Home > Business, family, Leadership, mentor, Self Help, Success > Your good and bad choices add up.

Your good and bad choices add up.

Most people make good decisions.  The person in the cubicle next to you isn’t a complete idiot.  Neither is the lady down the hall, your neighbor or people in general.  They know not to play with fire, run with scissors or bungee jump without a bungee cord.  And for those that don’t they make the Darwin Awards list.

Your choice. Only one is correct.

 

So why aren’t more people successful?  It’s because they fail to make a good choice once in a while.  This choice is one that exposes them to a risk or a reward.  They pass and choose the opposite choice.  Those are the choices that become regrets from time to time. 

Look to the successful people in your own life.  They aren’t measurably smarter than anyone else, unless of course you run in circles with a lot of Harvard and Ivy League grads.  For the majority of us it’s about making a decision that’s out of our comfort zone.  Maybe it’s the way you treated a customer, or what you said to a stranger or what you didn’t do to help someone.  All of those conscious and unconscious choices were within your power.  Maybe you made the wrong choice.

So let’s do some math.  Let’s say you make ten choices a day.  They could be about work related items, your family or personal choices.  Examples; you decide to/not call a client, you decide to/not honor a promise to a family member or you decide to/not have another cigarette.  Those are choices. 

Possible positive outcomes, the client is happy you kept your appointment and you are able to seal the deal, your bond with your loved one becomes stronger and more trust is built and you don’t step outside to have the smoke and allow your body to heal.

Possible negative outcomes, client is annoyed and goes elsewhere, your loved one pulls away and decides not to share with you and you cut seven more minutes off of your life with each smoke you take.

You see, these are just choices.  When you analyze it, it would seem so simple and so easy and yet we all make bad choices. 

If you make eight of ten good choices in a day that’s two hundred and forty good choices in a month out of three hundred chances.  Good job!  But what if you only make six good choices a day?  That’s only one hundred and eighty out of three hundred.  Now multiply that by twelve months.  You’ll start to see a glaring separation between those that are successful and those who struggle.

The successful aren’t lucky, they just make two more good choices a day.  The trick is, to identify those opportunities.  Do you know who is good at identifying those opportunities and who is not?  I’ll give you two choices.

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  1. March 3, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Matt,
    Despite many articles on “successful people” and what they do — none have ever done the math. What a great and powerful idea to communicate and age old concept in a new and inspirational way!

    Like it and will RT it.
    Kate

  2. March 3, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Kate,

    I’ve thought long and hard about this post. This is often a topic of discussion between my wife and I.

    We are wonder why some people who seem like they have all the tools to be successful, aren’t. They could be smart, well liked and yet a couple of ill advised choices push them away from success. Those people can’t figure it out.

    People who aren’t doing very well, like to think other people are lucky. People with good jobs are lucky, people with happy families are lucky and so on.

    This simple math suggests that it’s a couple of small choices, multiplied over a lifetime that become the Grand Canyon with success on one side and average or less than average on the other side.

    Matt

  3. March 3, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Reminds me of a quote my first Distrcit Manager shared with me.
    Successful people make habits out of doing things that others are unwilling to do. This definitely can be interpreted as successful people make the choice to to those things. It also reminds me of a book I am reading that is blowing my mind (although not that hard to do). Predictably Irrational. Its about WHY we make the choices we make. Check it out.

  4. March 3, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Matt,

    I’ll pick up a copy this weekend. I’m ready for a new book.

    That’s why you’re successful. You do what is perceived as hard.

    Matt

  5. March 4, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Oprah says there is no such thing as luck it is “when opportunity meets preparedness.” I think when you are prepared to make good choices and have discussed options and possibilities ahead of time it is easier to make the right choices. Over time being prepared to make difficult or non-traditional choices may look like luck, or that your life is “easy” but it comes with a lot of planning and forethought. Great post today!

  6. March 4, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Jill,

    Great comments that really add to the theme of the post.

    Being prepared and seizing the opportunity is very important.

    Matt

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