How the limitations of choice set you free
For eight agonizing years, Nick Vujicic pleaded with God, “Why? Why was I born this way? I don’t understand how You can say You love me when You allow me to stay in this pain.”
The answer finally came to him through the scripture verses John 9:1-3.
When he read, “…that the works of God should be made manifest in him,” Nick understood why he was born with no arms or legs.
With that understanding, he chose to live not as a victim, but as a victor, and opportunities previously unseen emerged.
From the beginning of time, man has questioned whether he is truly in control of his destiny, or if he is merely an insignificant pawn in a game over which he has no control.
The vast and unfathomable forces beyond our control — from our DNA and physical characteristics to the family, country, and circumstances we were born in; from the people we meet to the educational opportunities we’re exposed to; from the cultural perspectives we’re immersed in from birth to natural disasters — seem so overwhelming as to render the power of choice simplistic and virtually meaningless.
But we have ultimate control over two things that trump all uncontrollable forces combined: our attitudes and our actions.
You have been dealt a hand. You cannot control the cards you were given, but only how you play them. You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control how you respond.
Ironically, it’s when you understand and accept the limitations of choice that its true power is unleashed. By accepting what you cannot control, you’re empowered to focus on what you can control.
You cannot will your way — pushing through forces beyond your control — to success. But you can create the right conditions that lead to success.
Your goals are achieved less by pursuing them directly, and more by cultivating the right conditions for them to manifest as a natural byproduct.
As John Maxwell says,
“Small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time.”
Salesmen can’t control whether or not a prospect will buy. But they can control how much they know about their product. They can study and learn persuasion techniques. They can control how many people they contact, and whether or not they give up.
Writers can’t control how their content is received. But they can control how much they write.
You can’t control genetic predispositions toward disease or addiction. But you can control how you eat and live.
You can’t control what accidents may befall us. But you can prepare to respond with faith and hope by practicing spiritual disciplines daily, such as prayer, meditation, and studying spiritual texts.
You can’t control the choices your children will make. But you can control how you treat them and the environment you create for them.
You stumble over uncontrollable blocks every day. But it is precisely by recognizing that you have no control over them that you transform them into stepping stones.
Your life is transformed, your destiny realized as you accept what you cannot control and focus on what you can control.
You can’t control how you were born. But you can control how you live.