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Some Kidding Aside – The Power of Choice

One of my favorite movie scenes of all time is in The Matrix. Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) sit facing each other in old leather armchairs. The room they are in mirrors the chairs perfectly. In what appears to have once been upscale decor, old paper peels off the wall and every surface is coated with a thick layer of dust.

The Power of Choice

After briefly discussing the concepts of fate and choice, Morpheus tells Neo why it is that Neo has come to this meeting. Like a carnival mind-reader, Morpheus looks into Neo’s eyes and tells him that he (Neo) senses there is something wrong with this world. That even though he can’t identify or explain it, he senses something is amiss.

Morpheus asks Neo if he knows what he is talking about and Neo correctly guesses he is referring to the Matrix. He then asks Neo if he would like to know what the Matrix is and Neo nods his head.

Morpheus tells Neo that he, like everyone around him, is a slave, imprisoned within an invisible jail. He then produces a silver case which holds two pills, one red, the other blue. Each pill represents a choice that Neo has before him. He can either take the red pill and stay imprisoned within the comfortable, the familiar, the ordinary, or he can take the blue pill and find out “…how deep the rabbit hole goes.”

The first step to choosing your own reality is realizing your Power of Choice.

The reason this scene resonates with me is that it represents a perfect metaphor for the human condition. We are all born into a set of circumstances, our looks, our social status, our financial condition, our faith, where we live, how we live, every component is a part of the matrix into which we are born. We unquestioningly accept these circumstances as truth and act accordingly.

Let me put it another way. When we are born, it’s as if we walk into a room with a television show called My Life playing on the TV. Most people just plop themselves down on the couch and watch that show for the rest of their lives because they don’t realize that A] there are other channels available, and B] they are holding the remote control and can change the channel any time they want.

It never dawns on most people that we have the ability to break out of this matrix, to choose a different reality. What would our lives be like if we could swallow a pill or click a button, accept a different truth, and walk a different path? Where would you be? What would your life be like? How would you spend your time?

The first step to choosing your own reality is realizing your Power of Choice.

Excerpted from The Seven Powers of Success; Unlock Your Strengths, Unleash Your Dreams.  © 2013 Charles MarshallCharles Marshall is a nationally known humorous motivational speaker and author. Visit his Web site at or contact him via e-mail at  

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