the Power of Free

Most transactions have an upside and a downside, but when something is free, we forget the downside. Free! gives us such an emotional charge that we perceive what is being offered as immensely more valuable than it really is. Why? I think it’s because humans are intrinsically afraid of loss. The real allure of FREE! is tied to this fear.

Zero is not just another discount. Zero is a different place. The difference between two cents and one cent is small. But the difference between one cent and zero is huge!

If you are in business, and understand that, you can do some marvelous things. Want to draw a crowd? Make something free! Want to sell more products? Make part of the purchase free!

Dan Ariely, Predictably Irrational

Choosing Prison

Our capacity to choose changes constantly with our practice of life. The longer we continue to make the wrong decisions, the more our heart hardens; the more often we make the right decision, the more our heart softens – or better perhaps, comes alive.

Each step in life which increases my self-confidence, my integrity, my courage, my conviction also increases my capacity to choose the desirable alternative, until eventually it becomes more difficult for me to choose the undesirable rather than the desirable action. On the other hand, each act of surrender and cowardice weakens me, opens the path for more acts of surrender, and eventually freedom is lost.

Erich Fromm, The Heart of Man

Living Responsibly

Consistently happy persons live responsibly. They take responsibility for their actions. They do not blame their situations on their parents, teachers, pastors or others. They do what they do for sensible reasons. These reasons are based on precepts, especially Biblical ones. Following the biblical principles, devote men and women gain personal authority and confidence. This may be the essence of freedom. In it is inspiration, enthusiasm, originality, and roominess.

Mark W. Lee, Who Am I and What am I Doing Here?

choosing your way

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.

Victor Frankl

Conditional acceptance

Too often we claim that we accept others for what they are when we truly mean that we accept them as long as they do what we want them to. When we truly accept others the way they are we no longer have to take unnecessary responsibility for others’ emotions an behaviors, we maintain emotional balance at a time when it is most needed, and we encourage the other person to be more responsible for his own emotions and behaviors.

Les Carter, Imperative People: Those Who Must Be in Control

Healing in freedom

Being loving is far more therapeutic that being correct. People need first to believe that you are willing to let them be who they are. If you attempt to direct another person’s every move, you eventually lose your effectiveness, no matter how correct you may be. Freedom for each of us is to be who and what we are, that’s the cornerstone of an influential life.

When you give freedom to others, it doesn’t mean you are lowering your standards or that you don’t care about them. It means you are providing an atmosphere to let others think and feel and act without excessive pressure to fit your mold. The paradox is that when others sense the freedom you offer, they are more attracted to you. They key is to learn how to use this freedom.

Les Carter, Imperative People: Those Who Must Be in Control