Choices Define You

Some people have a problem with choices.

I know in the business here, most of the people prefer to deal with business executives, business owners or professionals because they are in the habit of assessing information and making decisions.  Many others lack the facility and as a result are very unproductive clients.

I suppose there are reasons for the inability to choose, but three obvious ones come to mind.

  1. I can’t choose because by choosing A, I automatically deny B and maybe B would have turned out better.
  2. I don’t have to choose if I do nothing.
  3. If I don’t choose I cannot be held accountable for the outcome.

Collectively these reasons will lead to drifting and guessing and lack of discipline.  None are good attributes for the planful person.  Get in the habit of making decisions.  Especially practice with ones that can be easily changed.

A quickly wrong decision followed by another and another will frequently get you to a better place than a long-studied decision.  People have trouble backing away from well studied decisions that turn out wrong.

It is a well established tenet of business that good managers do not make decisions that are better than those by weak managers.  Good managers stop doing things that don’t work sooner.  It is a self-image and confidence thing.  They do not feel less valuable because some decision did not work out.  Good hitters in baseball are out 70% of the time.

Years ago I had a client business with two partners.  One who managed and one who executed decisions.  Both were skilled.  When asked about this unusual sharing, the one who executed said, “If you locked me in a room with a stove and two refrigerators, one filled with steak and the other with pork chops, I would probably starve to death.”

Knowing how you fit into the world is a powerful advancement tool.

Seth Godin published an article entitled “Your Choice” on the 22nd of May.  It is short and makes the point.  His conclusion – choices define you.

Your choice

Habits are a choice

  • Giving is a choice
  • Reactions are a choice
  • Ideas are a choice
  • Connections are a choice
  • Reputation is a choice
  • The work is a choice
  • Words are a choice
  • Leading is a choice

No one can be responsible for where or how we each begin. No one has the freedom to do anything or everything, and all choices bring consequences. What we choose to do next, though, how to spend our resources or attention or effort, this is what defines us.

There are many other choices.  Save or spend, exercise or vegetate, act or wait.

Decide how you want to define yourself, then choose and if it doesn’t work out, quit and try something else.


If you find these articles helpful, please tell others. 

To subscribe to the daily MoneyFYI post by email, go to and add your email address

Follow at: Twitter @DonShaughnessy  | Tumbler

Don Shaughnessy is a retired partner in an international public accounting firm and is presently with The Protectors Group, a large personal insurance, employee benefits and investment agency in Peterborough Ontario. Contact:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: