Are you ready to have your mind blown? Well get this; on average, we make 35,000 decisions per day! Yes, you read correctly, 35,000 decisions every day! It’s amazing our heads don’t explode! What type of decisions do we make? Big ones, little ones, conscious ones, unconscious ones, significant ones and those that may seem to be insignificant ones. Out of all of those decisions, how many do you think are actually insignificant? 1000, 5000, 10,000 or 20,000 of them? The truth is, none of them are insignificant. Each one of them will start a ripple that will impact lives. Make no mistake, every decision you make, makes you!
The alarm goes off and you make your first decision; get up or hit snooze? Significant or insignificant? Incredibly significant, because it indicates a mindset of proactivity or procrastination. It means, more or less time in the day to do things to do meaningful things. That one simple decision will make you, more than you can realise. You make many decisions, and those decisions are going to impact your day; the people you interact with, the ripple effect they will produce, and in fact, your whole life. You get to choose to be in a good mood or not, exercise or not, eat breakfast or not, enjoy your day or not and the many other decisions that come your way during the course of the day. Make no mistake about it, these decisions you deliberately make, will absolutely make you.
Why is it that two people with similar ages, abilities, career paths and interests in life can end up in two totally different destinations? One can create amazing success and the other crippling destruction. Those who find themselves in undesirable situations will often blame luck, other people or external circumstances, but the reality is it all comes down to the decisions they made, which ended up making them. Yes, it’s true, we can face horrendous circumstances, but there are many people who rise from adversity to create incredible success. So, let’s not blame them, shall we?
I often talk about my inspiring mother, whose choices helped her outlive a miserable cancer prediction by fifteen glorious and joy-filled years. But rarely do I talk about another inspiring person in my life. This person, who has always been rock solid and an absolute blessing, is my father, Bill. Much like my mother, he never chased after fanfare or recognition, he just did and still does what he needs to do to be a great husband and father. He supported, loved and protected his family. He did and still does an amazing job. At 85 years old, as I write this, he is the man I look up to most in the whole world. He is a man whose decisions in life made him who is today; a wealthy, healthy, loving and generous man of high integrity and moral fibre.
My father was an only child born to a couple who had no idea how to show affection to their young son. In fact, so ill-equipped were they to be parents, they very quickly bundled him up and sent him off to a boarding school in a place called Geelong, two hours from where they lived. My dad learned to survive the hard way, growing up in a tough all male boarding school environment in the 1940’s and 50’s. He learned he needed to be assertive and fight for what he wanted, if he were to survive.
Make the right decisions, anyway!
Very quickly he developed an interest in Geology and followed that passion through his secondary and tertiary education and came out the other end as a qualified Geologist. Like many of us, as teenagers who never really think through the long-term impact of our career choices, my father found his life as a Geologist, whilst an interest, was not going to give him the time, money or options he wanted in his life and that of his family. So, what should he do? He really had no other skills or qualifications, and, he was – and still is – a very shy person who prefers to keep to himself. He tried his hand working in a business owned by my mother’s parents, but that was not the answer. Then in the 1970’s, he had a thought that led to a decision.
I absolutely know where my propensity for illogical thinking comes from, and whilst my father is not spontaneous like I am – in fact, if anything, the total opposite – on this particular occasion, he followed through on a pretty irrational, but every exciting thought. He saw an opportunity and identified a massive gap in the marketplace. Computers were just becoming more common in workplaces, and there was a lack of people who manage, repair and build systems. So, my father, with a geological background, and if you don’t know what that is, it’s rocks and fossils, made a decision, launched off, taught himself computer systems and became a computer systems analyst.
Now, why and how did he do that, based on his total lack of skills, qualifications and experience in that space? Why, particularly considering the embryonic stage of computers in Australia and the world? Let’s face it, in the 1970’s a microchip was a crumb left in the packet of potato chips, a gigabyte was getting supersized at McDonalds, a laptop was a small pet and a USB came from outer-space! He did it, because of a thought, a feeling and then a decision. The thought was that he wanted to create a better life for his family, that he wanted to be a provider and that there was an opportunity in the computing space. That’s all he needed to know at that time.
The thought empowered and excited him, and those feelings got him into action. He is truly a detailed oriented man, and so he studied, he learned and acted until he developed the habits which led him to amazing success. He truly was ahead of his time, and, was one of the very few people who did what he did. Consequently, he became in demand and very highly paid. He took his money, invested and set up self-managed superannuation funds and, with work, focus, persistence and the right decisions, he was predictably a millionaire at an early age. When my mother was diagnosed with her secondary cancer of the liver, and they made the decision to make her life and recovery a priority, my dad was able to retire from full time work and support his wife, emotionally, physically and financially at all times. That was thirty years ago. He is 85 as I write this book today.
My father could have made a different decision, all those years ago, to persist with geology. If he did, where would he be today? A different place, altogether. There is no doubt about it, his decisions made him a wealthy, healthy, loving and generous man of high integrity and moral fibre. It is today as you read this, right? The fact that you even made the decision to read this blog today will make a difference in your life, if you apply the information. Are you getting the results you want in life, right now? Then, look at your decisions, not your circumstances. Look at your choices, not other people’s opinions. Look at your selections, not what’s out of your control. When you start making the decisions you know you should be making, whether you want to, like them or not, you will start becoming the person who will live the life you have always desired. Understand clearly, your decisions make you!