Your Life Your Choice

You just have to read the papers or listen to the news and you’ll probably agree that it’s one crazy world that we live in!

But what if you made a conscious decision not to tune into the media? How would the world seem to you then?

The point here is that our perceptions of the world around us are heavily influenced and shaped by groups of other people and the norms and standards that these groups choose to promote and apply.

“The world is a complex place, and the influence of the media in its representation and its power of communication and interpretation is a remarkable amplifier of emotions, and of illusions.”

– Tariq Ramadan

Your life your choice

Your Life Your Choice (continued)


The influence of others

In fact, our perceptions of life in general are influenced and shaped by others.

During our formative years in particular, we are influenced at every turn by the amorphous collective called ‘society’ and its judgement about what is success and what is failure, what is good and what is bad, acceptable and not acceptable, important and unimportant, and so on and so on.

It’s small wonder that most people live their lives ‘in the shadow’ of society, struggling to live up to what they believe is expected of them and feeling powerless to change the world that they live in.

The wind of life

Please reflect for a moment on which of the following metaphorical analogies best describes your life?

“I experience life as a feather being blown around by the wind. I am at the mercy of the wind and whatever creates it. My life is as uncertain and unpredictable as the strength and direction of the wind. I have some days when I feel calm and at peace and others when I feel shaken and buffeted by this force I cannot control. Life is unpredictable, difficult, unjust, and full of ups and downs. To survive in this harsh world, I have no choice but to go with the flow and see where it takes me.”

“I experience life as an accomplished sailor using the changing winds to help propel me on my journey. My overall course is set but I adapt my short-term journey to suit the strength and direction of the wind that I face. Every day brings with it new and exciting challenges which help me grow and develop. Throughout everything I remain on course and true to my objective. My life is exhilarating, meaningful and perfectly balanced.”

Conditioned by society

Sadly, we have become conditioned by society, and the forces in society that wield power, to believe the lie that we are only as much as what we have to show in the way of wealth and material possessions … rather than who we are on the inside and what we have to contribute to the world.

Instead of proactively taking control of our lives through making well-considered or conscious choices, we live ‘unconsciously’ simply reacting impulsively to whatever life throws us.

Life coaching and conscious living

Life coaching seeks to change, or reverse this conditioning by shifting a person’s ‘locus of control’ from external (i.e. life being beyond our control) to internal (i.e. life being within our control).

New Insights life coaching, in particular, encourages  purpose-driven living as opposed to needs-driven living. In other words, we encourage clients to embrace and practice ‘conscious living’ which involves the careful consideration of one’s actions and behaviours in terms of how well they align with our values and life purpose.

Needs-driven and purpose-driven living

Let’s take a look at the difference between the typical needs-driven lives that most people on our planet have become used to, and the purpose-driven lives that were intended for us.

When you live unconsciously you are disconnected from your inner being.
You are driven by meeting basic needs to survive in the external world.
Your thoughts are automatic, unchecked and focused on your needs.
To meet your needs you indulge in various actions and behaviours.
These actions and behaviours have outcomes,
Which may or may not result in your needs being met.
And thus you develop beliefs about the best ways to meet your needs,
Which, in turn, shapes your values or what is important in life.
Your life is uncertain, unpredictable, lacking balance and meaning.

When you live consciously you are connected with your inner being.
You are driven by the life purpose that is revealed by your inner being.
Your thoughts are deliberately harnessed and focused on your purpose.
Your purpose shapes your values or what is important in life.
Your values inform your beliefs.
Your beliefs influence the nature of the goals you will set.
Your goals will determine your actions and behaviours.
These actions and behaviours will result in ensuring you have all you need.
Your life is within your control, joyful, meaningful, balanced.

Your life, your choice

The crux of my message today is that you, along with every person, have a choice of how to live your life.

If you feel compelled to make the shift from a needs driven existence to a life of purpose – and who wouldn’t – help is at hand in the form of professional life coaching!


This is the official Blog for New Insights Life Coach Training. Find out more about life coaching and becoming a life coach here:



468 ad


  1. Arie Roos
    Apr 28, 2017

    Thank you Bill. This post has given me some cool insights in the New Insights session about needs.

    • Bill Burridge
      Apr 28, 2017


  2. Hloni
    Apr 27, 2017

    wow I am lost for words Bill…so profound.

    • Bill Burridge
      Apr 28, 2017


  3. I have had such an interesting month with this, Bill. My husband and I decided to do the Whole30 diet which involves eating wholefoods for 30 days, no dairy, no grains and no added sugar. It has taken huge effort to stop the convenience of processed and packaged foods. It has also made me aware of how hard it is to choose a course of action that goes against your habits and the mainstream way. Without a clear purpose, it would have been impossible. For 28 days we have consciously chosen a longer term perspective over instant gratification and what a useful experience it has been!

    • Bill
      Apr 27, 2017

      How interesting, Tania! I wonder, are you feeling more ‘whole’ now?

  4. Bill
    Apr 26, 2017

    Indeed Colin … Flexibility, resilience and conscious living is the key!

  5. Karen
    Apr 26, 2017

    Wow, Bill! It is so heart warming to realise how the quality of my life has been transformed by my life coaching journey. The value of this blog lies in its comparison between living a purpose driven life and just going with the flow. I found myself ticking all the statements under a purpose driven life. I have loved being able to empower others to transform their lives from the time I became an accredited New Insights Pro Life Coach. There is nothing more fulfilling than being able to make a difference in the lives of others – especially as a life coach. I have the best job in the world!

    • Bill
      Apr 26, 2017

      Thanks for your added inspiration Karen!

  6. Jana Field
    Apr 26, 2017

    Excellent post Bill. Very important points to note when we allow the external world to influence us.

    • Bill
      Apr 26, 2017

      Thanks Jana. I guess it is well nigh impossible not to be influenced by the external world – after all we have to live alongside it. The key is to keep aware of the fact that we have the inner power to live consciously and design our own lives

  7. Colin
    Apr 26, 2017

    Thanks for setting out so succinctly what us older folk already know, but what the younger generation have to come to terms with. The world is certainly a very different place to what it was 40 to 50 years ago and one needs to pay attention to this and so set and re-set your sails as the winds of change come your way. There is no doubt that you have to have goals that set your course. I have found that my 10 year plan became a 5 year plan and the 5 year plan more like a one year guide. Life has become far too unpredictable and you need to be able to adapt much quicker.

Submit a Comment

You have to agree to the comment policy.