Peter and Paul are two brothers. They both commute to work by car. They spend 60 minutes on the road each day, and they both love music. As soon as they sit in the car, they play their favorite tunes and listen to them all the way to work and back home.
At least that’s now it was before Paul discovered audiobooks two years ago. Since that time, he was able to listen to almost 300 books. Some of them were good, some bad, but two were truly amazing and changed him forever. He realized that he could teach what he had learned in these books. He established his own online business and quit his job. Now, he doesn’t have to commute to work anymore.
At first, it was a bit awkward for Paul to listen to audiobooks. He was used to music, and he didn’t enjoy books that much, but he realized that he was practically wasting 60 minutes of his life each day by staring at the road holding the wheel and listening to rhymes. For first few months, he had the urge to listen to music instead of books, but he managed to fight it. Eventually, it became a habit, and now he can’t imagine driving without audiobooks.
And Peter? Well, he is still hitting the road every morning. Nothing changed, he just loves music too much.
Like Paul and Peter, we all have exactly 24 hours per day, each day and we get to decide how we will use them. We all have the same 24 hours to work, eat, love, fight, study, run, sleep, smile, meditate.
So why are some of us happy, healthy and satisfied while others can’t seem ever to achieve this?
What is the difference? Is it about education, intelligence, luck, money?
No, the difference is the choice and the action.
We all make small, seemingly unimportant choices each day, each minute. These choices result in corresponding actions.
The point is to make the right choice and act upon it. But it seems like it makes no difference if we choose to act or not to act. After all, one day doesn’t count, right?
Well, it does because every one of these seemingly small, mundane and unimportant choices and actions shape slowly, but steadily our lives, our future. The problem is that they do seem irrelevant because they don’t deliver immediate results we are used to these days. And because we don’t have that immediate feedback it’s very easy for us to not act upon our choices or to stop too early before they have a chance to deliver the results.
Now, we already know what the right choices are. There are too many books, articles, blog posts. If we want to make the right choice regarding our health, happiness, productivity, we all know where to look for the answers. The problem is not the lack of information; the problem is the lack of action.
Even though we all have access to the knowledge we need to make the right choices, only a few of us manage to make them and keep acting upon them while the rest seems to never get any further with their lives. How so? If those choices are so easy to make and execute, why don’t we all have a happy, fulfilling lives and careers?
The key is the action. Simple, mundane and seemingly unimportant choices are so easy to act upon, that they’re also very easy not to act upon at all. This is what makes all the difference.
Paul shared his discovery of audiobooks with Peter the next day, but Peter chose not to listen to them, he chose to keep listening to music. Paul chose audiobooks, but most importantly, he kept listening to them each day, he kept executing his choice, he acted upon this choice for the last two years.
You are the one who can change your life profoundly and become whoever you want to be. It won’t magically happen overnight, but it will no less magically happen over months and years if you just manage to make the right choices resulting in those mundane, seemingly unimportant everyday actions that look too simple and boring to make a difference, yet they make all the difference.
Next time you turn on the radio in your car or watch that silly new episode of never-ending soap opera on TV, think about your choices, think about how these simple, seemingly unimportant actions you make today could profoundly change you five years from now. Will these choices make you a better person? Will they deliver something valuable?
Make the right choices, every day, for the rest of your life because your time here is limited and it’s too precious to waste it with activities that won’t push you toward your goal, whatever it might be.
Surprisingly, big achievements, but tragically, also big falls, are results of simple and small everyday choices that seems totally unimportant today, like what will I eat, what will I read, what will I listen to, who will I be with, but make all the difference after months and years.
I wish you all the right choices!