Choices we make, or fail to make, define us both as individuals and as society. Choice is not a philosophy but a reality. We are faced with unavoidable decisions every day. Some are as simple as deciding what to eat or what to wear.
These are easy choices. Other choices are defined as “hard choices” such as “Should I pursue this career?”, “Should I marry this person?” or “Where should I live?” These choices can be life altering, and often agonisingly difficult.
In this week’s blog we are going to focus on the power of choices. Making a decision between various choices offered to you, is not as simple as guessing a right answer. It is a process that involves weighing up the outcomes and it should be a process that is long-term orientated and not propelled by instant gratification – Many incorrect choices are taken due to our very nature of instant gratification. As a team leader, you should know that the choices in life and the decisions you make, do not only impact your daily life but the lives of your team members. Your decisions are building blocks for where your team will be in years to come. If you make decisions based on wrong motives or incorrect information, you are not creating a strong foundation.
We often hear people say “If only I knew the future” then the choices would be easy. But we do not know the future and therefore we have to be more careful, thoughtful and wise when we weigh up various choices. In the space of making hard choices we exercise creative power to make ourselves who we are. In the end, our choices should be supported by reasons created by us, not for us. We are to be the authors of our own lives.
When we understand “hard choices” it uncovers a hidden power each one of us possesses. We do have the power within us to choose correctly in order to determine positive outcomes.
Not all people have the ability to be decisive and accountable.
Research has shown that people that do not have the ability to make choices are called drifters. They avoid making hard choices, they often allow the world to dictate, they are motivated by mechanisms of either reward or punishment, and they are fearful and would rather take the easiness of an option than “the road less travelled”.
As leaders, we are called to be decision makers. There will always be the “for” and “against” argument for the choices we have to make. You have to take a long-term view of the alternatives and see which option will bring you to the desired outcome and the fulfilment of your individual dream.
Choices can be problematic. They are filled with risk and the “what if?” factor. But what should drive you in making choices should be your inherent values. Your world of “values” is difficult to quantify. But if you know the intangible value of certain factors in your life; you will be empowered to make better decisions. Many choices money cannot buy and they are imperative to a happy future. Therefore in making choices, ask yourself a few questions:
- What motivates me?
- Am I afraid to make a decision?
- Am I taking the “safest” option?
- Have I thought this through?
- Am I doing the acceptable thing or am I doing the right thing?
Choices have to be knowledge based and value driven. We live in times with a lot of information on the Internet, terabytes of data and knowledge about the world around us. To stand out in our society as a leader of significance, choices and decision-making will be one of the greatest responsibilities you undertake. You need to keep yourself informed and knowledgeable.
A few points on choices:
- Choices are always linked to change.
- Choices have pro’s and con’s.
- Choices have an impact on your life.
- Choices require a preparedness to be accountable and responsible.
- Choices are part of life!
Samuel Johnson said, “When making your choice in life, do not forget to live.”
“Re-think what kind of society you want to live in. Imagine your future. This will propel you to make different choices today.” Gavin Watson
Choices give us the opportunity to celebrate ourselves. If you want to be a leader of destiny and significance, you need to have a long-term vision and not instant gratification as your motive. You need to make the right choices, even if they require sacrifice. Life is not merely a sprint, making choices for immediate enjoyment, but life is a marathon, preparing you adequately and making the right choices for the right reasons. When you have this attitude, life happens and you have the ability to live it.
Latest posts by Gavin Watson (see all)
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- The power of choice – be a decision maker - June 24, 2015