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Someone recently asked me why I spend so much time talking about choice. Why it’s such a big deal to me?

My answer?

There’s no bigger deal than having the privilege of choosing the direction of one’s own life.

Just ask anyone in our country or abroad who doesn’t have the luxury of choosing their existence because of

• Politics
• Economics
• Gender
• Ethnicity
• Religion
• Circumstances and so on….

Choice. Decision.

Though they appear similar, they are worlds apart. When we speak of choice, the inference is that we ‘get to’ pick from the mile-long smorgasbord of life: Emphasis on ‘get to’. Everything is on the table. Everything is a possibility.

Everything is up for grabs.

What does that mean for you? On any given day, you ‘get to’ choose to:
• return to school
• ask for a raise
• seek a promotion
• start your own business
• change jobs
• take a sabbatical
• switch gears
• ______________________

Choice is one big juicy ‘get to.’ It speaks of the freedom to select, to pick something because it’s the absolute best, yummiest, most life quenching of all options.

Decision. Close, but no enchilada.

When a decision is on the table, it’s usually an ‘either-or.’ We have some information and, based on the evidence before us, we ‘have to’ make up our minds: Emphasis on ‘have to.’ A decision is more of a judgment, a call we make when we’re out of choices.

Listen in on this example between a career counselor and her client:

“I understand you’d like to change careers; that you’re not as happy as you might be, you’re not making the income you deserve, and you’ve said that you’re certainly not making a difference in the world. What career, job, or business would you like to choose?”

In contrast to:

“I understand you’d like to change careers; that you’re not as happy as you might be, you’re not making the income you deserve, and you’re certainly not making a difference in the world. You need to decide if you’re going to take a job at the bank or a job at the mortgage company.”

Noticeable difference, isn’t it?

So how will you use this information?

Today, at this moment, you have a zillion choices before you.

Your ‘come from’ will determine whether you’re choosing or deciding. ‘Come from’ refers to your perspective, the place you stand in your life, the values you bring to the game, and how you ‘hold’ yourself.

If you ‘hold yourself’ as competent, smart, creative, trustworthy, compassionate, etc., you will likely choose today. You will choose to be happy or not. You will choose to feel gratitude or not. You will choose to mentor someone or not. You will choose to take a risk or not.

Your ‘come from’ (as in “where are you coming from?”) will be that of someone who has self-awareness, self-respect, self-confidence, and so on.

If you ‘hold yourself’ as messed up, a failure, incapable, unreliable, then it is likely that you will decide today. You will decide that you’re not worthy of the job that was just posted. You will decide, in advance, that no one will give you a great recommendation, so why bother even trying? You will decide that life is hard, and so it will be.

Your ‘come from’ will be the failures of your history, and your many successes will fade into obscurity. You will decide that you are not worthy, or you don’t deserve, or you’re not enough or loveable. And so it will be.

Did you notice that choice comes from passion, and decision comes from fear?

So tell me,
• What are you choosing today?
• How do you make choices?
• How do you determine whether your choices were ‘good ones?’
• What’s the best choice you’ve ever made? (or at least in your top ten list).

PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS in the comments below.

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Are you ready to make a change? Are you willing to put aside and work through your obstacles to reach your potential? Then schedule a 15-minute complimentary call with Nancy on our calendar .

Nancy D. Solomon, MA Psych is the CEO and Founder of The Leadership Incubator where she helps leaders identify, address and resolve people problems before they become profit problems so everyone can focus on what they were hired to do– INNOVATE AND DRIVE GROWTH.

Known as The Impact Expert, she is a main stage speaker, expert trainer and veteran coach who helps leaders solve key issues related to leadership development, employee engagement, and advancing women.

Nancy has made a difference for such companies as Microsoft, Target, Acura, Westin, Nordstrom & ADP as well as with many passionate individuals.