The greatest power every individual has been born and gifted with is the power of choice. The ability to choose is perhaps the one thing that separates all of us and highlights our individuality. We have the power to choose between good or bad, to grow or remain stagnant, build meaning relationships or remain in a shell of loneliness, manage our finances or ignore them. Multiple sources on the internet claim that adults make about 35,000 decisions a day. On any given day, can you count the number of decisions you've made? Probably not, unless you a made a big decision that creates impact for your life going forward. Making conscious decisions is the one thing that separates you from those who just go with the flow. Your future is based on the decisions that you're actively and consciously making today and the life you live today is a direct result of past decisions. This is directly in line with a popular quote by Wayne Dyer - "Our lives are the sum total of the choices we have made".
I've often pondered how people's lives can turn out so differently. Everyone may not be equipped with the same level of intellect but achieving greatness is possible if we become intentional about developing the areas in which we can excel. Then I realized that some people make a choice and others simply don't. Not making a decision is still a decision. Even indecision carries its own set of consequences. Choices are difficult because they often require sacrifice. After all, the essence of making a choice requires choosing something and giving up something else. It's easy to reflect on the past and acknowledge how big decisions have impacted our lives. But have you considered the impact that small everyday decisions have on your life? Small decisions seem insignificant because they don't seem to add much value, but they snowball and lead up to BIG decisions. If your goal is to lead a healthier life and lose weight, would a decision to have a banana split sundae disrupt your goal? One little desert won't detract you from the big goal right? Pending it was an isolated decision. What happens when you start to make more of those banana split decisions? The banana split decision is antagonistic to your goals and eventually erodes the big picture. The more you make those banana split decisions, the longer you delay reaching your weight loss goal. The more you view daily decisions as small, the more you miss the big picture. The net effect of daily decisions add up quickly.
Making life decisions require careful thought and planning. Some of the most important decisions in my life surrounded strategy. Strategy by definition is using a plan, method or series of maneuvers for obtaining a specific goal or result. My first strategic decision came at the age of 13 when I had to select and apply for high schools. Most of my peers' choice was location or social dependent. They chose schools because their friends were going or because it was close to home. I was attracted to schools that had specific programs that would prepare me for my years beyond HS. It was then I learned the value of long range planning. This is a term that is most applicable in business which involves a set of goals that outlines the path for a company's future. A long-range plan sets the course for a strategic plan that helps define the objectives and actions necessary to achieve the goals outlined in the long-range plan. The benefits I reaped from choosing the HS with the specific program of interest, delivered critical career benefits starting at the young age of 16.
Long range planning might be a business term but can be easily applied to our personal lives. What are your 5 , 10 or 20 year goals? Apply strategy to every set of decisions that support the big picture. Avoid those "banana split decisions" that seem simple and insignificant. Instead focus on everyday decisions that compound towards the big picture. My long term goal is to build wealth. That means making everyday decisions with money that will allow my wealth to compound over a period of time to achieve this goal, and requires some level of strategy, sacrifice and even risk. My simple strategy to achieve this goal is getting rid of debt, spending less on unimportant things, leveraging all pre-tax accounts at my disposal and investing to watch it grow. It's that simple. Making those daily money decisions will create the outcome in aggregate that I'm hoping for.
Are you making any "banana split" decisions in your life that's preventing you from achieving your goals? Would love to hear from you so leave me a comment below.