CareerSherpas: Climbing the Mountain

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Archive for the ‘Decision Making’ Category

Be Aware of Your Choices

Monday, September 10th, 2012

In everything we have a choice. Even not making a choice is a choice.

Think about the last week. In all likelihood through most of it you got up, went to work, performed some duties, came home, spent time in some leisure activity, and slept. Rinse and repeat.

Let’s just take one segment, how about that whole “went to work” piece? How did you get there? Did you drive, walk, bike, or catch a bus? If you drove, did you drive the same way each day? Did you stop for coffee? Did you travel with anyone? Did you listen to the radio, CD or mp3s on the way? Did you move quickly or slowly? Did you feel rushed? Did you smile or wave at anyone on the way? Did you see people you knew that you didn’t connect with? Did you meet someone new and chat?

You answered all of these questions whether you know it or not. Even if you weren’t aware that the question was asked, you answered it.

Every step along the way, your choices shaped what came next. Your opportunities expanded and contracted at each point. You had control at every fork in the road whether you chose to exercise it or not.

Some choices are more difficult or carry more consequences than others. A choice to speed brings the risk that the next person you talk to might be the police officer pulling you over. Not going to work at all might mean you no longer have that job to go to.

Even so, you have a choice, and you made it. Whether you consciously decided or let the default option carry the day, it was your choice.

Take one area of your life that is on auto-pilot and consider carefully what choices you are making. If you need to start small, try looking at your commute or what you eat for lunch. Are you following the same pattern day in and day out? Are you happy with that pattern or is there something that you’d rather change?

Just by being aware of the choices you make, you have changed them. You made a decision not to let those choices be automatic.

When you’re ready for a bigger challenge, take a look at the area of your life where you find the least joy and ask yourself: What decisions am I making here?

(And if you need a little help getting there, try dropping me a note or call.)

Peter Fitzgerald is the founder of CareerSherpas.com and is currently working on his first book, connecting individuals with ideas and opportunities, and attempting to learn the bagpipes.