into office cannot change the fundamental way in which people process reality.

No president, party, or piece of legislation can do the internal work necessary for happiness, spiritual freedom, and knowledge of self.

Let’s add philosophy to our politics by not only challenging candidates to represent our values, but also by challenging ourselves to think, speak, and act consistently with the dreams and desires we wish to manifest in our personal lives.

There’s an election happening every day

I’ve heard people say things like “if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain about the things you don’t like in this country.” This may be true in a certain sense, but what about all of the other ways in which we can take responsibility for creating change in our lives? There is so much more to voting than showing up at a poll every 4 years.

Every thought, word, and choice is a vote you are placing for the kind of future you intend to have.

When you choose to complain about the unwanted aspects of your life rather than express appreciation for what you are grateful for, you’re placing a vote. When you choose to do what someone else expects of you, while denying what makes you come alive, you’re placing a vote. When you choose to talk yourself out of what you really want to do instead of looking for reasons to believe in your chances, you’re placing a vote. When you choose not to tell someone you love them because of a need to be “right”, you’re placing a vote.

These small everyday acts of voting will have no less of an impact on your future than the one you place every 4 years.

Two parties, infinite possibilities

Who you elect for president is important and I think you should choose wisely.

Just remember that the possibilities you’re capable of manifesting in your life are also candidates. And they’re not going to elect themselves.

You have to take advantage of your freedom and choose them.

At least that’s my two cents,

What do you think?

T.K. Coleman

If you enjoy my posts, be sure to also check out my weekly celebrity inspiration blog, Gossip Gone Good.

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