The choice to think determines your reality. When you are conscious you have all the relationships you choose to have. When you choose to be healthy and prosperous you are clear about what your body requires and the direction your career is headed. With practice you learn to think faster and make clear choices, knowing you can always change your mind.

The choice to think is an alternative beyond decision, the experience of moving into the unknown with excitement rather than fear. The choice to think is to cause, to create, to survive and to prosper.

Our thoughts determine our relationships. As children we think creatively. In a gradual process by adulthood we go from creative thinking to defensive thinking. We stop making choices and make only one choice: the choice to survive. The choice to survive usually occurs at an early age when we are criticized for not effectively handling our environment. We begin to have thoughts about “not being good enough” or “being wrong.” The list of such thoughts is long and you can add many of your own. After a series of these thoughts we stumble into the choice not to think. Instead of finding life through conscious thought we create behavior patterns to avoid life.

We can reclaim our power and we can choose to think. Those who make this choice see more clearly than others who spend their entire lives avoiding loss and discomfort. The choice to think is the choice to live. It is what makes our species unique. A decision to avoid thinking is a commitment to disorder, death and disease. To avoid is to decide to be an extra in someone else’s life and to think someone else’s thoughts.

When you have made the choice to think as an individual you express the following characteristics:

• You have clarity about your past, present and future. You prefer clarity rather than vague impressions about yourself.

• You value freedom and experience this as responsibility. You never use freedom as license.

• You take full responsibility for creating and receiving all of the results in your life. You don’t play victim, blame or look for someone or something else to create your life for you.

• You go for the highest in yourself, playing the game of life at 100 percent. Rather than playing it safe and pretending to live your life in the comfort zone, you are willing to risk.

• You constantly move into present time, completing and forgiving. You do this rather than dragging on dead or dying relationships, feeling incomplete, playing avoidance games, being resentful or getting stuck in the past.

• You have long-term relationships. You choose to trust and accept that the transformation in your relationships is continuous, valuable and natural. You have flourishing alive relationships rather than an abundance of short relationships that dissolve when the slightest discomfort occurs, destroying those relationships before they transform.

• Change excites you. You experience transformation as the ability to have conscious experience beyond form. This is the opposite of being fearful of change. Resisting change, and being defensive, causes you to experience transformation as “the end.”

• You are accurate and courageous. You maintain your ethics and honor even under the threat of knowing that your truth is the doorway to your future. You choose to do that rather than to be “nice” and fearfully dishonest. You do that rather than turn your power over to others and become lost in random opinions, beliefs and feelings or suffer from chronic low self-esteem and helplessness.

• You have a commitment to excellence, going for mastery of everything you choose to do. You value your skills and acknowledge the skills of others. You are a counterpoint to those who are absent of real skill, training, experience or understanding and those who judge and “make wrong” others who view the acquisition of skill with passion and excitement.

• You trust your own body, mind, spirit and environment. You know that doubt, when experienced thoroughly, always transforms to self-trust. You recognize that those who have chosen not to think fear themselves, others and the “greater forces” they believe control them. You know that is how they allow themselves to become impotent and subject to “blind faith” rather than self-trust.

Life constantly confronts us with alternatives. The choices we make determine our sense of ourselves. We are the only species capable of rejecting and betraying our own minds, intelligence and aliveness. The extent to which we exercise our mind, or negate it directly, affects our relationship with ourselves, our family and our communities and ultimately the aliveness of our species and this planet.

Choice is creation. It is life itself and in life we are free to be anyone once we are aware of the choices. When we choose to sculpt ourselves the whole stone is available to us. We can sculpt a hero or a villain, a conscious creator or an unconscious victim. Our job is to choose to remove the unwanted chunks of stone while listening to our conscious self inside, screaming to be transformed and made visible to the world. If we don’t accept that job then we go on living like weeds and driftwood as unconscious victims at the dubious mercy of our environment.

You must remove the chunks of stone. You must move beyond fate and destiny.

As a sculptor works with their hands you must choose to use your mind to create your conscious self. You are creation, not an unconscious object at the mercy of known and unknown forces. Each of us is a capable and creative being who has been given the opportunity to become a miserable marriage partner or a wonderful lover, a serious lover or a joyous companion, a common rock or a great work of art. These choices are available to each of us.

Our brains constantly receive an incomprehensible number of thoughts. These thoughts are already there, meaning that they exist now, simultaneously, outside of our brain. We then filter and distinguish those we choose to create and cause knowingly. When we think at the level of choice we move beyond current understanding. We move to an alternative beyond decision. The choice to create our relationships is a willingness to go beyond solely what we want for ourselves. It is a commitment beyond our own limitations and barriers.

Inherent in the choice to think is commitment without effort and struggle. We get little external support for fun, playful, satisfying relationships that seem to be going nowhere. Instead we are encouraged to have significant, serious, meaningful, obligated relationships that are “going somewhere.” Our choice to relate the way we do is constantly being challenged yet that choice is aliveness itself. That’s been my experience and it works well for all my relationships. With the choice to think comes certainty, clarity of mind and direction. This is to know rather than to think.

When you know through your own experience you transcend belief. When you transcend belief to knowing in your relationships 90 percent of your problems disappear and those remaining can be solved without effort and struggle. Belief is required only when insufficient experience has occurred, when there is no certainty. Do you know or do you believe in God? Marriage? Love? Astrology? Vitamin supplements?

When you have made the choice to think you transcend belief. You move beyond form. You move beyond organized religion, beyond gurus, beyond priests, beyond rabbis, beyond ministers. You move beyond the middlemen, beyond retail. You get whatever you choose wholesale. You go directly to the God you know as you know yourself. The need for belief disappears. At that point, the person who tells you that there is no God has no impact. No person’s logic, compounded rationale or implied scientific data will cause you uncertainty.

The same is true of love, friendship and joy. You are beyond current understanding, beyond decision, beyond belief, beyond institution, biology and form. No one can convince you that your direct experience does not exist. Many of us do not choose to distinguish the difference between direct experience and memory of experience. We should. It is, for example, the difference between loving someone and telling them so, and operating from the memory of once having loved them.

The choice to think is metaphysical, formless, easy, unlimited and boundless. It is recognition that thoughts are metaphysical things with the power to create or destroy matter. The choice to think is the commitment to be willing to transform into whatever form is necessary to relate and be in alive relationships. It is the willingness to be anything.

A gifted teacher and author, Frank Natale was founder and creative director of Frank Natale & Associates, an experiential education organization presenting seminars throughout the United States, Europe and Australia. Natale emphasized self-discovery, personal responsibility and choice as paths to conscious living and spiritual growth.

 Article excerpted from Relationships for Life by Frank Natale. For more information visit

Creative strategist Ralph Cissne is the principal of Morgan Road, a marketing and communications company representing clients in health, fitness and personal development. Cissne also serves as director of Natale Life Skills and has edited and published Natale’sThe Wisdom of Midlife and Relationships for Life and the online course Results: The Willingness to Create available



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