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One of my favorite lines from Braveheart is “Every man dies, but not every man truly lives.” Much of society allows circumstances dictate who they are and what they do. They limit their options because they believe a lie that what they want isn’t within their grasp.

Extraordinary lives don’t allow circumstances and environment to dictate who they are or what they experience. They create habits of consistently choosing to see opportunity in difficulty and abundance in the midst of scarcity.

Others have habits of letting circumstances dictate quality of life. If their plan doesn’t work, they pull out. Others make a new plan and keep going, no matter the obstacles that stand in their way.

Some are incapacitated by loss, while others choose to learn from the experience and create new possibilities. Some feel trapped by lack of finances. Others see it as an opportunity to test their creativity and problem solving skills.

For as long as I can remember, my father often asked “Is this a problem or an opportunity for solution?” After years of conditioning myself to that question, I’ve created a habitual reaction of seeing an opportunity for creativity in every problem that arises. It’s my first reaction, and it gives me more confidence the more I practice it.

I’m a big proponent of living life deliberately, which means I am purposeful and deliberate about how I react to the circumstances I encounter, good or bad.

I’ve always lived in my own world, as my parents will attest. I believe we create our own realities by what we choose to believe and let our minds dwell on. Therefor I have no room for worry or doubt.

At the end of the day, I believe our lives are defined by how we react to our experiences.

2 Comments

  1. Joanne Miller on May 11, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    Wow! Powerful stuff! And lots of food for thought for everyone! Thanks, Jared for your wisdom and for your sharing. I send you love, Mom

  2. Sutton Parks on May 12, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    That is a great line from Braveheart! Thanks for reminding me of it. I’ve been trying to live more intentional.

    I’ve been trying to intentionally look and call problems “opportunities for solutions”. I am encouraged to see that you have conditioned yourself to look at things that way. Perhaps one day it will be by nature as well! It’s getting better.

    Another thing I heard your dad say was, “I try not to let outside circumstances determine my inner happiness”. Man, that is so powerful. My test is to do that when it’s 90 degrees out and the air conditioner is broke in my car. That’s a luxury problem, but I figure if I can conquer or accept hunger, heat, cold, loneliness, etc in myself, I can conquer the world (figuratively speaking). It’s all in my attitude! Great post, thanks for the reminder Jared.

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