Choices. Everywhere there are choices. Some are good choices, some are bad, and some are over-the-top, life changing, mammoth choices that alter the path of your life and those around you in a big way (good and bad). But what do you do when presented with a choice? Do you choose “A” or “B”? Do you choose to wait?
Yogi Berra has a great quote I like to use:
“If you come to a fork in the road, take it”
Which way do I go? If I come to a fork in the road, do I go left or right? What if I just stand at the fork and do nothing? See, there are three choices in that scenario; go to the left, go to the right, or do nothing. Of course, you could always turn around and go back, but not in life. Time marches on. So do you take the more traveled road, the less traveled road, or stand there looking at the sign?
With all choices, there are consequences. Many of these consequences are seen and expected, but there are some that sneak up on you. Often, we don’t consider the opportunity costs as consequences. If I take the fork to the left, what am I missing out on? Same with the right. But, consider what you are missing out on if you just stand there?
Most people make New Year resolutions. They want to change this or that about their lives. They want to lose weight, get paid more, get more exercise, etc. Often, after a week… nothing. They have made a choice but put no action behind it. They have decided what fork to take just to stand there and do nothing. A year will go by and they will still be in the same boat they are now. They will wonder why their life has not changed. They will lament that they should have done more. They will regret their inaction. Next year, they will do it again…
In our lives, we often regret what we don’t do. Yes, sometimes we regret that one thing that haunts us forever, but as we get older, we wish we had done more. “I really should have stuck with last years New Years resolution” we say. We regret our inaction, our procrastination, our indecision. We come to a fork in the road and whether we decide or not, we don’t take the fork.
Well, why didn’t you? Why can’t you make the choice and stick to it? What if you decided, I mean REALLY decided on only one goal for the next year. What if you make the decision to focus on that goal and fit everything else in your life around that goal. What could you accomplish if you focused on only one thing. What if, instead of one thing, there were three things?
Could you thing of three things that would be life changing if they were different? Want to lose weight? Want to make more money? Want to spend more time with your family? Once you make the choice and really dedicate yourself to that choice, the rest is easy. Want to lose weight? Go through your house and throw out everything that is not healthy and don’t buy non-healthy food. Want to make more money? Find out what your purpose and passion in life is and start a side business. What to spend more time with your family? Just do it. Work less. Watch TV less. Get a different job so you don’t travel so much. Sounds hard, right?
Remember, these three choices you made are the most important three things in your life. Of course they will be hard. Nothing in life that is worth anything is easy. You will want to quit. You will think you are too busy. You will have doubts. But you have chosen. You now have the fork and are moving on toward your goals. You may falter, you may backslide, but you are dedicated to your goals. You will persevere.
You may not reach your goals. You may come close or you may miss them by a mile. Either way, look at the progress you have made. If you wanted to lose thirty pounds and only lost fifteen, did you fail? If you wanted to make $50,000 extra this year and only made $10,000, did you fail? If you wanted to spend three extra hours a day with your family and only managed to spend one, are you not better off? What else could you do?
What if you really dedicated yourself to a few goals for the year?
What would your goals be?
Are you brave enough to take the fork and get started?