According to multiple sources, the average number of decisions an adult makes each day is about 35,000. Some are smart, others ... well, lets just keep things on a positive note and say it's the smart decisions you make every day that will lead to success.
Speaking of, there are countless circumstances we find ourselves in where the best decision is not making one at all. I say this because the situation may be out of our control. Whether it's reporting to a toxic boss you inherited from a recent promotion or a merger that sent people packing, a lot of your day-to-day living is completely left up to chance.
And while there are things you just can't control, you can control the path you choose in shaping the life you want. You can make choices that often lead to peace and harmony in relationships, success on the job, and very few regrets in life.
5 Smart Choices That Will Pave the Way to Your Success
Decisions, decisions, decisions. What comes first? Well, we need to simplify things into a workable plan that you can incorporate into your daily life. The strategy is to keep you from making dumb choices, right? Focus daily on these five choice areas and success will be just around the corner.
1. Choose to stop feeling sorry for yourself.
If life threw you a fastball when you were expecting a curve and you struck out on an important decision, stop getting up every morning (or going to bed every night) thinking, obsessing, questioning, second-guessing, and psychoanalyzing every "what if" scenario.
Corcoran Group founder and Shark Tank mogul Barbara Corcoran has some truth to impart here:
The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves.
Be like the most successful people and entrepreneurs: Bounce back, learn from your mistake, chalk it up to experience, remember the lesson in the future, and forget the rest.
As you recover and heal from whatever pain was inflicted on you, having a mindset of putting "the past in the past" releases you from the chains of guilt and analysis paralysis. Face it--your mistake cannot be undone. But you can choose to learn from it and move on.
2. Choose to surround yourself with positive people.
Want to know the instant solution to being a positive person who attracts others? Simple: Stop hanging around negative people. Like an unwanted disease, they will contaminate the work environment by spreading their negativity virus.
The New York Times had a compelling article earlier this year called "The Year of Conquering Negative Thinking," in which it stated,
All humans have a tendency to be a bit more like Eeyore than Tigger, to ruminate more on bad experiences than positive ones. It's an evolutionary adaptation that helps us avoid danger and react quickly in a crisis. But constant negativity can also get in the way of happiness, add to our stress and worry level and ultimately damage our health.
Do yourself a favor: Next time you're around your colleagues, listen to their natural dialogue. Are they seeing the glass as half empty and dwelling heavily on the worst possible outcome? Do they sound like this? If so, it's inherent of who they are at their core.
Switch tribes by being around people who are passionate, motivated, optimistic, reliable, supportive, resilient, and lift you up instead of drag you down.
3. Choose to take initiative.
Ultra-successful people won't sit on decisions waiting for urgency to come knocking. They take risks and create urgency with intent and purpose, driving themselves closer toward their goals or personal mission.
However, if you're in a leadership role, a fair warning: Don't confuse "drive" and "initiative" with a top-down approach of wielding your power and control full speed ahead. A controlling and impulsive leader who steamrolls ahead with his or her own agenda without soliciting feedback before making a decision will only hurt the team or company.
The right approach is to take initiative with fierce resolve but coupled with humility -- the "Level 5 Leader" way. You should be driven and take action to get results, but not at the expense of people. Level 5 Leaders balance personal will and commitment with the best interests of their tribe members in mind.
4. Choose to communicate with your mouth and ears.
The best way to strengthen relationships at work is through more communication, especially with your ears. Intentionally spend time with your colleagues and boss to learn more about them -- their personal lives, what they're working on, what their interests and strengths are. This takes the skillful art and science of active listening.
You do so by listening intently, with the other person's needs in mind. You listen to the other person's story, searching conversations for depth, meaning, and understanding. The upside for you? You may identify opportunities for deeper connections, business or personal pursuits aligned with mutual interests, and, if you're a manager, opportunities for your employees to contribute more to other projects.
5. Choose every opportunity to experience joy.
Ever been around people who are really positive and happy all the time? For your average mood swinger, they can be annoying as heck! But here's what you can learn from the ones who are genuinely expressing joy: They choose every opportunity to share their happiness -- quotes, funny pictures, uplifting or hilarious stories, jokes, positive books, blogs, and good news to pick us up and add color to our lives.
It's contagious, and, as it turns out, what was once annoying you now understand as authentic; they choose to enjoy life to the fullest.
You now find yourself wanting to be part of their tribe--to soak up their positive energy, passion, and enthusiasm for life.
These people express their joy in caring for people and causes. They fight for justice, peace, equality, clean air, children's rights, animal rights, and any other worthy and noble cause that will make a positive difference in the lives of others. They visit nursing homes, share meals with lonely people, volunteer at homeless shelters, teach CPR classes, and sponsor education for single moms.
Obviously, a joyful person's goals come first, and such people are naturally motivated and goal-oriented to achieve their best. But they are also naturals at guiding others along the path they need to take, and inspiring others to scale the mountain and meet their goals. They let people grapple with their issues, but will come alongside someone to cheer them on to success. You can't help but be empowered and feel happy yourself when in their company.
Finally, they are lifelong learners. Joyful people never stop learning, and never assume they know everything. That's why they show interest in basking in the wisdom of others. This is what initiates the best conversations -- learning about what other people do, how they do it, why they do it. People love to talk about themselves, and joyful people are smart enough to let them! They are the type of people who show up with the humble gesture of "I want to learn from you."
What choices have you made to improve your life? Hit me up on Twitter and leave me a comment. I'd love to know and learn from you.