Circumstances vs. Choices

Posted by: Julie on Monday, October 13th, 2008

jim-collins-booking.jpg“We are not imprisoned by our circumstances; we are freed by our choices.”

Jim Collins (pictured at the left, author of Good To Great, Built To Last, and pretty much one of the most brilliant guys ever) said this statement last week when we were at the Catalyst conference in Atlanta.  It has stuck with me over the past several days, and it continues to stick with me as I think about our current economic situation.

Many of us come home from work each day, take a look at CNN (if we haven’t already been following it on during the day), and watch in dismay at the stock prices falling and the economic crisis escalating as we make judgments, start to panic, and apprehensively watch political giant after political giant explain their predictions and suggestions of what will and should happen.

It’s quite a dismal way to live – remaining on the receiving end of the conversation, not ever actually feeling like we have a voice in the matter and likely becoming frustrated at times.  But these simple yet profound words from Collins most definitely bring encouragement at such a time as this.  We no longer have to be on the receiving end of the conversation.  Instead, we can be starting the conversation – choosing to start the conversation.

“We are not imprisoned by our circumstances; we are freed by our choices.”  Freed by our choices.  Freed!  By our choices!

My choice is to live a generous life, regardless of my financial circumstance.  And at such a time as this, that might mean living more simply that I ever have before so that I am no longer consumed by the things around me but rather by the people around me.  That might mean giving to those in need that are in our community, giving to our local church so that it can continue to bring hope to communities – being generous with our time, our relationships, and our money.  All of it.  That’s what I choose.

What do you choose?

It may seem like I’m describing it stupid-simply.   That’s because it is simple.  Try prioritizing generosity first and see what happens.  See where your anxiety is.  See where your thoughts are.  See where your time is spent.  Just try it.  I really want to hear from you.

3 Responses to “Circumstances vs. Choices”

Eugene Says:
October 21st, 2008 at 2:57 pm

looking forward for more information about this. thanks for sharing. Eugene

Erik Says:
December 21st, 2008 at 4:41 am

I cannot agree with you more. I have decided to take the year off and do full time volunteer work. FYI, I had this book in my class as my textbook. Keep up the good work!


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