One of the most difficult decisions I have had to make in my life was back in 1977. I was in my late teens having just completed high school, and after much soul searching I decided on my vocation in life and filled out the application papers to go to a leadership training college.
It was time to tell Dad.
I remember explaining how much I wanted to give my life for something far greater than myself: people. I wanted to help young people rise up and become a generation of high achievers.
He turned to me with a fierce look on his face and yelled in his Italian accent, “I putta you inna this world and I'm gonna take-a you out! Feet first!”
He wasn't very happy.
My cement shoes were ordered and the concrete was about to harden! But I had made a choice and I had to stick to it no matter what.
Dad was a peasant farmer when he migrated to Australia and he wanted the best for his kids. So he put me in the best school and worked hard so that we all had a really good chance of making it. But I didn't want to enter medical school or become an engineer as he wanted me to. It must have broken Dad's heart to see his youngest son, receive the best education only to give it all away for a life of serving teenagers.
Choices aren't always easy; that one sure wasn't. But I had just exercised one of the two greatest abilities that we all have available to us. The first is the ability to make choices. The second is the ability to carry them out and fulfil our destiny in life.
Better Than Your Best
If you want to be better than you are now – better than your best – you need to make choices. The right choices and stick to them no matter what. Choosing Success – How to become successful in your life.
George Eliot once said,
“The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice”
“Who in the history of the world has ever achieved greatness or success because they just allowed life to happen to them? No-one! It's totally up to you.
Yeah, of course, bad stuff happens to people all the time but I don't care! The buck has to stop somewhere. The most successful people are not necessarily those who come from rich families with perfect childhoods and private school educations. The most successful people are those who take hold of their own destinies.
Choosing Success And Becoming Your Best
Successful leaders in all walks of life – business, sports, politics – make a lot of choices, and stick to them. Poor leaders are slow to decide and tend to alter their decisions if the going gets tough.
When you make a decision regarding dreams and ambition – stick to it. Family and friends may criticise you thinking you've lost your mind. But you have a destiny to fulfill.
When I look at the impact and change I've seen in hundreds of thousands of young people over the years – from South Africa to England, America to Australia, Asia and the Pacific to New Zealand – I'm glad I stuck to my decision. It has made me a far better person and made others better too. Better than our best.
Unfortunately, in our soft and comfortable, what's-in-it for-me, pleasure-seeking Western culture, we don't have to make too many decisions. The majority of people let governments and organisations do it for them.
The 21st century is so vague and grey, with its compromised standards and diluted values. Society is robbing people of their independence. Society would prefer that we were all “standardised” – think the same, act the same, live the same, believe the same.
But free thinking is not an option; it's a right. It requires courage to make choices. And energy. When you make a strong, committed choice you become focused on your goal. Every person who has ever achieved something (from winning a club sports event to pioneering a worldwide fast food chain) has had many, many choices, and one of them was to succeed.
Think of the athlete who decides to compete at the Olympics and starts a chain of events that they hope will see them on the winner's dais many years in the future.
Champion swimmer Kieren Perkins started training for the Olympics when he was just a young boy. While his friends played with their bikes and footballs and thought about homework and girls, Kieren had an all-consuming desire to represent his country at the highest level. And he did.
And that is both good news and not-so-good news. The good news is that your choices will decide your future. The not-so-good news is that your choices will decide your future.
It's good news because if you take action and determine what you want to do and where you want to go, there's a good chance you'll get there. On the other hand, if you decide to let life take its course and allow others to make decisions for you, they will.
You didn't choose to be born. Neither did I. Our parents did that. But you can choose how to live. Each day you are faced with hundreds of big and small choices. It's up to you whether you want to take them on or ignore them.
No doubt you want to be sure that every time you make a decision, it's a right one. But how do you make right choices? I use this six-step checklist to help me:
- What do I understand to be right, honourable and just?
- What will the consequences be of the choice I'm about to make? Is this part of my destiny or a distraction?
- Will it help or hinder the Big Picture of my life? Will it help me get closer to my target?
- How will I feel after making the choice?
- How will it affect those around me? Will it launch them further to their destinies or bind them up with uncertainty and doubt?
- How will I feel if someone else had to make this choice?
What if you make a wrong choice? Decisions can be corrected. One bad choice doesn't always have to be final.
Until next time
Yours in Prosperity