There is a choice you have to make in everything you do. So keep in mind, in the end, the choice you make, makes you. -John Wooden
Did you catch what isn’t said in the quote above? It’s not circumstances that make me, nor friends, nor family. It’s not even certain conditions, or money. It’s my choices that make me.
Yes, all the other stuff certainly impacts me, but it’s my choices that make me.
But really, that’s just the first step. Making a choice is a moment in time. Following through on that choice or that decision – now that’s another matter.
If I make a choice to get in shape – that’s a great choice. If I don’t follow through with that choice – the choice really doesn’t matter.
Make a good choice, then follow through on that choice. That is what will make you.
Since it is the follow through that becomes so important, let’s look at what we need to follow through.
To Follow Through
An inner fire: I could call this determination, but it’s not a grit my teeth and get-er-done kind of thing. It’s deeper than that. It’s a shift on the inside that says I will do this. I will make time for this.
Focus: In this day and age, there are so many distractions. Email, cell phones, kids, friends, family. In the busyness of life, we let what was once so important to us slide a bit, then a bit more…and we find we’re not doing what we said we would do. When we make a choice we often need to make two choices. One that says, yes I am going to do this. The other choice is what am I not going to do to make room for this.
Focus requires getting rid of distractions for a period of time – that may be a couple of hours per day or it may mean for a lot longer than that. I got rid of my TV over a year and a half ago. In hindsight, I think it was that choice that has helped me focus a lot more over the past year and a half. What are your distractions?
Discipline: This goes along with focus. We need discipline to follow through. Discipline often has negative connotations to it, but really it’s a combination of the inner fire and focus to do what you need to do now to get you to where you want to be.
The act of discipline varies from person to person. It may mean getting up earlier to do what’s important. It may be letting family and friends know that you are not available from 9-10am on weekdays. Do what you need to do to help you remain focus. It may mean a picture on your fridge, or a post-it note with a quote written on it. Find ways to help you stay focused and to keep the inner fire burning.
What helps you in making the right choices and in following through on those choices?