Did you know that there are only a few differences between humans and animals? Whether you watch the family dog, an elephant in the zoo, or a mountain goat in the Andes, you’ll see that they do essentially the same thing. They eat, sleep, seek shelter, and breed. Those are all instincts. That’s what they live by. Their sole ( a ) is to survive. They react to chance happenings and are conditioned by their environment. That’s why it’s so easy to train them.
How are we any different? We have the same body parts and functions. And we have the same basic needs, along with the instinct for ( b ). Like the animals, we react to what happens around us, and we allow ourselves to become conditioned by our environment. And whether we like to admit it or not, we’re also easy to train. The only difference is that for us, it doesn’t have to be that way. We have more than instincts. We have the ability to ( A ). That’s what separates human beings from the animal world. And if we don’t exercise that ability, then we’re no better off. All we’re doing is surviving. Instead of living, we’re simply existing.
The starting point for a better life is discovering that we have choices. Sadly, many people never do. They live in a country that offers more ( c ) of choice than any in the world, yet they live like prisoners, trapped by circumstances. I’m always amazed at some of the (1)not / with / people / up / excuses / for / come taking advantage of life’s opportunities to make choices: not enough money, no time, wrong conditions, poor luck, lousy weather, too tired, bad mood, and the list goes on. But the truth is that they just don’t see their choices. It’s like being locked up somewhere and having a key in your pocket that’ll set you free but never using it simply because you don’t know it’s there. You have more choices than you ever dreamed possible. The key is knowing that they’re there－every day of your life. We live by choice, not by ( d ). (2)It isn’t what happens that’s most important. It’s how we deal with what happens. It’s what we choose to think and what we choose to do that are most important.