Questions and Answers about AgencyAug 04, 2022
In today’s podcast episode I’m answering a few questions that I’ve received recently:
Once you become aware of what’s happening in your brain, shouldn’t it get easier to resolve the conflict between your brain and your spirit?
If life is really 50/50, why does it seem like my brain only gives me 100% negative thoughts?
What happens if agency (either the way I use mine or the way someone else uses theirs) messes up God’s plan or goes against his will?
I think the answers I share will help you think about your agency differently and help you become a better chooser and a better creator in your life.
Remember that your brain is always busy asking questions and the answers our brain gives us are in direct relation to the quality of these questions. We can make a huge impact on the quality of the answers we are getting in our lives by intentionally asking our brain more powerful, useful questions.
Questions and Answers About Agency
When it comes to what you want to choose in your own life, what you want to create, what you want to have, feel, and do…
Agency is at the heart of it all.
But no matter where we are on our journey of exercising our agency and choosing the kind of life we want to build, we’ll always have questions.
How do we know if we’re making any progress?
Can our choices take us off the path we’re meant for?
Why doesn’t our brain ever seem to cut us a break?
We want to know that we’re going the right way, but sometimes trying to do everything “right” misses the point.
You can’t choose wrong, because there’s learning in every choice
We think about God's will for us almost like it’s a puzzle. Like He has this perfect picture puzzle for us that he’s keeping a secret.
And somehow, we're supposed to figure out what the next piece of the puzzle is and where it goes, even though we’ve never seen it.
We’re praying to know what the picture is and praying to ask, “What is it that you want me to do? What is it that you want my life to look like?” When really God’s like, I just want you to learn how to choose.
In diving further into these questions and answers about agency, I want to give you a few more things to consider that I think will help you in choosing and creating the earthlife experience you want.
- Why God gives us agency in the first place
- Why our brain offers us the negative no matter how many circumstances we change
- That the goal isn’t to erase all conflict, and what to aim for instead
- How to encourage your brain to provide different feedback
Welcome to the 100% awesome podcast with April Price. You might not know it, but every result in your life is. 100% because of the thought you think. And that, my friends, is 100% awesome.
Hello Podcast Universe. Welcome to Episode 170 of the 100% Awesome Podcast. I am April Price, and I am so grateful to be with you today. I am back home. I am back in my usual podcasting closet and I am delighted to be back home and back, sort of in the routine of things, back in my office bag, in my bed. There's really no place like home. And I want to thank all of you for being out there. I am so grateful that you are listening to the podcast, enjoying it, sharing it. Please share this podcast with somebody that you love. I have had recently so many people. I said, Well, how'd you find me? And they said, Oh, I found your podcast. And I said, How would you find it? And they said somebody had recommended it to them and somebody had passed it on to them. And so, I just I hope that if you get anything from these episodes, that you will pass it on to somebody that you love and spread the word.
So what else? What is happening? I just started a brand new coaching group and I have to say, like, I have the best job in the world. I love my job so much and I am so excited to be working with these clients and helping them create what they want in their lives. I always say that the exact right people end up in the groups and this time it's no different. It's just amazing to me how valuable each other's coaching can be in our own transformation.
So, any way that is happening, we are like getting better and better at empty nest ing. We are adjusting, I should say, we are getting used to things and I feel like this is the season for change for us and actually probably for many of you as well, right? With school starting and new schedules, new routines, new goals there are a lot of changes around our house and I suspect that there are quite a few happening around yours. And for me, in addition to my new group and like adjusting to life without our children right here at home, I've been doing kind of the final preparations for my big endurance event that's coming up like at the end of September. And we're just like sort of ramping up now for the last big push. And so, I'm spending like all my extra time and energy training for that and getting closer to it all the time. And I was reminded the other day that like, you can't put in the work and not have it work, right? So like, it doesn't mean that this endurance event like is in the bag and it's a sure thing for me. But I have noticed recently like how much progress I have made, even if my brain, like really refuses to see it.
So, the other day when we were up in Utah, we went to Sundance to the little outdoor theater there and watch to play and to get back to the car. We ended up hiking up the mountain and I was like surprised at how easy and natural that hike felt. And I was like, Wow. Like, the truth is, you can't do the work and not have it work, not have it change. You and I want to offer you that same thought anywhere in your life, right? I know your brain wants to tell you that you aren't making any progress and that what you're doing, is it making a difference that it doesn't matter. And like sometimes I'll even have clients say, like, I've been trying to change my brain, but it just feels like it's not working. Like I still have negative thoughts. I still like have a critical voice in my head and like, I get it right. Like even on the treadmill, it's still hard.
And my brain says that it should be easy by now and that I should be stronger by now and that I shouldn't have all this resistance. But for all of us, it's like that is not going away. We're going to talk about that more later in the podcast. But if you look for them, you will also have moments where you see that in fact you have changed and that it is undeniable to see that change right? The way that you handle the circumstances of your life, the way that you see yourself, the way that you treat yourself, the words that you say to yourself, just the shortening of like the emotional spiral thing and like the ability to change things quickly and see things in a different way. Like it all is changing you and you can't do that work and not actually have it work, not have it make changes in your life.
So, I just want to say keep going. Your brain is a terrible judge of your progress, but it is there. It is happening. So keep going. Whatever changes you are making, whatever changes in your mind or in in your life you are making, keep at it like it really is changing. And this is just your little pep talk to keep at it. Don't let your brain tell you that it's not working. Okay, and with that, we will get on to the podcast.
So, I have had a few experiences lately, where people have asked me questions. That I thought that you might have as well, actually, because as I answered their questions, I thought, oh my gosh, it might be so useful for all of you to hear these questions and answers as well. They might have come up in your own mind as well. And I think these answers can help you see things differently in your life. So, today I'm going to describe those questions, answer them in the hopes that they will help you. And in one way or another, I think all of these questions kind of center around the idea of agency centered around our ability to choose.
And so, I think they will really help you as you go to choose in your own life what you want to create, what you want to have, what you want to feel, what you want to do. I think these questions and answers can help. So, when I was in Utah, I had the opportunity to be on a podcast and be interviewed, and the guy that was interviewing me asked a question and he said, You know, I've been listening to you for a long time and I understand that I have this conflict inside me. There's right there's what my brain wants, what my natural man wants, and then there's what my spirit wants, what the eternal me wants. And I see that conflict inside of me between my brain and my spirit. But as I get better at managing my brain, shouldn't that go away? Shouldn't that conflict get easier? Shouldn't it resolve itself and get better? Like, if I'm doing this right and I'm managing my mind, shouldn't the conflict itself start to go away? And shouldn't my brain start to, like, see things differently? And if you have had that same question, what I want to offer you is, is to really think about what if that conflict went away? What if the resistance your brain offered you went away? What would you be left with? And notice how if there is no conflict between you and your brain, there is also no choice.
Suddenly, there's no choice between what your brain wants and what you want. And you no longer have to practice the muscle or practice the skill of choosing. In so many ways if that conflict went away, like if we could manage our mind out of that conflict and the choice itself just disappeared. It would be like managing our way out of the fall, right? We would be left without the alternative, without the opposition. And if that happened, you would lose the chance to keep choosing, which means, in fact, you would lose the chance to keep growing and exercising your muscle of agency. There is no off ramp to the human experience, no matter how many circumstances we change in our lives. Our brains are still going to offer us the negative, no matter how many times we change our thoughts and choose something besides what our brain is offering us. No matter how many times we do that, our brain is still going to offer us the opposition a chance to choose. Now, this is true because of our biology. That's how our brain is always going to work.
And it's true because this is the plan of God that he set it up this way, that in fact, every day, every hour of the life you live, you would have a chance to choose. I personally believe that we can get better and better at making the choice of what we want over what our brain wants. For me, you know, it can get faster and faster. And for example, I don't spend a lot of time worrying anymore, right? Every time my brain starts to worry, I can almost immediately redirect to the thought that everything is happening for me and that anything that that I'm worried about happening to me is none of my business anyway.
My business is always to choose after the thing has happened, right? And so, it's really easy for me to get out of worry and and choose the thought that everything is happening for me. On the other hand, like other thoughts for me are much harder, right? Like my brain likes to offer me all the time that I am bad and I have a much harder time immediately redirecting to know I am good. But I'm practicing it. I'm working at it, right? So, I just want you to know that there is no amount of practice that is going to eliminate the system that you live under in which there is choice, in which there is always presented an opposition. And I just want to offer you that this is actually one of the reasons that I worship Christ, not because he had mastered his brain. So, there was no longer a conflict between his brain and his spirit. But in fact, I worship him because he is so good at choosing in the face of his brain, in the face of his fear, in the face of all of everything that his brain creates for him.
He's so good at choosing what his spirit wants, right? It was not in the absence of the opposition, but fully in the face of it. So, you aren't trying to get to a place where the conflict disappears. That isn't the goal. You are trying to get to the place where you are better and better at choosing in that moment of conflict between your brain and your spirit. And the fact that the conflict exists does not mean that you're doing it wrong.
Okay, number two, the second question I got from one of my clients, we were in a coaching session and she said, okay, I get that there is opposition in all things, right? I understand that it's supposed to be 50/50, that 50% positive, 50% negative. But if it's really 50/50, why doesn't my brain ever give me the 50% positive? Right? Like, why is my brain giving me , like, 100% negative or like at least 90% negative? Like, it seems like if it was really 50/50, my brain half the time would give me something positive. And she said, you know, it just doesn't seem like a fair fight, right? Like, I can't always see the two choices, right?
Sometimes it feels like I'm really only seeing one. My brain is only giving me one. It's only giving me the negative. And I'm not really seeing two choices there. And so, I don't know the right answer to this question, but this is how I see it in my mind. First of all, I think our brain sometimes does give us positivity, right? Like sometimes it notices that, oh, this tastes good or this feels good, or it gives us like a joyful thought. Like we aren't like getting 100% negative from our brain. But secondly, I'd like to think about myself like in my natural state without my brain in the way as like a bright blue sky, right? It's like a bright blue sky with no clouds in sight. The sun is shining, the sky is blue And like that is me without my brain in the way. Now my brain offers me thoughts, my brain process, the information of this world, and it offers me thoughts.
And those thoughts are like clouds across the sky, right? And sometimes, like, there are a lot of clouds and sometimes, like, I get like a storm, right? There are so many clouds that I get a storm. But but like, the truth is behind all of it is that bright blue sky. And I just really like to think about that, like, without the veil of your brain in the way. Like, it's all good, it's all positive, it's all goodness and light and joy, right? But our brain is providing the contrast. Our brain is providing the clouds. Our brain is providing the negative, right? That veil of our mind provides the negative. Without it, everything would be bliss, everything would be good, everything would be positive. And so, I think most often our brain is giving us the negative because like our natural state, where our spirit is just going to be all of that positivity and light. In other words, the positive is the natural state, and then our brain is providing the contrast that we need here on Earth in order to, like, provide an opportunity to choose.
And if that veil was removed, if your brain was removed right, then it's all good. It's all positive. It's all light and joy and love. Your brain is providing the contrast. Okay, finally, the last question that I want to answer. One of my children was asking about how our agency fits into God's will for us. Like, if he has a plan for us and we're down here using our agency, can we mess up that plan? And what about other people? If they have agency, can they mess up your plan? And if they can and if we can, then like, what's it all for? Right. And I think the problem arises when we think of God's plan as anything other than learning to choose, right? The plan doesn't exist as some sort of like entity or like perfect picture outside of your choices, right? Like like you're supposed to be creating an exact replica picture of what God wanted for you. Instead, you have to think about His plan as just a plan of choosing. He wants you to come and choose and learn to create through those choices. And his will for you is just to develop skills in making those choices.
So, I think sometimes we think about God's will for us as like a puzzle, right? Like he has this picture, like, a perfect picture for us, but he hasn't shown it to us. He's, like, keeping this picture secret. And then, somehow we're supposed to come down here and, like, figure out what the picture is and, like replicate it in this puzzle and try to, like put the pieces in the exact places where, like, that he has planned out in this like, secret picture. And we're always just like praying to know what the picture is. And praying to know, like, what is it that you want me to do? What is it that you want my life to look like when really he's just like, I just want you to learn how to choose, right? And I was listening to a podcast the other day and there was a guy. Named Jeff Strong, and he was talking about how like we sort of think like God has this like sharp edged out plan for us, right, in permanent marker. And if we don't guess right, we're going to mess up the whole plan.
And so, we're trying to figure out and we're always like, we know there's this like Sharpie plan and permanent marker, but he hasn't told us what it is. And he's just like, you know, don't mess it up. And that feels very scary and dangerous and vulnerable to us, right? And I really want to offer you that God's will isn't about what your life is supposed to look like, right? His will is just the way he lives according to a set of principles, according to the principles that he has learned to choose. He's a creator because he has learned to use his power to choose in such a powerful way that it creates our reality.
And he's given us the same opportunity to choose and to practice that skill and create our own realities. And as we do that, to see look at what I created with my choices, what else is possible, what could I change here and create something different? We all have opportunities and options in which to choose, not like a secret, like set of choices that we're supposed to make. And if we don't make them, everything else is going to go wrong. He simply wants us to choose and learn through that process what each choice creates and and then decide again, do I want to continue to create this? Am I ready to create something different? And we sort of look at our agency and we think like, okay, he's given us the right to choose, but secretly he's back there saying like, don't choose wrong.
And I just simply think that is not true, right? He's trying to get you to become a chooser, a creator through those choices. And so, he's just he wants you to be able to learn as you practice your agency. You're going to create certain outcomes and learn from those, and you cannot do that wrong. There is learning in every single choice you make, right? There aren't certain boxes or experiences that you need to check or your children need to check, or the people that you love need to check. There are just simply millions of choices that you get to make and each one of them is going to create something different for you. And there is learning for you no matter what you choose. And thinking about my choices in this way really changed my life. Instead of trying to figure out what is the thing that God wants me to do this like secret, like recreating the secret picture for me.
And like, I wasn't going to be happy and he wasn't going to let me be happy until I like guessed it right. I instead I just like put my focus on my own choices. And I got busy choosing and like living my life according to the principles of choice and then taking more and more responsibility for those choices. And as we learn to do that, we become more like him. We become more powerful creators. And I really want you to think about, like, the difference between thinking, like, okay, I'm trying to put together all the pieces of this puzzle. And I have never looked at the picture and like, God is hiding this picture from me and I don't know what it's supposed to be. And I'm just like lost down here trying to put these pieces together.
And instead, think of yourself as the creator, as a builder, right? It's like, you know, putting the clay on the on the wheel and creating the life you want through your choices. And I want you to when you see it that way, you see that you can't mess it up. That the whole plan is to learn to be a chooser and you can't mess that up and no one can mess that up for you, right? This is the beauty of the plan that no matter what somebody else chooses, you still have the choice to decide how you're going to think about that, how you're going to think about them, how you're going to think about yourself, how you're going to feel.
And that is the beauty of the plan, that that you can't mess it up and no one can mess it up for you, that in every moment you are given an opportunity to choose and there is learning in every single choice. Okay, I hope that those answers have helped you think about your agency a little bit different. Well, think about your mortality and what you're doing here, a little bit different in your ability to choose and create your life. And I just really want to hear at the end, just like show you and remind you of the power of asking better questions.
The other day I was working with my coach and I was like really overwhelmed with my training plan and like everything else that was going on in my life and like in this moment of frustration, I just asked like, how am I possibly going to do this? And he reminded me that he said, April, your brain is going to go to work answering the questions that you give it. And when you give it a question like, how am I possibly going to do this? It's going to give you all the reasons that you can't. It's going to tell you all the reasons that you can't possibly do this thing right. And he said, it's just so important that you recognize that you always put your brain to work answering the questions you give it. So, ask it powerful questions.
So, for example, one question that I find myself asking a lot is like, what is wrong with me? And I'm like, if you ask that question of your brain, your brain is going to be like, let me tell you, let me tell you all the things that are wrong with you, right? This is not a useful question. There are some other questions that are not useful. Why isn't it working? Why can't I figure this out? Why is it easier for other people? Why is this so hard? What if I can't have what I want? What if this doesn't work? Can I really believe these things about myself? Like these kinds of questions your brain will go to work answering.
And none of those answers are going to be useful. So, you've got to like, not just like try to like think about the answers differently and think different thoughts about the answers. I think even taking that a step back and really saying like, wait a minute, what if I need to ask better questions in the first place? Right. Like, imagine asking questions of your brain like this. What is working? What am I proud of? Like, What am I willing to believe? What am I willing to stop believing? How can I do this? How do I get this done? In that moment, my coach was like instead of asking, How can I possibly do this? He said how about if we ask, how do I get this done right? Notice how like everything shifts in the answering that question sort of that your brain saying like, I don't know how you possibly can. Let me tell you, you've got this against you and this against you in this is.
This against you? If I ask the question how do I get this done? My brain's like, Oh, I guess I better figure out a way. I guess I better problem solve. How do I get it done? Well, I get up earlier, I change my training plan, I make adjustments here, I ask for help here, like I get busy getting it done. And so the quality of your questions matters so much in regards to like the kind of answers your brain produces. When you change the questions, you can put your brain to work problem solving rather than finding all the reasons you can't have what you want.
Ask yourself, What is the choice I'm making now and what is the choice I want to make? Ask yourself, What are my options? How can I solve this? If there's a good reason for what I'm feeling, for the way I'm acting. What is it? What is happening for me? What other choices could I make? So, I just want to encourage all of you to use your agency to ask better questions and then make your brain go to work answering them. This allows you to be the creator in your life rather than just the reactor to your life. And I want to offer you that if you feel stuck with the thoughts that your brain is giving, you feel stuck with the answers that your brain is providing for you. Maybe you just need to ask a different question. Because no matter what you ask, your brain is going to get busy answering it. And that my friends, is 100% awesome. I love you for listening, and I'll see you next week.
Thanks so much for joining me on the podcast today. If you want to take the things I've talked about and apply them in your life so that you can love your Earth life experience. Sign up for a free coaching session at Aprilpricecoaching.com. This is where the real magic happens and your life starts to change forever. As your coach, I'll show you that believing your life is 100% awesome is totally available to every one of us. The way things are is not the way things have to stay. And that my friends is 100% awesome!
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