We are lucky. You and I have the power of choice in our lives. We have the power to control our future, to own our days, to strive for success, and to take the right action every single minute of every single day to move closer to our goals.

But you and I must make the right choices.

You and I alone.

We cannot delegate significant choices in life to someone else. We must think and choose for ourselves.

The quicker that you realize that success is your personal responsibility and that you can’t rely on anyone for anything, the sooner you will be free.

No one is going to do it for us… with “it” being anything that matters in life.

We choose our roles, our behavior, our habits, and our friends.

We choose our networks. We choose our attitudes.

We choose to change for the better or languish in disappointment.

We choose the easy way out … or the hard way in.

The choice in life was summed up in the Matrix. Will you be like Neo, who takes the red pill and decides to opt out of the fantasy life, or will you choose the safety, security, and mediocrity of the blue pill?

Will you go through life accepting that you can’t change anything? Will you remain satisfied being part of the huddles masses striving for security?

Your life, your choice. Which will it be? Red pill or blue? Truth or ignorance? Triumph through tribulations or mediocrity through low-level security? Questioning the world or letting the world do the thinking for you?

Most of us start out naïve. We don’t realize there is anything else out there other than what the authorities have told us.

But there will come a time when you have an epiphany. It might be after decades of debasement, of going through the motions, doing what the television told you to do, accepting life as it is, eating the junk at the restaurants that advertise heavily, being sedated by sugar, and overwhelmed by the desire for consumerism.

Then one day, you’ll wake up, and through a series of circumstances, someone will offer you the red pill.

It might take a family or monetary emergency, although I hope it doesn’t. It might be by accident, you simply stumbling across a rabbit hole in life that leads to an eye opening seemingly chance encounter. Or it might be a general evolution, a slow revolt against the matrix, a gradual awareness that, “This is not how it has to be!”

And then you will start to question things.

“Am I doing the best I can with all that I have to give?”

“Am I living the life and creating the legacy that I have the potential to live?”

“Who are these so-called authorities and why should I believe what they say?”

You will learn to ask, analyze, and interrogate.

You will deep-dive into the construction of a new reality.

You will challenge the authorities in your life.

You will contest the status quo.

You will dispute the norm.

You will demand the truth, seek enlightenment, and embark on a journey of question that begets question, of many dead-ends and disappointments, of mental work that rivals any physical effort you have ever given in the past.

Your rebirth may be as painful as Neo’s. You may feel weak, almost helpless, childlike in your confusion and simultaneous wonder of the new world.

But.

With choosing the red pill comes great rewards.

First, you will discover there are others out there with the same questions.

Second, you will find greater, more meaningful strength in these new connections than you had ever experienced in your previously sedated senescence.

Third, you will experience an awakening.

You will find yourself with more options in and control over your life than you ever believed possible. This might scare you the most of anything on your journey. But you must avoid the temptation to turn back now. Instead, dive deeper into the rabbit hole. Ask more questions. Turn over more stones. Take a chance on greater disappointments, but have faith that this next level of enlightenment will bring you closer to unraveling the truth in the matrix of your mind.

It will be a long journey.

The fact is that it will never end.

There is no comfort zone for the renegade.

But it will be the only life that will lead to legacy.

For the unexamined life, as Socrates once said, is not worth living.

Ask your questions.

Start right now.

Never stop.

Your choice: Red pill or Blue?

Dependency or personal responsibility?

And whom should you choose to listen to?

Choose Yourself“, writes James Altucher, in his book of the same name.

That’s the truth.

You must choose yourself over all others.

Choose personal responsibility.

Choose to do your best.

Choose to follow this advice:

“Trade excuses and ‘trying’ for results, and expect half-hearted results from half-hearted efforts. Do more than is expected of you. Life’s easy when you live it the hard way…and hard if you try to live it the easy way.” – Kekich Credo #4

Choose to do more.

Choose to take the right actions.

Choose to overcome the obstacles in your life.

Choose to change your life.

Choose to do the work.

Because it is up to you and you alone.

“Everybody in your situation has the same choice: you can rue your situation or you can dedicate yourself to changing it. Accept responsibility for your future. Refuse to complain, criticize, or condemn. If you want us to help you achieve your goals, then trust in and follow our advice. Stop doubting it. Stop denying it. Have faith.” – Mark Ford

If James, Mark, and I can do it, you can do it, too. Choosing yourself is a choice, the biggest decision you’ll make, but it’s as simple as that.

[Ed Note: Craig Ballantyne is the editor of Early to Rise and creator of Turbulence Training, a scientific method to accelerate fat loss, and gain muscle in three 30-minute sessions per week. Today, Craig is launching a new set of follow-along videos for Turbulence Training series that has touched over 147,221 lives that have used the workouts, tips and videos. Click here to save hours in your exercise program each week]

Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men’s Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he’ll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com