This morning I woke up at 5:30am, exercised, finished this blog while I ate breakfast and headed to work. My morning, like yours, was filled with choices: what time to wake up, will I exercise or not, if I choose to exercise will it be cardio or weights or both, what to wear to work, what to eat for breakfast, what the title of the blog should be, what route to take to work…I am tired just thinking of all the choices I already made today and its only 7:30am.
In the grand scheme of my life, this morning’s choices may seem trivial. I could have made a different decision on any single one of them and had only a minor impact if any on today – would anyone really notice if my tie was gray or blue?
The point of this blog though isn’t to highlight one single choice on one single day or even many choices in one single day. The point is to highlight that the success we achieve in life will be determined by the outcomes from all of the choices we make in our life.
It isn’t about if I woke up at 5:30am today, it’s about if I have a pattern of rising early enough to have the opportunity to make choices.
It isn’t about if I exercised today, it’s about if I have a habit of regular exercise.
It isn’t about what route I take to work today, it’s about if I make it to work on time each day.
It isn’t about if I wrote a blog today, it’s about if I write enough to have an impact on people’s lives.
“Our lives are a sum total of the choices we have made.” – Wayne Dyer
We all make choices like this each day. In fact, the thing about choices is you don’t have a choice not to choose. William James, referred to as the father of American psychology said, “When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.”
So every day, all day, we make choices that impact our lives and the lives of many around us. The odds that every choice you make is ultimately the one that you and everyone else would agree we’re the right ones are low. But that is ok, that’s how you learn for the next time.
Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions.
Right now, one of you is thinking, “But I made some really bad choices; what about me?”
Sometimes, good people make bad choices. It doesn’t mean they are bad people – It means they are human.
A bad choice isn’t the end, but it makes the next choice that much more important. Legendary NBA coach Pat Riley said, “You have no choices about how you lose, but you do have a choice about how you come back and prepare to win again.”
Mary Pickford is most well known as the silent film star whose fame dwindled with the start of the talking movies. It is said that she made the choice to resist this change and paid the price as the silent movie industry ended. You may be surprised then to read this quote from Pickford, “If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down.” This quote made perfect sense to me when I learned that along with her acting career, Mary Pickford was the co-founder of United Artists Film Studios, and one of the original founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This was her second chance at success.
I will wrap up this blog with a wonderful quote by Michael Josephson:
“You are what you are today because of the choices you made yesterday, and the choices you make today will make you what you are tomorrow. Take control of your life. Choose wisely.”