The Power to Choose

I was recently contacted by Stephen Hopson of Adversity University. He started a series of interviews at his blog, and he wanted me to participate.

After reading through one of his existing interviews, I agreed. Stephen sent me a list of interview questions, and I began composing my responses to them. Most of the questions were fairly straightforward, but eventually I reached a real stumper:

What would you say was the defining moment that forever changed the course of your life?

I thought long and hard — is there really one single moment that stands out from the rest? Just like anyone else, I’ve had many experiences that have been life-altering.

I could talk about the boating accident that I was in when I was only six years old. I could say that it was the defining moment that forever changed the course of my life because I consider myself lucky to even have an opportunity to experience life after six.

The thing is, the accident happened so long ago that I barely remember any of it. Shouldn’t the “defining moment that forever changed the course of my life” be something that I remember vividly? Something that still affects me today?

I could talk about the time that I flew a plane at the young age of 14. I could say that it was the defining moment that forever changed the course of my life because at the time, becoming a pilot was my life’s goal. By the time we landed, it no longer was.

In other words, flying a plane changed the course of my life only because it was a bad experience. I became air-sick, I vomited mid-flight, and I practically kissed the ground once my feet were planted firmly back on it. Shouldn’t the “defining moment that forever changed the course of my life” be something that I remember fondly? Something that made a positive impact on my life?

I could talk about the first time I really left home. I could talk about the time I almost fell 30 feet to my death. I could talk about the time I declined a job offer, and then a month later a gunman shot three people in that workplace.

My point is that there are countless life experiences that one can learn from. That’s the entire point of my blog — to share these experiences, good or bad, in an effort to raise awareness.

You can learn from my mistakes, or partake in them. You can follow in my footsteps, or avoid them. You can take in all that I’m sharing, and then make a choice as to how you want to respond to my thoughts and experiences. Ultimately, that’s the most defining factor in anyone’s life: The Power to Choose.

Come to think of it, there is an experience that stands out from the rest — the first time I really understood that I even had the power to choose. Sometimes you lose sight of that power, convince yourself that you’re truly stuck, and believe that the only solution is well beyond your reach.

It was a hard lesson learned but I’ve never forgotten it: You always have a choice. Look for my discussion of this experience in Part I of my interview at Adversity University.

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8 Responses to “The Power to Choose”

#1 Jinno on 18, Jan, 2008 at 9:05 pm

Sounds similar to a situation I had in 07. I’m currently enrolled in an AP Composition class (worst mistake of my life, btw, it started off and continues to be the reason why I am a bit behind in my other coursework), and early this school year we were asked to write a paper about a moment that really impacted us, and use the idea that we got from that moment to create a universal thesis.

What it ended up being was that I spent upwards of a week just trying to think of why I am the way I am. People kept encouraging me to write about why I stopped believing in God, but anytime I tried to think of a moment that defined my reason to not believe, I couldn’t think of any. Everything was such a gradual and compounding process that I couldn’t pick one moment. Others encouraged me to write about my reason to want to develop video games, but when it came down to that I realized that my personal narrative would lend itself more to fiction than truth.

I ended up writing my paper about an experience I had at the local Relay for Life last summer. One of my better friends (the girl I went to prom with) was there, and so was a Christian band. This girl is quite devout in her beliefs, but in my own idiocy I made a stupid comment, regarding the band, that she took to be against her religion entirely. Not how I intended it, but when the paper was complete my thesis was about being careful with words, and to always respect others.

I rambled far too much there. ox; But I’m really looking forward to see what you came up with for your defining moment, reading about all of your escapades has really brought some good thought into my mind over the past year.

#2 “Stephen Hopson Interview” with Shaun Boyd Coming Up! on 18, Jan, 2008 at 10:11 pm

[…] Apparently the question, What would you say was the defining moment that forever changed the course of your life? had him stumped to the point where he felt compelled to write an entire article in response.  You can see it at The Power to Choose.  […]

#3 Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker on 19, Jan, 2008 at 11:33 pm

I enjoyed this article and am looking forward to finding out more about you when Stephen does your interview.

#4 Stephen Hopson/Adversity University on 20, Jan, 2008 at 6:31 pm


What a fantastic post in response to one of my questions over at “Stephen Hopson Interviews”! Not only was it well written but it was also quite thought provoking.

Indeed the question is: How do we define what was a turning point in our lives? Should it be something you remembered, something that was scary/pleasant or something that made a positive impact? These are truly thought provoking! Thanks for participating in my interview. My readers are very excited about the interview airing on Wednesday the 23rd. 🙂

#5 David Bradley on 21, Jan, 2008 at 9:48 am

Shaun, as usual, great post/acticle/insight. I just wanted to say that your site is still going strong with fantastic articles. I hope all is well with you.

#6 Clava Ghirca on 23, Jan, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Hello, Shaun,

I was searching for all kind of solutions and passed few times on the same page…I came back and read the “10 Articles That Changed My Life” and put it on my favorites.
Thank you!

#7 Deb Estep on 26, Jan, 2008 at 8:50 am

Hey Shaun,

Okay, are you certain you are 25 ? LOL
Has anyone ever said… “You’re an old soul?”

Just in case you have not heard it, let me say it…. “You’re an old soul”.

I believe that many times over in our life we come to forks in the road and the choices made change the direction completely. SOMETIMES though, it’s not even a choice we make, but someone else makes for us, or something happens that changes things.

No one has ever asked me that question, but I could not answer it with only one thing. It would be like decorating my Christmas tree with only one ornament. I need them all to make the tree.

#8 43 Memorable Posts In The Blogosphere From 2008 - Spiritual Blog on 20, Dec, 2008 at 2:11 am

[…] What Everyone Ought To Know About Renewing Yourself at  Hit Your Goals The Power To Choose at Life Reboot   How To Focus: Five Levels of Mental Focus You Might Not Aware of at Life […]

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