The All Important Decision
Life is one big decision after another…. followed by the consequence of each.
Have you ever really pondered about why one person becomes successful and another does not?
Do you find it more worth pondering about when you hear of siblings who grew up in the same household experiencing the same first 18 years yet some or one excels and goes to the top and the others live a life of struggle and defeat?
I've always found it interesting and have discovered something about why that happens. Let's start at the beginning.
Life deals us cards at birth that's really out of our control. We were not apart of any decision making surrounding our birth and the following 18 years.
- We did not get to choose our parents or the family we have.
- We did not get to choose the function or dysfunction of our family
- We did not get to choose what morals and values would be instilled upon us.
- We did not get to choose whether or not positive belief systems would be embedded into our minds and thoughts.
- We did not get to choose our race, color or creed.
- We did not get to choose where we live, neither street, nor town or state or country.
- We did not get to choose the financial circumstances under which we were brought up.
This means that for the majority of the population, were stuck in a rut when it came to our birth and beginnings.
So back to the question, what is the key that unlocks the mystery as to why one person becomes successful and another does not?
I'm sure you've heard stories about the least likely person, whose life is riddled with problems, challenges and even tragedy rose to the occasion and created tremendous success for themselves. Our annals of history are filled with stories like this.
The answer to this question comes down to one thing:
Making a Decision.
The decision to be successful in business is a new birth. From there forward, the journey to success begins. However, the journey can't begin until the initial decision is made. This isn't a matter of putting the cart before the horse. the horse leads, which is the decision to effect change, regardless of the pain in order to have what you want. After the decision is made, providing it's a true decision, the rest follows.
And we have all made decisions from the moment we moved out from under our parents' home to today. The decisions and choices we've made has all led to consequences, whether good or bad. We learn the lesson of positive and negative consequences based on our choices and decisions as children growing up.
Life is all about decisions. We starting making them as children in the most simplest way:
- Do I sneak that cookie?
- Do I talk about?
- Do I get into something I was warned not to?
- Do I follow through what what mom and dad told me to do?
- Do I share my toys and possessions lovingly with others?
As we continue to grow, we become more and more aware of the natural consequences during the high school years.
- Do I study for my test or not?
- Do I go out with this guy or this girl?
- Do I go where I said I was going?
- Do I keep my virginity or not?
- Do I watch a movie or visit an online site that goes against the morals and values I believe?
- Do I give in to peer pressure and follow or do I stand my ground for what I believe?
- Do I take that first drink, drug or cigarette or do I not?
- Do I get an education? If so, where? And what subject do I study?
- Do I cut class and lie about it?
As adults we are faced with decisions every day. Things like:
- Do I apply for this job or that?
- Do I respond to another person with hatred, violence and revenge?
- Do I marry this man or woman?
- Do I spend time with my kids?
- Do I choose to put healthy food and exercise into my body?
- Do I spend my time on selfish pursuits or do I give of myself freely to others?
- Do I make my relationship with God a priority or am I my own god?
Decisions. Choices. Consequences.
God created us with a free will to choose our own paths and make our own decisions. Having a free will is beautiful but on the flipside of that coin, we get to experience those consequences which can be very painful.
And I'm not saying that sometimes bad things don't happen to good people. But on that thought, we have a decision about how we will respond to the wrong and hurtful thing that happened to us.
The outcome of our decision to respond will trail a consequence of it's own so it becomes two-fold. We can forgive and lead a life of freedom, peace and joy, or we can seek revenge and decide we will remain a victim where we stand the chance of becoming angry, depressed, even physically ill.
And doesn't it seem like most of the time where change is required, there's some pain associated with it at some level?
For example, several years ago I went to see an Amish alternative medicine doctor who was able to pinpoint illnesses and diseases by looking into the eyes. Now I have to tell you, I went for fun. I had no symptoms and was feeling fine but I was incredibly curious and interested in what he would have to say after studying my eyes. There's a name for this type of practice, and I can't remember it off hand.
I was astonished at what he told me about my past health issues including the heart stress I experienced at birth (I wasn't suppose to live, nor my mom).
He went on with the examination and then backed up and looked at me and said, "if you don't stop drinking coke you will be taking injections for diabetes control."
I looked at him in amazement because I hadn't shared my diet with him at all. However, I was addicted to Cocoa Cola and Pepsi. In fact, I drank 2 2-liter bottles every day, sometimes more. Funny thing was while I was waiting for my appointment to see him, I was looking around for a coke machine but couldn't find one. I was craving one terribly and left the house without my trusty bottle that I carried with me around the clock.
Well, after hearing those piercing words, I knew I had to stop, cold turkey, no weaning… just quit, consuming cokes and sodas.
The process of change was painful and took a good couple three weeks before I felt I even had a handle on it. I had withdrawals which included headaches, general feeling of "yuck", I was terribly cranky and moody, tired and of course, more headaches.
Well, in this situation, I was faced with two painful decisions.
- 1) Go through the pain of changing my intake habits and reap the consequence of better health.
- 2) Avoid the pain of change, develop full blown diabetes, take insulin shots and suffer the consequences with long term disease and be forced into changed circumstances.
Neither sounded good to me.
And here is the turning point for most of us…
When the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of change, we change. It's that simple.
For me, the pain of continuing to consume coke, even in smaller amounts and experiencing dramatic health consequences was enough of a wake up call. I was then willing to go through the pain of changing to rid myself of my addicting habit to avoid worse consequences.
This same philosophy applies to everything in our lives.
- How's your business? Are you making decisions that will cause your business to grow?
- How are your relationships? Are you giving and serving and not making it all about you?
- How is your financial situation? Are you making good, sound money choices on what you can control?
- How is your spiritual life? Even God gives us free will! We get to choose whether we will pursue something unseen or not.
So what choices will you make today?
- Will you be swayed by the voices of negativity or will you embrace a positive attitude and give it all you've got?
- Will you take time for your loved ones or will you be too busy to say "I love you"?
- Will you decide that it is time to kick that habit and take steps to make it happen or will you stay dependent on drugs, alcohol, television, food, relationships or cigarettes?
- Will you be the center of the the universe or will you use your gifts and talents to make a difference in the life of someone else?
I'm not saying it is easy. That's why we so desperately need each other. That is, if we aren't too proud to reach out. Even that is a choice.
In making a life change decision in terms of whether to start your business or keep the status quo and stay in the 9-5 for the next 20-30-40 years brings internal dialog and communication that sometimes we fear.
Many times these changes and decisions involve pain which is why a lot of people are not able to either make a decision or they choose not to follow their dreams in order to avoid the pain of change. Change will be inevitable. And change can be difficult.
Some of the changes and associated pain in business can be:
- Staying up late or getting up early to work on your business.
- Accepting and taking full responsibility for success… no more finger pointing or blaming others.
- Having to say "no" to something so you can say "yes" to building your business.
- Become efficient in organization and time management.
- Becoming a study of marketing and personal development.
- Shifting to a positive problem solver and tossing out any negative problem dwelling.
- Developing into a leader and influencer.
- Facing fears about rejection and moving forward in spite of fear.
- Willingness to fail forward and becoming stronger as you grow.
There will be pain with these new disciplines and changes which are necessary to business development. It will be easier for some than others because many professionals already bring much of these changes to the table. But nonetheless, there's still some change that will have to be effected. But it comes down to the lesser of the two evils….
1) Stay where you're at to avoid the pain of change and never reach your full potential and living a dream lifestyle and live with the consequence of letting yourself and your family down, perhaps living in regrets and "what if's, kicking yourself at the end of your life when it's too late. You're legacy is set. It's done. It's over. This is excruciating pain.
2) Change and grow and develop and go through the pain for a short while (1-3-5 years) so you can live the remainder of your life bigger and greater than you ever imagined.
It all starts with a decision. What will you choose today?