As Chuck Swindoll says, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
Don’t breeze right past that. It is loaded with wisdom that can make all the difference in your life.
If getting what you want is 90% dependent on your reactions and you control your reactions, then YOU have a big responsibility here.
The choices you make on a moment-by-moment basis suddenly become extremely important.
Every Choice You Make Is Important
Life is full of a ton of decisions.
Most of them seem routine, boring and unimportant. But, they are not unimportant because your life and all the results you get are a direct result of every choice you make.
You may be experiencing, “Death by a thousand cuts.”
I’m going to use an example from personal finance to help explain this. Let’s say you earn a decent salary, but you never seem to get any traction financially. You are always scraping to get by. Why is this?
Well, you did splurge a little the other day when you bought your daughter that new outfit at the mall. And you treat yourself to a Starbucks latte on your way to work every morning. And you could take your lunch on occasion instead of eating out every day, but you like socializing with your co-workers. Also, you sort of have a habit of browsing around online during your spare time and you don’t buy anything big, but you do run into some irresistible deals from time-to-time. And you and your family like going to the movies on the weekends. And what’s a movie without a big bucket of popcorn and a soda?
While none of these decisions on their own are necessarily bad, their cumulative effect can drain you of all your financial strength.
Little by little, without noticing, you are killing yourself via a thousand cuts.
You can apply this same logic to any area of your life:
- Your career
- Your marriage & relationships
- Your happiness
- Your business
- Your health
- Your spiritual life
You may not be making big, obvious mistakes, but you may be dying little-by-little in one or more of these areas because you do not realize the importance of every single choice you make.
Your Life: It Is All Up to You
It is your life. You are in-charge of your thoughts and therefore, you decide how your life goes day-in and day-out.
Sure, things happen, but you choose your reaction in every single circumstance. Remember, 90% of the results you get are determined by how you respond, not by what happens to you.
One of your most powerful choices is what you think – what you let your mind dwell upon and what you fill your mind with.
As I detailed in Two Principles That Will Make You or Break You, your thoughts become your actions or your reactions.
Here’s a few examples of how this might play out in your life:
- Your wife says something that you consider disrespectful. You get offended and you spend the next hour rehashing what she said over and over in your mind. As a result, you let your emotions build up to the point of eruption. You go off on your wife with a verbal barrage. Is your life and your marriage better off for it?
- You have an important event just a few days from now. You feel your performance at this event is critical to your future. You are worried. You are constantly thinking about all that can go wrong and about the consequences if you mess up. You lose sleep and feel extremely stressed. Will you be able to perform at your best?
- A great new business idea simmers in your mind. However, there are risks involved. Your idea is innovative and will propel you into the spotlight, which makes you nervous. You hesitate because of your fear as you have many times before. Are you limiting your potential?
- Your health is suffering because of your bad habits. You know what you should do, but you don’t do it. The whole situation seems overwhelming and discouraging. This depresses you which leads you to seek comfort from your indulgences. It is a vicious circle. Are you holding yourself back from a better life?
These scenarios – where your thoughts determine your actions – play out numerous times on a daily basis. Yet, you probably seldom realize their significance and the cumulative effect they have on your life.
The Choice Is Yours: Make It a Good One
You have thousands, if not millions, of thoughts every day. What are the quality of your thoughts? It is your choice.
Are you dying a death by a thousand cuts when it comes to the attitudes you foster as a result of your misguided and uncontrolled thoughts?
Do you dwell upon the positive or the negative? Do you feed your mind with material and images that build up your confidence or lead you to worry too much?
Your choices will determine your feelings which produce your moods which influence your actions which dictate the results you get. Every single time.
See how it all adds up?
Every single choice you make in every circumstance of your life has an impact. Therefore, you need to decide, which way will you go? The choice is yours.