During a recent trip, my husband decided it would be fun to experience a Volcano Safari. In the past, we have zip-lined through the tree tops; four-wheeled throughout the jungle, and biked several steep hills. I didn’t think it would be too difficult; after all there aren’t big mountains in the Caribbean, right? So I agreed to our fun adventure. Big mistake!
When we arrived at our destination, I found myself looking up at Mount Liamuiga, which is 3,792 feet. Our climb from the base camp was an 1800 feet vertical hike covering 2.5 miles to the volcano rim! I know what you are thinking, because I had the same thought “this is not how I define fun!” To make matters worse, we had already paid for the “fun experience.” So we had a choice, either climb or wait for six hours at the base camp with no cell phone reception. (My husband did not want to spend six hours with an unhappy wife.)
What do you do when faced with a difficult choice? Do you seek wise counsel or draw on past experiences and prior knowledge? Do you run different scenarios though your mind to assess possible outcomes? Or maybe you calculate the odds of success? I wish I could state that I used a research based decision-making model to guide my choice, however my choice was based purely on my desire not to look bad in front of strangers.
Yes, my pride drove my decision. What drives your choices? Every day we make numerous choices. Some choices are a part of our normal routine and don’t require a significant amount of thought. However, we make decisions all day which on the surface appear to be insignificant, therefore we don’t stop and ask ourselves “why did I do that?”
What would happen if we would stop and ask “why did I make this decision” before we implement? Imagine the amount of pain, heartache, and headaches we could avoid.
I know we ask ourselves the tough questions when we are faced with big decisions but I am asking about the simple everyday choices we make. You see, it is our daily agenda which determines our success. The Law of Process from Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership reminds us of the impact of our daily choices. To be an effective leader, every day I must make good decisions based on the right reasons. Let me give you an example, if I want my staff to be on time, I must be on time, and therefore I must get up when the alarm sounds. If my goal is to be healthy and lower my cholesterol, before I eat a bag of potato chips, I need to ask “why” did I choose to sabotage my goal?
So how did my choice work out? Not very good at first but in the end all was well. Let me explain. After my “pride” said climb my brain devised a plan to stay with our lead guide Adrian. Now, before I go on let me share a fact about Adrian. He has been climbing Mt. Liamuiga since he was 11 years old and he makes this climb every day. (Do you see the flaw in my logic?) So, I positioned myself right up front behind Adrian. As we started, I told myself this is not so bad. After we climbed half of the first leg, my heart and lungs decided they were not having fun and I realized I was in trouble. But once again my pride reminded me that I needed to look good for people who I would never see again. So, based on Adrian’s advice, I dropped back to the middle of group. Well at the first rest stop, with my husband’s assistance, I came to my senses and decided to drop back and walk at my own pace and enjoy the day. Once I made a choice for the right reason, then I started to enjoy my hike. It didn’t matter whether I was first or last, it was about the journey not the destination. As I looked around at the lush green rainforest, I experienced the beauty of God’s creation. Instead of worrying about what strangers thought, I fellowshipped with my creator.
While I didn’t make it to the summit, I did climb 65% of the volcano. I also enjoyed a conversation with a group of strangers who also decided to walk at their own pace. All in all, it turned out to be great day. As we drove back to the port, I reflected on the impact of my choices on the events of the day. I was reminded, we are what we choose.
Are you satisfied with your choices? If yes, why? If no, why? Remember, we are what we choose.
Tell me about it,
Dr. Kim Moore
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