Photo Courtesy of The Joles Group
The Choices We Make
The decisions we make—whether deliberate and or by default—determine what we will do with our lives. All day, everyday we are following the path directed by our decisions.
Still, some decisions we follow are not our own. These decisions have been made for us by our parents, our communities, the government and even perhaps well meaning people based upon their notions of what they think is best. It is therefore a wise man or woman, who periodically takes time to reflect upon why they are doing things.
The bottom line is this–money can be replaced but time is a fixed entity. How we spend our time for personal development, for family, and for career development, will directly impact the quality of our lives. We are each responsible to direct the course of our lives.
People in crisis are often counseled to decide before they walk out their front door, how they will handle tough situations ahead of time. Teens facing peer pressure often do the same with their parents help to make navigating challenges easier. Photo Courtesy of Eurlog.
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
I have known my friend Stephanie for twenty-six years. One of the things we have in common is we both love to read. I gravitate toward history. Stephanie gravitates toward the biographies and real life adventures. The last time we hung out, she recommended Outliers to me. Lets just say I inhaled it in one sitting. If you haven’t read it, I recommend it. It puts to rest the myth that only genius and high IQ can lead to success, leaving them in their proper place–second. Incidentally the number one driver for success is hard work. You knew that.
Statistically, people who have achieved great success follow this pattern. They have spent at least ten thousand hours at what they do. This holds true over all disciplines. People like Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, and the list goes on, have all paid their dues.
Bill Gates happened to attend a Junior High that had a computer lab. This was unheard of in those days. When that lab maxed out its hours, he and a friend found a university that had a 24-hour computer lab. He and his buddy, while still high school sophomores, were able to reserve hours there from 3 am to 6 am weekdays and longer stretches on weekends. Gates’ mother commented later she could never figure out why getting up in the morning as so difficult for him.
By the time Gates got to university, he had already logged in his 10,000 hours, a fact that Gladwell brilliantly documents in his book. Why did he need college when he could run circles around the professors?
Well, what about us? How are we spending our time? It’s a fair question. It is also a decision. What do we want to achieve in the time we have? The choices we make now, can payoff in the future. Granted, not everyone is going to be a Bill Gates hopping a bus to a university computer lab for a 3 am time slot. Not everyone wants to be. But what do we want? There are so many possibilities. We just need to decide.
Photo of Outliers Courtesy of The Wisdom Journal
Photo of Malcolm Gladwell Courtesy of Future Media Change