A Different and Better Year Ahead?

If you randomly ask 100 people if they would like 2018 to be “better” most everyone would say yes. When you ask them what they are going to do to ensure that it is indeed better you’ll likely get just as vague an answer as the question you asked. 


The problem with the question of course is that “better” can be defined in literally millions of ways. Better to one person might be less rain in 2018 but if your a farmer in a drought stricken area less rain would be the exact opposite of “better.” 


The more specific you are in stating exactly what “better” looks and feels like the greater your chances of actually having a better 2018.


Setting goals for yourself in 2018 can most certainly help, making resolutions almost certainly won’t. But whether you have goal or resolutions heading into the new year your best chance of having a better 2018 is simply to make better choices and decisions.


You likely have far more choices than you realize and you have a ton more control over the circumstances of your life than you think. If fact, if you’re like most people you don’t actually consider just how much of your life you can change just by changing the choices you make. 


You choose your friends… do you ever consider that? Do you complain about one friend to another? I suppose everyone does that once in a while but if you are consistently complaining about one or two people in your life then you should be asking yourself why you are allowing them to be part of your life. 


The most successful people do not complain about things they have control over, they just choose to change them. You get to choose your friends and you get to choose most of the people who are a part of your life. 


You are basically the compilation of the five or ten people you spend the most time with. That means one of the fastest ways to change your life is to change the people you hang out with. 


That’s not always easy, in fact it’s frequently hard, but it is worth considering and then doing if you want to be in control of your life. 


Another choice most people seldom consider is their thoughts. You DO choose what to think in any given circumstance. You can look for the good or the bad in most any situation and more often than not, you’ll find what you’re looking for. 


Your thoughts play a major role in controlling your life because your thoughts almost always are reflected in your actions (even if you believe you can hide your thoughts from other people) and it’s your actions that people pay attention to. Always remember, people believe some of what you say but they believe everything that they see you do. 


I’d encourage you to pick one day, one single day is all you’ll likely need, pick a day and consider for just a second or two why you thought what you just thought. Where did that thought come from? Before you do something pause for just two or three seconds and ask yourself why you’re doing it. 


It will likely take far less than a day for you to realize how many choices you actually make without considering how much those choices will impact your life.


Sooner or later we all sit down at the table of consequences. Whether what you eat at that table is sweet or bitter is the result of hundreds of choices you make each day, many without even realizing it was a choice. 


Once you realize how many choices you actually make in a day, many without even thinking, you’ll have a chance at making better choices. Better choices lead to a better life. 

So what exactly does “better”mean? Well that’s just another choice that you get to make for yourself.

What Great Leaders Understand

There are tangible reasons some leaders are better than others. Some people may believe it’s luck, others may think it’s karma, still others insist it’s just a timing thing.


But the fact is some leaders are better than others because they understand stuff that average leaders just don’t get. Chief among that stuff is that decisions matter and they matter because every decision changes something once it’s acted upon.


The best leaders are always at least a few steps ahead of weaker leaders. It’s like when you watch a good pool player. They are thinking where they want to leave the cue ball for their next two or three shots. Great Chess players are always several moves ahead of average Chess players.


So it is with the best leaders. They know that every decision has consequences, some could be good and some could be not so good. But they understand that every single decision comes with consequences and they not only consider the consequences they also consider the consequences of the consequences and the consequences of those consequences. They are generally way ahead in their thinking than average leaders.


Average leaders make too many decisions without thinking of even the first layer of consequences. They are more reactive decision makers than proactive and that puts them behind the curve pretty much every step of the way.


That’s why average leaders always seem to be scrambling to “fix” what wasn’t broken until they broke it. They often receive recognition for being a great “fire-fighter” when the fact is they are a Pyromaniac of a leader. Their poorly considered decisions cause many of the fires they are later applauded for extinguishing. 


People don’t follow Pyro Leaders because the heat they generate makes it too hard to succeed.


If you want to become a more effective leader then you simply must understand that your actions and decisions have consequences. Not only must you understand that but you must also accept responsibility for those consequences, especially if those consequences turn out to be less than desirable. It’s only by accepting responsibility for your decisions that you’ll learn to make better ones.


It’s pretty tough to get ahead when you’re perpetually two steps behind. Consider the consequences BEFORE you act on your decisions and your decisions will likely change considerably. 

Then you’ll have the chance to truly lead.