110: Powerful Choices
Each and every moment of our life is filled with choices, even if we don’t realize it. Some choices may seem small and insignificant and some can look heavy and daunting. In reality, all choices have the potential to become powerful. In this episode, Thane Marcus Ringler discusses the importance of realizing and differentiating between easy, majority, and powerful choices. Keep in mind that powerful change stems from powerful choices. Leading a life of impact comes from being consistent in making the right and powerful choice.
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In addition to words, The Giving Keys engraves necklaces with initials, religious symbols, hearts, semi-colons and Greek letters to name a few. Since its inception, the giving keys has provided more than 120 jobs to people transitioning out of homelessness. It’s remarkable. As many of you are likely aware, homelessness is a growing crisis, especially here in LA. A solid job can be a long-term solution for breaking those cycles of generational poverty and homelessness. I’ve personally been able to check out their space and we’ve also had their president, Brit Gilmore on our podcast, episode 71. They’re awesome gifts for yourself and for others. It’s an awesome way to wear your word of the year, as we’ve talked about on this show and name it and claim it. If you’d like to help support their mission, you can purchase a piece of jewelry at TheGivingKeys.com and select retailers in the US, Canada, and their downtown LA flagship. For all of our audience, they are offering a 20% discount code by using the code UP20. Thanks for helping be the change that you wish to see in the world.
This is a shorter solo episode where I get to share a few thoughts. I’ll try to make it brief, but it’s something that I am passionate about. I’ve been speaking at a few high schools with CharacterStrong on this topic of character development and the goal being making kindness normal, which is a worthy and much-needed cause for sure. The focus of my time speaking with the high schoolers is centered around this idea of powerful choices. We don’t typically think that the choices we make on a daily level are all that powerful, but the reality is each choice has the potential to be powerful. If we want to see this world changed for the better, we must individually embrace the idea of powerful choices.
Let me unpack that and explain a little bit more. The easiest way to distinguish between easy choices and powerful choices is one, taking the path of least resistance, whereas the other is choosing the path of more or most resistance. One is looking for a shortcut. The other is realizing that shortcuts don’t produce the long-term goals you are trying to accomplish. One is following a short-term feeling and the other is looking to the delayed gratification that comes from real accomplishment. Easy choices are an easier choice. They also are the default choice. Meaning, it’s a choice we will make if we decide not to make a choice. For example, I decided to map out my thoughts for this episode on a Sunday evening. If I hadn’t decided, if I hadn’t made the choice to do this, it would have never happened. Easy choices are always the default choice. Not doing something is way easier than doing something.You will not stumble upon powerful choices. They must always be fought for. Click To Tweet
Lastly, they are the majority choice or popular choice. Why is this? It’s because easy choices are what most people make. The majority of people on a daily basis will choose easier choices. It’s popular because more people do it than not. Powerful choices are a harder choice. If it’s out of two, it’s going to be the harder choice usually. They’re inevitably the path of more resistance. It’s also true that they never happen by chance. They don’t. You will not stumble upon powerful choices. They must always be fought for. Lastly, powerful choices always take intention plus effort. You have to intend and decide if it’s a decision worth making. You have to back up that decision with hard-fought action by taking steps forward even when you don’t want to.
Most of the decisions and choices we are faced with on a daily moment to moment basis don’t feel like powerful choices. They may not be, but the reality is we often fail to see that many of them have the potential to be powerful choices. A powerful choice could be that you say no to the urge to check Instagram for the fifteenth time and instead remain focused on your task at hand, which allows you to finish it on time and reduces your stress and anxiety that you often carry. It allows you to see that your coworker is having a hard day and is close to tears, which allows you to reach out to her and ask how she’s doing and be there for her in a time of need.
That’s a small choice of saying no in the moment to Instagram. That can lead to a powerful reality down the road when it compounds into other decisions. That’s one small example out of thousands of potential iterations. This is the key point. The reason why powerful choices matter because powerful change comes from powerful choices. The only way we can make a powerful change in the world is if we get good at consistently making powerful choices. In this small minutia of the daily doldrums, which creates the habit of making powerful choices and turns into a large quantity of those choices when committed to over a prolonged period of time. That’s the key.
The beauty of this is that powerful choices that create powerful change can produce a life of impact. This means that you are leaving a place better than you found it. You are improving the lives of others around you and you are sacrificing your own comfort or satisfaction in the moment to bring a measure of benefit to another person. An example of a powerful choice is kindness. Kindness is a powerful choice and can lead to powerful change, the type of change that produces a lasting impact. This impact may be only one person but that person is enough to believe in the value of committing to powerful choices.
It’s important to end with a caveat that being involved in something is drastically different than being committed. Being involved is easy. Sign up and you’re involved. You’re a part of it but commitment comes with a cost. Powerful choices always cost something. They take commitment and they will always cost something. In order to pay the price, we have to see their importance and believe in their worth so we can act on what we believe while being committed to it for a long enough period of time to shift the needle in creating powerful change in ourselves, others and the world we live in.
Ed Zschau on Tim Ferriss’ show had a couple of quotes that were fitting for this. He said, “If you’re going to make a difference in society, changing the world for the better, you better be prepared for a long journey.” He also said, “You don’t get a quick return creating value for the world. You get a quick return doing something that doesn’t matter.” We have to play the long game and powerful choices are the long game. I hope that this can inspire and encourage you to choose to make the powerful choice, take the longer path, not settle, and take ownership of your life in your decisions. Change always starts with us. Change always starts with you and me, but we’re never alone. We get to do it together alongside others who are fighting for that change. I hope you have an up and coming week.
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