Friday, June 7, 2013

You Are What You Choose

Choices...  We have them, we make them, we live by them, we die by them. The right one can have as impactful a consequence as a bad one. Needless to say, the ability to make the best one at the right time can determine success or ensure failure.

Every day, as I see my two children leave for school or some other activity, my admonition to them is not the typical "be good." No... I tell them, "Make good choices." Why? Because what happens (or doesn't happen) to them around that activity is solely dependent on the consequences of the choices they make (or don't make). 

We alone have sole ownership over our choices. In an era when people are wont to not take responsibility or accountability for their actions (choices of actions, that is), it's important to get back to that very critical basic. We are a product of our choices. In any situation you ALWAYS have a choice. Think about it... The anticipated or calculated consequences of whatever choice you make certainly determine your choice. That's what decision-making is all about. That's also what separates those deemed successful from those who aren't. It also separates those who are happy from those who aren't.

That is the one common factor that can be ascribed to the happy and the successful: they realize and have control and ownership over their choices and they realize that they aren't responsible for the choices of others. Confronted by adversity or something bad? Choose your actions and behavior. Triumphant and in a state where all is going your way? Choose your behavior. The results either way then serve to define you.

One of my old Pfizer Regional Managers, Mike Kraft, told me at a time when I had to terminate a pharmaceutical representative in my District that, "whatever choices people make, you've got to understand that their intentions were good." How true is that?  It was just that, in that case, the drug rep made the wrong choice. There's we get into the art of decision-making (a future topic for discussion here, I'm sure), that is, the suitability of the choice made for the time and situation in which it was made.

The empowering thought here is that, whatever happens, whatever is done to or for you...whatever happens, you alone choose your action, reaction, response, and behavior. Whet happens subsequent to that, then, is the consequence. As the saying goes, "If it is to be, then it is up to me." Get me?

So, as you go about your day, be cognizant of all that goes on. Take note of all the various and sundry choices, implicit and obvious, that are required. Then note the results - the consequences of those choices. Take that, and take control of your life.

After all, you ARE what you choose.

That's the point!

   - Tony