When considering the meaning of power, many words come to mind: clout, brawn, capacity, ability, might, influence, muscle, steam, horsepower, leadership. But the word that sums up the true feeling of power is the word Choice, the power to determine our own thoughts and actions.
Who has power? Everyone. Each of us has the power of choice. We each hold the power of decision making. Even self-discipline is flexing our power of choice (mind over ice cream).
“A human being is a deciding being.”
-- Viktor Frankl
Power is not just enforcement. In the form of influence and persuasion, power is used in countless ways to encourage people to choose to act, feel, and behave in ways other than how they may have initially planned, or would habitually react. Each of us would make different choices if we were influenced differently. In essence, all human interaction involves power, because ideas hold power, and ideas underlie all language and action.
There is power in branding. There is power in marketing, in PR, in advertising. There is power in “word of mouth” and in social influence. There is power in shared beliefs. Expertise offers power. Training leads to power. Degrees can translate as power. Positions can hold power. Power is exercised when we are able to reward and promote. Wealth can bring power. Some feel power from being accepted.
Education offers the promise of power because it builds the mental qualities and knowledge to make choices that get things done. But it is not only knowledge that offers power; being able to communicate knowledge is also power. It is not just what we know or whom we know; it is mainly what we decide to DO with what we know that is paramount.
Contributed by: Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success