Don’t Let People Determine Your Future

 By William Praise

In my little existence, I’ve come to realize that people or circumstances don’t determine our future; they only do if we let them. That is ridiculously called resignation to fate. On a second thought, I also see that a higher power acts on the fundamental components of WILL —the desire, the independent faculty of choice or intention— to activate the desiderate future of every individual.

WILL is a foetus that’s formed but birthed by ATTITUDE. On the one hand, will is a mindset that is formed either in consonance with a reality or against it and funnily, forming a mindset against a reality often seems impossible, doesn’t it? We are told in the theory of decision making, according to Wikipedia, that a mindset is a set of assumptions, methods, or notations held by one or more people or groups of people, established to the point that it creates a powerful incentive within a person, people or groups to continue to adopt or accept prior behaviors or choices. Hence, it’s mostly difficult to counteract its effect on the process of decision making. On the other hand, attitude is the voice of WILL. It resides in actions through its influences on an individual’s choice and [positive or negative] responses to challenges, ideas, situations, incentives, and rewards (Business Dictionary). What this simply means is that WILL and ATTITUDE are both inseparable!

You’ll agree with me that every individual is exposed to a predisposition in one way or the other. It could be the words they hear, the actions and behaviour of those around them or societal and religious norms. So, I make bold to ask: how badly have you been affected by either of these? Do you even know that it is very much possible to have negative attitude(s) toward a nicely preconceived WILL or vice-versa? Attitude has four major components that span between affection, cognition, conation and evaluation.

The affective component relates to emotions or feelings. They are always the combination of yours and theirs (those around you). So, when you inertially concentrate more on their feelings than yours, they end up shaping your decision. A quick look at the person of David, a Biblical character, brings to fore the essence of having one’s emotions over those of others. In 1 Sam 17, we see where David takes supplies to his brothers at the war front. While he tarries, he sees Goliath the bully and the WILL to kill him is formed. His brother, Eliab, perceives that as pride, arrogance and his anger (emotion) is kindled against David. He ignores Eliab’s emotion. He refuses to wear his label and focuses on his—the emotion or feeling of success.

An anonymous quote says ‘It’s not what you are that is holding you back, it’s what you think you’re not’. It’s really saddening to know that most people concentrate more on the beliefs and opinions of others about them. This is what the cognitive component of attitude examines. It asserts that beliefs and opinions that are held consciously by an individual form about 50% of their thoughts in decision making process. For that one reason, the mind will always remain a powerful tool! Jabez, another Biblical character, suddenly gets tired of wearing the crazy labels his mum and others put on him; he discovers he wants more out of life and can be better. He forms a new will about his existence and personality with the conative attitude. That is, the inclination for action.

Jabez doesn’t just stop at forming the will of ‘I want to be better than this’, he follows it up with action —praying hard and working very hard, making sure that he’s undeterred by people’s ridicule. I can imagine God saying to Angel Gabriel ‘Look down there at Jabez, everyone’s against him. His own mother labeled him pain, failure, loser but listen to what he’s saying. He still believes he has a great future, he still believes he’s a person of destiny, he believes what I said about him more than what his own mother has said about him’. That is the right attitude toward the right will.

The evaluative attitude is the prompt that reflects very deeply on your positive or negative response to stimuli—challenging situations. Challenges are bound to come and when they do, what happens to that big dream, that big step you’re about to take? What happens to that new business you just started? Christopher Columbus says ‘You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore’. In those ‘most’ trying moments, just focus on the future of your dreams and ignore what life was like before you took that step. Turn deaf ears to those who try to discourage you and rehearse the promises of God concerning you and that venture because He says He’ll do the very thing He hear(s) you say. Thomas Edison says, ‘Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up’. So, if you lose, it’s because you gave up.

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