“The choices we make are driven by the choices we have.”
The first statement came from a conference speaker heard by my friend and fellow coach, Leanne Hoagland-Smith, as described in her blog. The second exclamation was her response. As Leanne rightly observes, “Statements like this only restrict growth, be it business, sales, innovation, professional development or personal self improvement.”
Perhaps a better statement might be, “The choices we make are driven by the choices we can conceive.”
We are all observers in the world. As a result, each of us sees our world in a particular way and we have three choices.
- We can do nothing, allowing circumstances to restrict thinking, subjugating ourselves as victimized, reactionary “pin balls” bouncing off of life’s circumstances or minions who do what we are told, but little more. “The choices we make are driven by the choices we have.”
- We can take new actions based on how we see the world, or “how the world is”, with the intent of producing new results. This is how most people and organizations typically approach change on a regular basis. This is still about “The choices we make are driven by the choices we have,” just with more creative energy.
- We all have a third and powerful choice, although it is too seldom exercised; that is, we can see the world in a new way, which produces many new possibilities for action – choices – that did not exist before. The third choice requires a different lens through which to focus, as you say. “What else is possible before I make my choice?”
Of course, Choice #3 puts us at The Intersection of Purpose and Now, and it’s an attitude toward life – a point of view – that is available to every observer of the world.
Choice #3 is the choice of the visionary leader, the person who likes happiness and therefore chooses happiness, the person who continues to ask:
“What else is possible?”
So how do we develop the habit of Choice #3? In Why This Work, my most popular and frequently requested seminar, I describe Choice #3 as “looking at things through a different lens to see if we can discover new insights that might help us find the passion necessary to move forward with our work.”
- Rethink HOW you do WHAT you do, and WHY you do it – go “beneath the surface”
- Consider how your assumptions drive behavior and therefore the results you get
- Consider how new assumptions create new possibilities, which create hope that drives your passion for what you do (and the choices you have)
- Consider realistic but lofty goals to produce the results you want
- Believing and Doing – the Hardest Part