You Are The CEO — The Chooser of Experiences and Outcomes in Your Life

Who determines the experiences you have and the outcomes you achieve?  Can we humans choose these?  What does the “terrain” of human choice look like?  Is it in our nature to be able to choose?

For thousands of years philosophers have explored the frontiers of the nature of the human being.  What they found was determined in great part by the features they were looking for.  This is like the mappers of geography who found different features underwater, underland, overland, in the air, and in outer space. Or the mappers of the biology of the planet, who found different creatures and features when they looked in the oceans, in the air, or on land.  Likewise the early mappers of human nature found different features.  For example, while Hobbes and Locke focused on the rights and behavior of individuals, Marx and Hegel focused more on the influence of the group over individuals (Leys, 1952. Ethics for Policy Decisions, p135).  These mappers described different features of the human experience, of how we as humans relate to our experience, which can be synthesized into five primary relationships, to self, other, group, nature (the creative process), and spirit (the creative source).  When I look at humanity today, with what we are aware of as humans, and with the challenges we are taking on, I see a new feature emerging in the nature of humankind, that of choice.  Choice in what we experience and the outcomes we achieve through our interactions.

What does this mean to you? As an individual, as a member of many groups, such as your family, your friends, your work, your community, your country, your planet, your universe, what does this mean to you?  It means that you choose.  You choose the experience in and outcomes of your interactions.  Whether these choices are conscious or unconscious, they are choices, and they are yours.

This means you are a chooser of experiences and outcomes in your life.  You are the CEO, the Chooser of Experiences and Outcomes.  As the CEO, of your life, you choose.  With ecosynomics we explore what that choice looks like.  What others are learning about how to choose.  What choices lead to the energizing, abundant experiences and outcomes few experience and we all want, and which lead to de-energizing disengagement, fatigue, and scarcity in experience and outcomes most experience and nobody wants.  You are the CEO, so you choose.

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Choosing Our Agreements, Consciously — 4 Quotes

A core tenet of my work is that we unconsciously accept most of the agreements that fundamentally influence our experience and our outcomes, and that it is possible to see these agreements and to consciously choose them.  In my recent readings, I came across some quotes looking at this choice.

Nobel laureate in literature, George Bernard Shaw, in Maxims for Revolutionists, wrote, The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.  Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

Once British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, in Lothair, wrote, “Action may not always be happiness,..but here is no happiness without action.”  I suggest that choice might not always bring happiness, but there is no resilient capacity for happiness or wellness, however one defines it for oneself, without conscious choice.

Nobel laureate in physics, Richard Feynman, in Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!, wrote, “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself–and you are the easiest person to fool” (p 343).  To be okay with unconsciously accepting the agreements that most influence your experience and outcomes is to give over the power of your will, your future, to someone else.

In his bestselling The 4-Hour Workweek, a manifesto on rethinking our basic agreements about working and living, Timothy Ferriss observes, “If everyone is defining a problem or solving it one way and the results are subpar, this is the time to ask, What if I did the opposite? Don’t follow a model that doesn’t work” (p 30).  Just because everyone seems to accept a set of agreements, consciously or unconsciously, does not mean that these agreements actually lead to the experience and outcomes they say they do or that these agreements are right for you.  To know that, you have to ask the question.

A hat tip to Timothy Ferriss for these four quotes.