It all started with a little chat from an unexpected person. I was sitting at home, kinda depressed about life. Nothing seemed to be going the way I wanted. I had missed some opportunities I was excited for, I felt I had almost shut the door on other opportunities but don't know how. I was just not in the best of moods. For some reason this friend decided to come over, and just hang out. He may have been the last person I'd expect to come. Well we get talking about life. The usual subjects, school, girls, and work. Mostly girls. He gave me some advice that has since changed the course of my life. He told me to set some goals of things I could accomplish, but would take a lot of effort and will power to do. So I did. I decided this year I'm going to run a marathon.
Since then, everything has changed. As I've been training for my marathon, I've seen certain things change in my life. I've been more confident, had more energy, and am able to focus more on my studies now then ever before. I've even felt more spiritual then I have in a long time. Now the best part is that it all started with a decision I made. The plan to, no matter what pain, anguish or exhaustion, complete the 26.2 miles.
Now the scary part. So about a week after I made my choice and started training, I found myself studying the very thing that has changed the course of my life. Free will. My ethics and values class had me listening for almost an hour to two psychologists debate about the reality of free will. Whether it exists and therefore we have the ability to change the course of our lives in a matter of seconds, or it does not and our lives have already been predetermined, therefore making free will the simple result of cause and effect with the electric impulses in our brains. Well, I'm not one to be able to focus on two people talking for an hour then read pages and pages of what they had talked about without giving my thoughts a little break. So that was my plan as I was studying the hall of flags on campus. Well my break was a book. "Mere Christianity". As you may have read in my previous blog this book didn't give me the break I was looking for. Instead, I was lured into the idea of a common sense of right and wrong and the power our decision can make. So basically the opposite of the lecture I was listening to earlier. This of course had me stop and think about what I really believe about free will. Well, at that point my spirituality and possibly my own arrogance took over. I saw that a world without free will is a world without hope. Without peace or excitement, without adventure and curiosity. None of the greatest feelings would exist if we could not will our own decisions. With this thought I closed my book and computer and went to study something a little easier to learn. Biology.
My experience couldn't end there though. Seeing that I had some free time on my hands tonight I decided to watch a movie before going to bed. I chose a movie I didn't know anything about, but I've seen it on my roommates shelf for a while and was curious to see it. The movie was "The Adjustment Bureau". If anyone knows anything about this movie it's about the power of free will. After the end of the movie and thinking all about what has happened to me recently I can't help but think I've learned one of the biggest lessons of my life. All the time we worry about doing the right thing. Fearing that a wrong choice could yield some horrible consequences. Well I've been reminded now that the best part of life are those opportunities. The chance to choose to take a chance. We have an enormous potential in us to be incredible people. It all comes down to our choices. From big choices like deciding what school to go to or who to marry. To the little choices of choosing to keep the feet moving for another .2 miles even though the rest of our body may be screaming to stop. These choices form who we are and what we can become. I've come to the ultimate conclusion that no matter what certain experiments say, with our agency we cause all the effects in the world.