Does free will exists? Or can we only ever see the things we’re ready to see? In this article we discuss how to practice free will by making a big decision.
In order to assess if free will exists, we have to know what we mean by it. For some it may be the opportunity to decide which way they are gonna go. Others define it as being able to master your life. But all definitions have one thing in common; They bring the power of choice to the individual.
This choosing may have different meanings, depending on one’s outlook on life. For some it may be about choosing what not to put up with in life, when to leave a relationship or start a new job. In a literal sense it can be the choice of what happens to your body. You can also define it as choosing what feels right and the ability to follow your own path.
But how complete are these definitions and interpretations really? If free will is about the ability to make our own decisions, we have to take into account what we base our decisions on. What data supports it? Are it the stories we hear from others, our own past experiences or history books? If that’s the case we simply life a path-depended life, either by reenacting our own past, that of others or in a different way by going against what we don’t want (I want want to experience that again, so I’m going the opposite way, which may or may not be better than the decision you made earlier but is still based on past experiences and not free choice of what you want now).
And then there is also the question that when you do make a decision, how much of it’s outcome is really in your control. Let’s say I decide to become world champion in Rugby. How many factors that are seemingly outside of my control can influence a successful outcome? I can pick up an injury, work my but off but not be selected, etc. The possibilities are endless.
So do we have to place a limit on free will?
Not per se. How much free will we exercise over our life depends solely on the responsibility we take for what is happening to us. The more free will we want to have, the more we have to look in the mirror and see ourselves as the prime cause for anything that’s happening to, for and with us.
It makes a lot of sense when you think about it; In order to be the master of my life, I have to see that I am responsible for everything that’s happening in it. If I am not responsible for it then it’s not in my hands and I’m not the master of it.
In order to be the master of my life, I have to see that I am responsible for everything that’s happening in it. If I am not responsible for it then it’s not in my hands and I’m not the master of it.*
So how is this applied? We look at life and all that’s happening and investigate our part in it. This does not mean we always had an active role in it’s creation or that we have to stay in situations that are not good for us. We take responsibility for anything that’s in our life. If we want something else, we change it.
Seemingly outside events, like the behaviour of others (good and bad), we accept as coming forth out of our own beliefs about ourselves and life. And we act in two ways; 1. We do outside what is necessary; Confronts others about their behaviour, remove them from our lives or praise them about how great they are when they make us happy. 2. Inside we either change our beliefs about ourselves (knowing that our beliefs attract what comes into our lives; I.e. If I feel to be worthy of respect then I will set that tone for my interactions with others and what comes into my life) or celebrate how great it is so have such great people around us.
And so we always have one choice; How much free will we exercise is directly related to the amount of responsibility we take for the things in our life.
Did you know that responsibility is the domain of the Lion? See how the Manpower-model can support you in integrating this into your life.
Questions? Feel free to reach out.
* Guy Ritchie who mentions this in Joe Rogan’s podcast as well.