The Fourth of July brings to mind many thoughts and images that I am grateful for,
from fireworks and lightning bugs to the history of our nation’s independence and our
forefathers. But nothing rings more vivid in my head than the word freedom. The
Fourth of July celebrates Independence Day, the day we as a nation and a people
gained our freedom. I believe this is something that we as Americans should
never take for granted. We are a blessed nation.

Reflecting on the word freedom, I am reminded of what Dr.
Stephen Covey calls our three birth gifts, one of which being the freedom to
choose. It is between stimulus and response that we execute this freedom.
Provided a certain stimulus, we have the freedom to choose the response. This
concept reminds me that we are not mere victims of our circumstances. If that
were the case, we most likely would not be celebrating an Independence Day! Our
forefathers were always free. Maybe some were in bondage or had limited choices
and resources, but none the less, their minds were free. No matter what the
circumstances they had a great power to choose how they would respond to their
circumstances. And respond they did!

The freedom to choose is powerful and something we must
never forget. There are many things that we cannot control. We cannot control
what others think of us. We cannot control what others may do to us. We cannot
control what others may say to us. But we can always control how we respond.
And with some careful thought we can identify other things that we can control,
even in situations where we feel powerless.

It is when we start taking control of our emotions and
responses as well as some of those other little things that we begin to gain
momentum. Weight loss goals, family issues, job issues, etc., start to slowly
turn in your favor and eventually you hit that tipping point!

This Fourth of July I encourage you to remember your birth
gift, the freedom to choose. It is a powerful gift that we should never take for
granted. Keep pushing towards your prize, each day choosing to take action on those things which you can and should.

Have a wonderful Fourth everyone!


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