How your life looks today can be based on an accumulation of small choices you make on a daily basis. These may seem on first hand insignificant in the big scheme of things, however, it is these small choices that over a period of time, can play significant roles in shaping our lives for better or for the worse. So, the question is, how are your small choices shaping your life?
What are some examples of these small choices? It can be taking the stairs instead of the elevator, drinking a glass of water as opposed to that can of soda, or eating a bag of chips versus a bowl of fruits. Lastly, my own favorite vice, getting an expensive, yummy, fatty latte instead of regular black coffee. Our lives are filled with small daily choices we make. Thus, these choices can have a compound effect on our lives after a few years which can lead to undesired results.
Let me describe a scenario for you about two co-workers. They both devote equal amount of time for lunch; however, they utilize their time in distinctly different ways. One co-worker makes a daily choice to go out and gossip with other coworkers while eating lunch. She not only gossips, but she also complains about her schedule, her duties, and her other coworkers at work; and in turn she listens to other people’s complaints and gossip as well. In total, the 1 hour of gossiping every working day equates to 1,200 hours of “gossiping time” over a 5-year period, with no added value to her potential well-being or career.
On the other hand, the other coworker decides to use that 1-hour lunch time to learn something new. She spends it by reading books, listening to interesting audiobooks or seeking mentorship from others that may improve her well-being or career. The 1,200 hours here accumulates to something completely different from her co-worker, in that, it is fueled by choices that lead to self-development, which in turn, has vast potential to grow her life, career and relationships in a positive direction.
I myself analyzed my own vice for Lattes. I did a calculation and realized that if I bought a $4 latte every day after lunch, I would be spending $1,344 per year, with no benefit to my health or wealth. I decided, if I make my own coffee instead, I can save $1,344 by the end of one year and $6,720 after 5 years to invest into something like a gym membership that can benefit me in greater ways.
So, for anyone of us to improve an area of our lives, you must become keenly aware of the small, but accumulative choices we make throughout our day. Starting today, I want you to be aware of where you are making these poor choices. If you want to get out of debt, you are going to track every penny you pull out of your pocket. If it’s your health, then you must track what you are putting in your mouth. If you want to become physically fit, you must track every step you take as a start. I have found it very useful to carry a notebook or use my phone to track all my daily choices and behaviors. This process can help you become conscious of your decisions and the small things you are willing or not willing to do to turn your life in the direction you want. This is a great exercise because by recording all these behaviors, you will be more likely to avoid negative behavior patterns holding you back in life.
As Jim Rohn says:
“ What’s simple to do, is also what’s simple not to do. The magic is not in the complexity of the task. The magic is in the doing of the simple things repeatedly and long enough to ignite the miracle of the compound effect.”