The power to choose is uniquely human
Decisions have to be made constantly. Coin-flipping, I Ching consultation, Rock-Paper-Scissors, asking a friend are all time-honored means of coming to a decision… What should I be for Halloween? Do I need a Porsche? Is New Zealand a good place to retire? Who should I vote for? What clothes should I buy?*
How to live a life based on possibility in a world where possibility regularly defaults to deciding amongst options, predictability, and forecasting…? Options are familiar, foreseeable extrapolations, essentially forecasts based on our past interpretations. Ironically, however, they’re just repetitions in disguise, not really options at all, leaving us with our old interpretations determining our future. Choice is another matter—it’s the profoundly human ability to create.
In recognizing that whatever interpretations we made “way back when” were in fact a choice, we begin to see ourselves as authors of those interpretations, and come into the immense freedom of a whole new domain. This is the domain of possibility, brought into being by declaration, by invention, by our saying. When choice is known in this way, what previously seemed simply part of “the way things are” (inevitable or impervious to change) shows up differently. When we transform our approach to life from the two-dimensional sort of living (a past/present circularity) to a three-dimensional freedom that includes the creation of possibility (or, said another way, the possibility of creating) another whole world becomes available. The power to choose is uniquely human—instead of a process of selecting and strategizing among existing options, the nature of a possibility emerges, with all the power and efficacy that accompany it. This marks the end of being limited by who and how we’ve known ourselves to be, and naturally extends out to wider circles—our families, our communities, our world.
*Adapted from Cory Doctorow, boing boing., June 15, 2009
Landmark Forum leader
You might also like…
Gale LeGassickTaking the past out of the "future" drawer
Nancy Zapolski, PhDThe artists of being alive
David CunninghamForgiveness enlarges the future
Steve Zaffron, CEO of Vanto GroupStepping outside of existing paradigms, playing a bigger game