Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Power of Choice – Success is a Choice by MJ

The Power of Choice – Success is a Choice


The Power of Choice is the most fundamental power we have as individuals to achieve our goals. The power of choice encompasses our entire life – regrettably, most of us never realize it before its too late. This great power holds the key to unlocking not just financial independence, but your happiness as a human being.

Choice is an amazing thing. Embrace it and use it to your advantage.

When we reflect back into our lives, we have the capability of analyzing the forks in the road – and where those forks have taken us. The forks are simple choices, both large and small – but each share the common thread of having the magnificent power to take us somewhere different.

You see, your life as it exists now, is the cumulative result of your choices – millions of choices which you’ve made. If you’re dissatisfied in your life, your choices take 100% full responsibility.

Blame them

Yes, life is about choice. The choice to be positive. The choice to be negative. The choice to watch TV or read a book. The choice to eat donuts or eat fruit. The choice to sleep until noon, or rise at dawn. Choice surrounds us and our great country affords us that luxury.

Every day, you make hundreds of choices. You’ve chosen to read this. Not only does choice exist in our external actions, they exist in our internal mind.

The Power of Choice comes in two forms.

The Choice of Perception and the Choice of Action.

First, the Choice of Perception:

You choose to interpret events in your particular frame of reference. Your mind labels and categorizes events that surround you. When someone says “dog” some people see a poodle. Others see a Pit Bull. This is the Choice of Perception.

If you lose your job you can choose it to be a negative, or positive. When you’re pulled over for speeding, you can be angry or thankful. The Choice of Perception and its choices start right between your ears.

The other day while pumping gas in my car (the Lamborghini) I had a teenager ask me if he could snap some pictures of the car. “Sure, go right ahead!” I replied. After a few minutes of pictures and various rants and raves about the car, he exclaimed, “I gotta get as many pictures as possible cuz Ill never be able to afford one of those”.

Choice. He made a choice to believe he will never own one. Small choice? Or big choice? His Choice of Perception was poor. This poor choice of perception will forever lead him to average results. Unfortunately, he doesn't even know it.

Going back 11 years to my teen years, the difference between he and I was this: When I was 14, I saw my first Lamborghini sitting outside an ice cream store. As a gazed in wonderment, I thought to myself, “Some day I’m gonna own one of those”. My Choice of Perception was strong.

If you maintain strong choices of perception, your focus ultimately becomes your reality.

I moved to Phoenix in 1997 poor and broke. I mailed out dozens of resumes hoping to get a “safe secure job” – weeks passed and I received no phone calls. Instead of framing this event as a failure, I chose to be positive. I took further action and increased the work efforts of my small business. If I didn’t, I would have been homeless on the street as rent was fast coming due. I made choices; both in perception AND action.

The Choice of Action is the second choice power we have.

Not only are the choices you make in your internal mindset important, but the choices you make in your external activities.
To move ahead in life, you must understand that the smallest of choices impact your life. Most of us believe only the big choices impact our life; Should I take that new job? Should I marry Jennifer? Should I start a business? Should I buy that car? Do I get that MBA? This is false.

The smallest of choices, in your daily life, are the ones that can make the biggest impact.

Back in 1997 I made a choice to visit a chat room to “see what was going on” – at the moment, it was a very simple choice. It was nothing big as I was just wasting time on the Internet. However, in that chat room, I would meet my best friend whom forever would impact my life and my business. Had I not met my best friend, my life as it is today, would be 100% different. Where would I be had I not made that choice to enter that chat room?

What seemingly simple choices have you made that made the biggest impact on your life?

Watch out with the Choice of Action!

Its power can take you places and throw your life into bliss or chaos. Be mindful with the Choice of Action.

In 2004 I bought a new Viper. One month into ownership I decided to street race someone while having to much to drink. Unfortunately, not being that familiar with the car and having liquor in my system, I was unable to control the car – the car started to spin and crossed over into traffic careening into palm tree.

I made a choice and the choice was disastrous.

This poor choice would forever impact my life. That night I was lucky – I did not kill myself or anyone else. Had I killed someone, my life would have been 100% different – no amount of money in the bank can keep you from prison. No amount of money can purge your soul of the horror of being responsible for taking someone's life so foolishly.

That night I was carted away and charged with DUI. The Viper was totaled and I later found that I would have been killed had impact been driver side vs. passenger side. My life was spared as where others.

The Choice of Action can throw your life into chaos or bliss: I decided to illegally drag race. Conversely the Choice of Perception was this: Instead of being regretful that I got caught, I was overwhelmingly thankful – thankful I did not kill anyone or destroy other people’s lives. I now choose not to race anyone on the street – I now choose not to drink and drive and have adopted a zero tolerance policy. Choices. Choices of Action and Choice of Perception.

Choices.

We make good ones and we make bad ones.

All of them – impact our life and throw us into different directions. To be happy and live a life of success, make more good choices vs. bad choices.

Your choices become who you are. Your life is a reflection your choices, in action and perception.
At this very moment – whether its an trailer, apartment, house, or a mansion on a hill – YOU ARE WHERE YOU ARE because you made those choices.

How do you choose to frame your surrounding events? What language do you use in your mind?
“Ill never …”
“I can’t. …”
“If I could only … “

Or do you choose better words?
"Someday”
“This is a challenge Ill overcome”
“I will”

The Power of Choice starts early in life -- its impacts are life lasting.

The choice to cheat on your English writing exams, or study.
The choice to have unprotected sex.
The choice to skip class, or attend class.
The choice to lie or to be honest.
The choice to watch TV, or read an educating book.
The choice to drive 105 mph in a 55 mph zone.
The choice to associate with negative people.
The choice to overindulge in food or liquor.
The choice to drive home after drinking too much.
The choice to cheat on your significant other.
The choice to steal a pack of gum from the supermarket.
The choice to go out with your friends when you really wanted to stay home

Some Choices Have Unintended Consequences


DAVID

At age 16, David thought it would be cool to ignite a smoke bomb in the school bus. This day he makes a choice. At the time it would seem like a harmless prank. 14 children suffered smoke inhalation that day. Fortunately, those 14 children recovered quickly. However, it was David’s 10-day stay in juvenile detention that would forever lead David’s life down a different path.

David met Rudy in juvenile hall. Rudy would later teach David the “rules” of the perfect burglary. For years, the rules which Rudy taught David allowed him to make thievery a career. David’s luck would soon run out and would later spend 9 years in prison. Today, he is homeless and still engages in petty crimes.

Had David not met Rudy, where would he be? A fireman? Banker? Businessman? Choice, and the path of its consequences, start early.

ALYSSA

At age 18, Alyssa leaves home to live with a 29 year old man she met at the local bar 4 months earlier. She has unprotected sex on multiple occasions and later becomes pregnant. Unfortunately, the pregnancy is unwanted and Alyssa is brutally beaten by her boyfriend when she tells him the news. Alyssa later aborts the pregnancy in a motel bathroom and leaves her boyfriend only to return home to her parents.

Had Alyssa not moved in with a man she did not know, she’d be able to conceive today. Alyssa will grow old childless. Choice, and the path of its consequences, start early.

ANDRE

A multimillionaire by age 28, Andre had everything: A beautiful wife, money, a healthy daughter, riches, and a thriving restaurant business. Andre is on top of the world. One Friday night after having a few drinks to celebrate his night manager’s birthday, Andre gets in his car and drives home drunk. He mentally chooses to think “I’m OK”.

On his way home he kills a family of 4 while traveling down the interstate. Andre is arrested for drunk driving and carted off to jail where after a trial, he will later spend the next 15 years of his life. His life will never be the same because of not ONE CHOICE, but multiple choices. The choice to drink. The choice to drive. The choice to think “I’m OK” – the series of choices is plentiful – his exit strategy was clear – he didn’t choose wisely.

Poor choices lead to poor results.

As you move forward in life, ask yourself, am I making good choices? Good choices of action? Good choices in perception? Do you choose to be a victim?

Do you blame others or take responsibility?

Someone once said, the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results. If you continue to make the same choices, you can expect the same results.

If you are unhappy in your life, make better choices. There’s no time like today.


Peace Out.
MJ

For more on this article and replies to it, you can click here to go to the Rich Dad thread.

2 comments:

mogger said...

Just thought I`d leave a comment on this great post, enjoyed reading it!, good stuff!.

Abundance & Success said...

Mark,

Thanks for your comment. I really appreciate it. I found it to be inspirational and I hope it brightened your day.