The choices you make, make you. – John Maxwell.
I was thinking about this and trying to look back and see which major decisions I had made that made me into what I am today. It was interesting to look back, to think about what I had done, about the defining moments that changed my life. A lot of the time I really had no idea how the decisions I was making were going to affect my life. I was just doing what I thought was right for me at the time.
The first years of my life were of course not mine to decide. My parents decided to move to Ethiopia, they decided to have me, they decided to move to Chicago, then to Geneva, then to Norway, then some years later back to Switzerland, and send me off to boarding school for a year. Finally time came for me to make some decisions on my own. Did I? Of course.
Some of the major decisions or turning points were:
- I decided to work as a volunteer, something I ended up doing for almost 40 years. It changed the way I look at others, and has helped me be more understanding and compassionate. It has made me grateful for all the blessings I have.
- Getting married, and getting children. That was one of the greatest decisions, and one that really, completely changed my life. I have a fantastic family. They are my joy and my pride.
- I had a friend working at a hotel in India. Every year her work was evaluated, and as a result she was either “Fit for promotion” or “Not fit for promotion”. Somehow this had a big effect on me and from then on I decided that I would do my best to always strive, in anything I had to do, to do my best, so that I would be be fit for promotion, ready for any opportunities that would come my way. This is a decision that changed the way I operate even today.
- A few years ago I decided to stop full time volunteer work and start working as a coach and corporate trainer and speaker. I had no idea how difficult it would be for me to change in that way, to break away from what I had done for so many years. It was really tough, but I am grateful I did it. My life is just getting better and better. I have learned and grown so much.
If I look back, would I have made the same decisions if I had the chance again. Maybe, maybe not. I am not the same man I was then. Do I regret what I did? No! Not at all. All the decisions I made, I was doing what I thought was the best at the time. Can’t regret that. Now I try to continue to make decisions that will shape my future, that will make me into the best I could ever be, and give me the brightest future possible.
Remember that next time you have some choices to make. Those choices make you!