Thursday, December 08, 2011

“There are always options, Captain.”

I readily admit that I am a fan of Star Trek.  The original series started when I was in Vietnam, so I was not even aware of it until it had been on the air for a season.  When our children were young, we were regular viewers of Trek reruns in the afternoons after I picked them up from school.  Needless to say, my consciousness has been affected (warped?) by favorite characters and quotes.

One quote that has stayed with me was one that Science Officer Spock often told Captain Kirk when the challenge was the greatest:  “There are always options, Captain.”  Although there is a certain optimism in this statement, we must acknowledge that not all options are positive.   For the most part we do have choices whatever our circumstances.  Viktor Frankl, the survivor of a Nazi concentration camp, said that he made two choices during his imprisonment—he would do his best to survive and to learn from the experience.  He did not have a choice about being imprisoned, starved, or forced to work as a slave laborer, but he did make a choice that he would not be dehumanized.

Although the choices we make are interior, they impact our behavior and our perception of reality.  One of the greatest gifts that a life coach provides to a client is the encouragement to identify, articulate, and pursue choices.  Clients sometimes need to be reminded that they have the power to make decisions about their own lives. They are competent and responsible persons.  The choices they make determine both long term and short term consequences.  One’s choices today may not show an immediate impact or result, but they do make a difference, changing one’s life over the long term. 

The blessing and the curse of our God-given free will is the opportunity to make choices.  If we make the right choices, we will be blessed and bless others, even in the midst of adversity.  If we make the wrong choices, we accept the consequences and, hopefully, have the chance to learn from them. 

What are the options for you in your current situation?  They are there.  You only need to identify them.

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