The Power to Make a Different Choice

Winter gave way to spring these last few weeks. Blooms, buds, and blossoms are everywhere. What is nature showing and telling you? Change is here! What will this new season offer you? What is or will be your new normal?

We have a family couplet that goes like this. “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.” During a lifetime, and especially after the challenges of the past two years, there are moments of reflection where we consider the outcome of our choices and whether they are leading us to happiness, abundance, and joy.

Steven Covey nailed it when he says, “Between stimulus and response is a space. In this space lies our freedom to choose our response. In these choices lies our growth and our happiness.” (Covey, Stephen R. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Restoring the Character Ethic. New York: Free Press, 2004.)

Do you find yourself on autopilot as the world bombards your senses?

I read a poem this week that brought to my attention principles of perspective, personal growth, and happiness, which by design may include making changes and taking greater responsibility with our choices and our habits.

An Autobiography in Five Short Chapters 
by Portia Nelson


I walk down the street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk

I fall in.

I am lost … I am helpless.

It isn’t my fault.

It takes me forever to find a way out.


I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don’t see it.

I fall in again.

I can’t believe I am in the same place

but, it isn’t my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.


I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it is there.

I still fall in … it’s a habit.

my eyes are open

I know where I am.

It is my fault.

I get out immediately.


I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.


I walk down another street.

What will this new street have to offer? Self-awareness and our freedom to choose and direct our lives are the most important and precious gifts we possess.

Published by Dean Forman

I am co-founder and CEO of the John Adams Academies, an institution that is perhaps the most unique charter school system in America today. The Academies’ curriculum is designed to give its students an American Classical Leadership Education®. This is an education that pursues truth, beauty and goodness and turns its scholars outward in search of those whom they can serve in becoming servant leaders. This website is dedicated to sharing the concepts of an American Classical Leadership Education with its readers so that more citizens can benefit from the truth, virtue and wisdom of the past. The thoughts and opinions I share on this page are my personal views.

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