The Decisions You Make, Make You

Research shows that the average person makes 35,000 decisions…a day! Assuming 7 hours of sleep each day that leaves 17 hours. That makes for a little over 2000 decisions an hour or one decision every two seconds. 

After seeing that research the first decision I made was to decide the researchers must be nuts. If we’re all making 35,000 decisions a day then we can’t be doing anything else. But then I made another decision to read a bit further. The article said decisions include things like deciding to read further in an article. Deciding to ignore a text notification while reading. Deciding to shift my position in the chair I was reading in. 

So whether we really make 35,000 decisions a day or not, it became clear to me that we make a whole lot more decisions than we are actually aware of. Some of those decisions have very little impact on our lives. Others have a major impact. And many, perhaps very many, we won’t understand their impact for years. 

I suspect many of the “outcomes” of our decisions we never tie back to a decision at all. But this much I’m certain of…the better the decisions we make the better the life we make as well. 

We make many huge decisions without ever considering the impact and consequences they could, or will, have on our lives. That’s because we often don’t realize how big some of our everyday decisions are.

For example, the decision about the people you allow into your life. You are the compilation of the five people you most frequently interact with. Yet for most of us we never even consider the influence other people have on our lives. We allow negative people, people who procrastinate, people who find a problem with every solution into our lives and then wonder why we struggle to be the person we want to be. 

If you want to be more successful then hang out with successful, positive and supportive people. 

I see salespeople all the time who when deciding to make one more sales call on a given day or knock off early they choose knocking off early. That’s a terrible choice in most every case. They limit their success, they limit their career and they limit their income. Salespeople who make that poor choice even a handful of times a month will need to work years to make up the lost income. But when deciding when their day will end they almost never consider the long-term consequences. 

The first step to making better decisions is realizing how many decisions you actually make. 

Little decisions, like deciding between a plain Hershey Bar or a Hershey Bar with Almonds won’t be life altering. But it’s likely that more decisions than you think will indeed have a long-term impact on your life. The most successful people consider the consequences of the consequences before making those decisions. 

You are potentially one choice away from a completely different life. There are two types of people in the world, those who believe their life is largely the sum of their choices and those who believe their life is chosen for them by the lottery of circumstances. 

If you don’t believe that then it’s likely you’re in the second group. If you’re interested in success that’s not the group you want to be in. 

Accept responsibility for your choices and you’ll be accepting responsibility for your life. 

Five Choices that Change Everything

People who know more than me about the human body could tell you exactly what it’s made of. The chemical compositions, the percentages of muscle vs fat, (or at least what it should be) and all sorts of other cool stuff. 

But all that “stuff” makes you alive. It does not make your life. 

Your life is made from the choices you make. Every big choice and every small choice determines the quality and even the length of your life. 

If you’re like most people you don’t realize how many choices you make each day. You choose what time to wake up. You choose your attitude, and if you don’t choose your attitude then you choose to allow other people and other things to choose it for you. You choose what to wear, what to eat, where to go, what to say, what to listen to. Who to listen to. What to watch on TV. When to go to bed and hundreds of other decisions wedged between those. 

One thing most us seldom think about is the fact that our minds take in everything we see, everything we hear and everything we read. It all influences what we think and those thoughts determine our actions. 

All, yes all, as in every single one, of those choices are influenced by the people you spend the most time with. Your life is basically a compilation of the lives of the five people you’re around the most. 

If you believe that you are influencing them and that they are not influencing you then I’m guessing you may also be excited about an upcoming visit from the Easter Bunny. 

There are some choices in life that only you control and five of those choices are the people you allow to be closest to you. Those are the five choices that can change every other choice you make in life. These are the people considered to be your “inner circle.” 

Are you allowing unmotivated people to be a big part of your life? If you are then I can also guarantee you that you have motivational issues. You likely can’t seem to get started on the things you say that you want to accomplish. That’s because your natural motivation is being negatively impacted by unmotivated people close to you. 

If you’re allowing negative people into your inner circle then I can be fairly certain that other people around you see you as a negative person, even if you don’t. Pandemics have been in the news a bit lately but nobody talks about the Pandemic of negativity all around us. Negative attitudes are as contagious as any virus that has ever existed and masks do nothing to stop it. The only way to avoid catching negativity is to stay away from it. 

It is a worthy effort to try and infect a negative person who a strong dose of positivity. Understand the contagion you’re dealing with however and make certain you keep some space between yourself and the person you’re trying to help. 

Invest some serious time right now to consider the people who you are closest to. Are they helping you and supporting your efforts to have a better more meaningful life? Are they a good influence on you or do they overpower your good intentions? Be honest!

If you want a better life you may need to make some tough choices. You may need to say goodbye to some of your friends. Even though some of your friends may mean you no harm they may be harming you with their choices…because you are influenced and impacted by them. 

The number of people you allow into your personal inner circle may also be less then five. If you determine you currently know only 3 people capable of being “builders of you” then 3 people is the perfect number. Don’t let a couple of nattering nabobs of negativity into your inner circle just so you have a circle of 5. 

Surround yourself with as many positive, caring and supportive people as you can find. Make sure the five people closest to you fully match the positive, caring and supportive criteria. The quality of your life depends on it.