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Your Future – Your Choice – Yeah, absolutely right!

Naked Leader Week – 216 (w/c Monday 17 July 2007)

What a response! Thank you – my faith in Choice is restored

A sample of some of the comments received, with last week’s NL Week at the very end for context and reference:

Denise Lavis starts us off with Shakespeare: “To be or not to be that is the question – what a choice!  I chose “to be” every time – OK if things go wrong you`ll have to live with the consequences but to chose “not to be” is choosing not to live life to the full – it’s only one life we have (?) so is it going to be one life full of regrets or one life full of adventures?”

LaJeanne Kline compares the choice of the head and choice of the heart and closes with five chilling, and inspiring words: “Choice is not good nor bad it is a movement towards a point in time…a place the heart is drawn to…or in the case of an intellect the head is drawn to…whatever the basis of decision it is that which sends one to embark upon a journey and then the next turn in the road asks for another choice…it is the heartbeat of life.  No choice is a choice.”

Craig Powell thinks there is a distinction between choice at home and work: “At home, do you seriously believe I have choice in everything I do? Well yes of course I do, but the cost experience of such a choice simply outweighs the benefit experienced by exercising that choice. At the end of the day, I have no choice in the matter, my life is a journey, it’s just how smooth I want to make it.

 In work, things are different. The storms are short lived and a professional perspective returns to prepare for the next choice, be it welcome or resisted.”

Rod Angood paints a powerful sea journey analogy: “Choice is the experience we believe we have had, when we fetch up on some foreign and unpredicted shore, to which we have been driven by the winds of fate. Choices are the navigational beacons, buoys and stars of our journey, Assessed and considered for their ability to help us steer a safe course, But they are only relevant temporarily and only to the shoals that we can see, and are of insignificance to the unmanageable and uncontrollable direction in which the wind of fate blows us.

Choices associate with options, Assessed and considered for their impact and significance – temporarily, But they are valueless if the prevailing winds blow South East, our preferred course is West and our ability to hold to that preferred course is limited by the capabilities of the vessel that we currently ride in.

The choices we enjoy or all about adapting to the situations and circumstances that fate predicts we should experience but never about fashioning the situations and circumstances themselves –  they are beyond our control. How arrogant of us to assume otherwise?”

Jeff Cook is one of many e-mails that take us into the world of Tolkein: “To further erode your view of choice (or maybe not), a quote form the Lord of the Rings;

 Frodo: I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.

 A key part of Tolkien philosophy! We do not have a choice over what happens but we do have a choice about how we react”.

 Ian Birch offers some Swedish translation to draw a powerful distinction: “In Swedish we have two words that not only are pretty similar but also very often get confused. The words are “vilja” and “välja”. One means “to want” the other “to choose”. So, talking about choosing ones own life and that we all make our own choices, maybe we need to be clear about the fact that what we choose isn’t necessarily what we want. It just the least unwanted option. Maybe the two get confused in other languages too?”

Robert Stockton brings it all back to the here, now and you: “Choice is about taking action and deciding which action to take. You may not always like the choices you have available but to choose your future you must choose to initiate actions constantly. If you don’t you will only make choices based on external influences. Make choices before you are backed in to a corner and you will have more options which are desirable to your future. Wait until the choice is forced upon you and will have fewer options these often include “rock and hard place” or “lesser of two evils”.

Chris Jones relates Choice to the messages of The Naked Leader – and far better than I ever have: “There is absolutely no way on gods earth that your belief and hope in choice will ever be dulled while there is still light, However for the purposes of the exercise…the most interesting point is that if you are 100% yourself you have no choice, as the 100% you would always respond the same way in the same situation; this is, of course, 100% true. It also spotlights the most powerful and challenging choice we all face – the choice of being 100% of everything we already are!    — game set and match”

 Frances Kirby gives comments on each of the previous week’s thoughts:

  • I think in a way they are all making the same fundamental point. Although it is true that we do choose our own future through the numerous choices we make every day, we have limited knowledge and ability to predict the results and implications of those choices and we do not know what choices other people will make which will impact on us. Therefore we choose our future but not all knowingly.
  • I agree with Jim Baxter that agonizing over the implications of our possible choices can really slow us down.
  • To Rob Wheeler I would say that I think it is a choice, albeit the best one, to do what you love doing and to be 100% who you really are. You could choose to do something you don’t love doing or something that doesn’t fit in with who you really are. But hey, if you are doing what you love and being yourself 100% why would you want any other choice?
  • To Miriam Bromnick I would say that there are choices. When a project is going really really badly is the best time to take stock and review and examine our options and ask the question should we carry on with this project at all, or should we change it dramatically or are we doing it the best way we can already ? And I agree that our own morals and values restrict our choices.
  • The other point I would make is that children have less choice because they have less power in our society. I heard today about a little girl (aged 8 I think) whose dentist didn’t give her enough gas. She tried to tell them that it hurt but they wouldn’t listen and as a result she is now blind and cannot speak ! Of course that little girl still has choices, but they would be far less limited if she were an adult.

As does Katie Jacobs:

Jim Baxter’s wife did not appear to have choice unavailable just the ability to decide.

 Rob Wheeler

One would still have to make decisions between possibilities (choice), even when being 100% you!


  1. A) Absolutely there is the choice to go on or of course the option to stop… it feels like people often denounce their right to choice because of a fear, often fear of failure.


  1. B) Indeed it was a choice to leave as she could have colluded with the Manager!

 Mike Samuels

This is the antithesis of my belief, we do choose when and to whom we are born, we then continue with choice re the lessons we are given the opportunity to learn “this” time.

 Alison Owen

I think she was in agreement with you.

 Albert Ross

Not sure of the relevance of this one other than one’s choice to read and believe in the Bible.


I think living in an emotional vacuum would give us the opportunity to simply progress but in the lives we do live our days are filled with choice for ourselves and others and influenced by choices others make.

 Finally, Neil Robinson refers the subject of Choice to my decision to give a book to everyone – They’re all so good…’s difficult to choose!

However had you just chosen a winner yourself your belief would hold, the need for feedback suggests the choice will no longer be yours…..though I’m sure you will make the right choice. J

With my best wishes, choice and freedom of choice to you all




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