I Just Re-learned This Lesson About Life

Many years ago I learned a valuable lesson about life, that has stuck with me. I thought it was worth sharing:

Every day we make the choice of who we are.

We choose how we want to show up in the world. Today’s choices turn into tomorrow’s mindset. They lead to the results we achieve These choices and results combine to write our life’s ‘biography’.

The concept of deciding who you want to be and choosing to shape your future with small daily choices is something I strongly believe in and work hard each day to live by.

Recently, this topic hit home because I realized I haven’t been following this philosophy in a particular area of life.

In fact, this area has sucked for quite a while. It was clear I wasn’t getting the results I desired, yet I was oblivious to (or fully committed to denying) the fact that my own actions and mindset were the reason for the poor results.

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Sometimes I made defensive excuses for my behavior, and other times I blamed the entire issue on other people. Yeah, I know. Not cool.

Identifying this blind spot was a rude awakening since in other areas of life I strive to purposefully choose my actions and own their impact. I am now acutely aware that the frustration and struggle I’ve experienced for years have been of my own doing.

What broke the facade was (finally) internalizing the age-old phrases “Talk is cheap” and “Actions speak louder than words”.

Of course, I’ve heard and said these words many times, but what made this revelation so powerful for me was the mental imagery of how my actions connect to my ‘biography’.

My actions were in direct conflict with my beliefs and values in that particular area of life, and realizing that I’ve written some dark chapters in my biography was a hard pill to swallow.

Regardless of what my intentions were, I couldn’t deny any longer that the results weren’t positive, and that things would not change unless I first made the decision to own my actions and the resulting outcomes.

When someone talks about their Core Values…it only matters to me if their actions live into those values each day. Yet, here I was doing the same thing. To realize that I had been blind to (and willfully denying) my failure in this particular area sucks.

So, why am I telling you this?

Because IT MATTERS to your life! Everyone has areas of life they aren’t happy with and would like to improve. Taking a HARD, DEEP LOOK at your role in that outcome is extremely important to growth and development.

Sure, blame, avoidance, and denial are much easier at the moment, but they hinder us in the long run. I spent years “working on improving”, but then ignoring that what I was choosing to do wasn’t producing the results I wanted.


This “expending effort without direction or accountability” approach is seductive. You can honestly say you are “working on it”, but without having to do the hard evaluation and admit that what you’ve tried didn’t work.

It doesn’t matter whether it stems from fear of failure, fear of success, or just a lack of clarity in defining the desired outcome and processes. The fact is, being able to hold ourselves accountable for measuring outcomes is critical to success.

This allows us to see if what we are doing is working, and to improve the process over time. When approached with a positive, proactive approach, it becomes a daily routine of growth and development.

This has helped me be more cognizant of potential blind spots and open to suggestions and recommendations from the most important people in my life. Remember, our choices today shape the story that will live on about us forever.

Our legacy. Our biography.

What legacy are you creating in your own mind compared to the minds of others? How do you see yourself? Does this correlate with the results you are getting in the areas that are important to you?

How do you want to be remembered? Do you want to be remembered as a leader? As a wonderful parent, spouse, friend? Or someone who is fit, healthy, happy? As someone who followed their dreams and never settled?

As someone who made a positive impact on the world?

You get to decide how you’ll be remembered because the choices you make shape that biography every day.

From my perspective, this is a pretty amazing opportunity! The key is to embrace it and live into the philosophy every day. Will you be perfect every day? Nope! As long as you choose to learn, change, and improve, then it’s a success!

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