Freedom is one of the essential properties of our true nature. In freedom, comes the notion of free will, embodying both internal liberty as well as external independence. The trained Warrior understands and appreciates this freedom and thus retains complete control over his actions, thoughts, and emotions—the latter of the three being the most difficult and rewarding to master.
Buddhism speaks of Right Thought, Right Speech, and Right Action as parts of the Path to peace. “Rightness”—integrity and mindful behavior—comes from choice. No force can make you do anything, and so you have complete control over how you behave. Eventually, through the practice of mediation and training, you understand that you have the same power over your mind and emotional state, which is the road to self-mastery.
We each hold great power in Free Will, perhaps more than we give ourselves credit for. Our lives are completely dictated by each of us—by our choices—and not by external events. We cannot control what happens “out there,” but we can control what happens “in here.” We can choose the way we process, hold, and react to events and situations both internally and outwardly. And in almost every case, the “I have no choice” scenario is completely false. You may feel like you have no choice, but in reality, you are making the decision to participate. You choose your commitments, you terms, your lines in the sand. You are never stuck in a routine or trapped in a life circumstance; on the contrary, you are making the decision to stick around, and you can make the decision to change. Recognize this and know that in either case—in staying or in altering—you are acting from free will.
Do not take for granted this inherent ability you posses. Do not overlook even the smallest, most mundane choices you make each day. Be grateful for your fantastic nature of freedom, and with every decision, every choice you make, appreciate and hold dear your extraordinary potential to steady or change your life as you see fit. With this in mind, as a true Warrior, honor your freedom and yourself by not only valuing the ability to choose but also by taking responsibility for your actions, your words, and your life. In other words, Own Up! Your life is YOUR doing! So YOU choose what sort of life you want to have and be grateful for the choice.