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Choose the path to success

Improving Systems and Habits

Scott Miker is the author of several books that describe how to use systems and habits to improve.  This free blog provides articles that to help understand the principles related to building systems.  

Choose the path to success

Scott Miker

Life is all about choices.  We all have choices that we make throughout our lives that determine where we go and who we end up becoming.

But most people that I know only pay attention to the major decisions, like getting married or having kids.  They gloss over the daily decisions and the decisions not to act when there is something that they want.

We have to realize that part of our choice in life is the ability to have recurring decisions made automatically.  We probably never realize it, but what choose in these relatively minor moments in life add up to provide great meaning. 

In Prisoners of Our Thoughts, by Alex Pattakos, PH.D., the author says, “Whether we like it or not, we are not only free to choose but also responsible for our choices.  So, if we decide to put our real aspirations – be they personal or work-related – in a lock box with the expectation that we’ll some day return to fetch them, that’s our choice.  And, just as important, we must be prepared to live with the fact that we may never return to the contents of our lock box, nor realize our will to meaning!” 

The choice to defer action towards our life’s aspirations is a choice that many people make.  They avoid going after their goals and instead, choose to continue making the same daily choices that are leading them away from the success and happiness associated with chasing their dreams. 

To me it is the daily decisions that matter.  This is because I recall when I was younger wanting certain things so bad, but somehow not working towards them.

I could dream what success would look like.  I would argue with anyone that there wasn’t anyone that wanted it more than me.  Yet when it came time to take action, I froze.  I didn’t know what to do so day in and day out I just kept making the same choices and going in the same (wrong) direction.

Therefore, we need to shift our thinking.  Once we identify what we want in life, we have to be willing to make the daily choices to help us get there.

And this isn’t just a one-time decision.  There will be plenty of choices where we can either keep going through adversity and challenges or quit.  We can adjust and make changes along the way. 

This becomes a fluid path that requires constant vigilance to keep going.  But if we start on the journey and start making the daily choices that take us towards our goals, the choices will become habit and we will start to make them automatically.   

Then we will have our daily choices aligned with our higher aspirations.  We can still run into problems because as things change, we have to be willing to change.  We can’t get too stuck on one course when our aspirations change. 

But those daily choices are important.  That is what guides us through life.  That is what decides whom we become.  It isn’t just about what we want in life, it is about what we do and the choices we make throughout our life.