John Wooden said, “There is a choice you have to make in everything you do. So keep in mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you.”
This quote has been written in my journal so long the ink has almost faded into the paper making it look as though it was written in pencil. Regardless of its appearance on the paper, it continues to impact my thought process about life each time I read these powerful words. It conjures up thoughts about choices I have made, both good and poor which have changed the course of my walk. It also reminds me that the power to choose is the one of the most effective tools we have in directing our life’s path. We are fortunate where we live because there are many areas in our world today that people don’t have the freedom to choose how they live.
For us to be successful we need to make the right decisions early in life and manage those decisions daily. We sometimes make our life more difficult by making the wrong choices; however, we see others that move through live seemingly without issue because of the good choices they have made. The thing we need to remember is although we don’t always get what we want, we can get what we choose. As leaders, it is important that we carefully choose our choices. By this I mean we have to set our standards higher than others set for us. We need to set goals higher to reach our potential and to be successful because failure comes when we only do the bare minimum. Again John Wooden said, “Never try to be better than others, but be the best you can be.”
Another choice we need to consider as leaders is to understand the aspect that helping people is more important than making them happy. This is difficult to do, especially with children and young adults. They just want what they want when they want it, regardless of the circumstances, because they usually aren’t at a level of maturity to be able to understand the consequences that tag along with poor choices. In other words, some people want what they don’t need and need what they don’t want. As leaders, we aren’t in the business to make people happy; in fact when we choose to lead it will make someone unhappy. People aren’t going to agree with some of aspects of our role, especially when we have to uphold the mission of the organization, work with one person more than another, make changes and decisions they don’t agree with, move people out of their comfort zone, ask them to sacrifice for the betterment of the team, and so on and so forth. The thing to note, all good leaders have critics. They are sometimes misunderstood, but it is a choice we choose to make.
As leaders our focus should be on the present. It’s tough letting go of past events that affected our lives and altered our path. Sometimes we spend way to much time reliving decisions we should have mad and allow the rethinking to create opportunities for poor choices. We can only control the present. The past is the past and the future hasn’t arrived. The longer we are on the “hamster wheel” of the past the further we get away from today’s opportunities. There is a saying that opportunities never look as good coming as they do going, and they wait for no one. Opportunities will come in many shapes and fashions but the one thing for sure is they can only be seen and seized in the present. That is why it is so important to learn from evaluated experiences we have lived and always be prepared in the present to act on new opportunities. I have missed opportunities a few times in my life because I was more concerned about what happened in the past rather than the now. It happens, but it doesn’t have to happen again if we make the right choices for our life and stay focused on the present
I encourage each of us, as leaders, to understand to be a good leader you have to know what you stand for and what you will stand up to. The key choices you make regarding how you will conduct yourself and lead others not only indicate what kind of leader you are, they determine what kind of leader you will become. Choose Wisely. Zephaniah 2:1-3
Have a wonderful day,