Episode 140: Chances and Choices

Do you ever wish you better decision-making skills? In this episode, Jimmy shares an amazing tool and three strategies to maximize your opportunities by taking chances and making choices in the right manner.

Episode Keys

  • Taking care of yourself is not a selfish act when others rely on you for support or assistance.
  • How your beliefs and principles serve as guiding factors in the decision-making process.
  • Why you must say “NO” to most of the opportunities you receive that require your focus to be moved from your highest priorities.
  • Success is reached by remaining true to your principles for optimum functions in life.

Podcast Transcription

Good morning! This is Jimmy Williams with Live a Life By Design, your Monday morning moments of motivation brought to you today with a smile so wide, you could eat a banana sideways. Hey, I’ve got to tell you, just had a great Thanksgiving time with our family. Well, really over ate, but hey, you know how that goes. It’s kind of almost a commandment, is it not? I think that verse in the Bible says do not be a glutton, don’t exhibit gluttony. I don’t believe that applies maybe on Thursday, which is Thanksgiving. Well hey, I may have not said that. Right, but Hey, welcome. Glad you’re here today. You know, I want to help you get to the end of this year from our team sharing with you. Something that really helps us grow as a organization, as well as individuals and empowering our team to reach their goals for the year.

You know, I just understand that life has certain opportunities presented. You know, sometimes you have to make those opportunities happen, but most often before your very eyes sight unseen though, because we’re not looking for them, our chances and choices to make in life. One of the things that I always do is try to sit down and really look. Now, there’s a difference between seeing and looking at the environment around you today. I want to visit with you and our team’s going to share with you today. Some strategies that helps us create a more rewarding, if you will return on our investment of time, energy, and effort, and that you can utilize to help bring greater security to your family, to your company, and a greater amount of abundance. And I don’t just mean money, but abundance of everything that makes you uniquely you, Michael Jordan had to be one of the most, if not still the greatest basketball players in the NBA.

This young man started out in life with very few opportunities in his mind, the way you hear his story, but he created opportunities by taking chances in the field of sports. And he’s quite an accomplished baseball player. And even after his NBA career, as you may know, and may recall that he actually played professional baseball. And so this is just a talented man. He has parlayed those opportunities from being an athlete now into being one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 21st century. He has been used as the poster child, if you will, for success for many companies. And one of my favorite quotes, Michael Jordan, informed me about it. As I read stories about him and read biographies that people had written of him. One of those great quotes that I’ll never forget is the one where he’s talking about how you just don’t quit.

What is the secret to success, he was asked. He says, I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my basketball career. I’ve lost almost 300 games, 26 times. I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeeded. Hey, those are powerful words. I mean, how many of us have been put under that type of pressure? Now I know it’s a sport. It’s not life or death, but that’s still a lot of pressure for a competitive natured person to take 26 game winning shots where the ball’s in your hand, the clock is ticking and you missed the opportunity, man. That’s things I had the same instance happened to me in the area playoffs of high school. In 1983, we were down to the last second trailing back then you only had two points.

You couldn’t have made a three unless it was from the charity strap. After a file in the shot was, was good. I was passing the ball to the wing side, this shot, I hadn’t made hundreds of times. Literally I practiced this shot every day. During practice, I practice free throws every day during practice, you see where I’m going. I did everything I knew to do the same way I had done it during practice and hearing that net swish time and time and time again. But there was one environmental change. This was for the area championship. This was a time in which our team had never in school history progressed beyond the area championship. We win this game. We go to the state playoffs and basketball the first time at that point ever in school history. Now that little bit of pressure as a young 17 year old male may have been what caused the tipping of the scale to be not in my favor, but as the whistle blew, the ball is inbound.

It goes to the top. Our guard passes the ball to the right side. I’m on the left side. He then comes back to the left wing. I’m looking at that clock and realizing I’ve got about three seconds. Literally I pumped the ball in the air. It is looking very, very good. The problem is it rolls in on the backside at the wrong angle and rolls around the rim. Literally making a 360 circle and drops outside the goal. I stood there as the buzzer rang, the other team is cheering loudly. The crowd is rushing onto the court to welcome and congratulate the opponent. I simply stood there looking at the goal, replaying in my mind as Arnold Palmer, the legendary golfer said before I play each hole, I play that hole in my mind. He has choices to make and he takes his chances for those choices.

Seriously. Well, many of my teammates came over, patted me on the backs of, Hey, it’s okay. It’s okay. I wasn’t sitting there being pitiful to myself. I was sitting there questioning in my mind how I could have made the mistake of missing that shot. It didn’t hit me at what I heard until I got in the dressing room when our coach started talking. And when coach pointed at me and he said, you played wonderfully. You did all you could be asked to do. Sometimes you win. And sometimes you don’t. I love the fact that years later, I remember reflecting on that. He didn’t use the word “lose”. Sometimes you win as Michael Jordan said, and sometimes you learn as Michael Jordan said, that’s how we succeed. You see life holds a finite number of days and hours, right? No, this is a statement of fact. We often hear only at funerals.

Now, why do we need to wait until our final days of life to realize we are unable to live a life of abundance. It’s too late. You know, in previous episodes we shared with you the strategies to avoid regret in your life. Today, we’re going to give you a dive deeper into the strategy we call capturing chances and maximizing choices. As individuals, you have the ability to change your trajectory in life with only a few small adaptations in your decisions. Do you know someone that is a keen decision maker? It seems everything. This person decides is a benefit to them and others. How does this occur? In this episode, we will explore three strategies that are powerful in helping you become a better decision maker and creating a bolder life for yourself and your family. Let’s get started. Strategy. Number one, stand by your principles.

When making a decision too often, we get pulled beyond our principles into areas of life that make us rethink our goals, beliefs, and tactics for achieving our ideal life. When opportunities arise, it is that you capture the opportunity on paper. Yes, I said on paper, some of our best thinking is done on paper and then take that paper and create for yourself an opportunity, filter a filter just as his name describes, gives you the opportunity to see all the good, the bad and what can happen in the end result. If you do take this opportunity, you know, this tool is simply a piece of paper that lists your principles or beliefs on the left side, and you can pair them to the potential transitional requirements. And in result from the new opportunity in our business, we know our culture and our four corporate principles, integrity, confidence, reliability, and kindness. When we are approached with a potential lifetime client or PLC, as my friend, Randy Thurman gave me the great acronym, we immediately perform our opportunity. Filter process does the acceptance of this client require we compromise one of our four principles as a company, will any individual team member be required to compromise one of their principles in the process?

Trust me, there are plenty of opportunities in your market, your employment, your community, that you do not need to simply stand and accept every one of these opportunities to be successful in life. Strategy. Number one is to stand by your principles when making decisions, strategy, number two, set a minimum level of income or positivity enhancement. The opportunity may bring one of the hardest decisions I make every day is the denial of someone or some entity contacting us to work with them. Why is this so hard? You ask one of my ministries of life. As I call them is to bring solutions and joy to everyone. I meet just yesterday. I was accused of either being a preacher or a politician because I showed kindness to someone that least expected it. As I denied both of those occupations, I started laughing and I said, no, I just simply believe the world has too much hate and is seeking an abundance of kindness.

My job is to spread the ladder well, after I left them with a smile, they, they were from Ohio, Indiana, Texas, and Alaska, I believe was the last day I left there feeling that I had done my job as spreading one more smile across our country. However, my goal is to resolve issues for our clients that are challenging, responsive to our leadership and guns while providing a reasonable return on our efforts and on the client’s contributions to the process of planning, it would be very difficult, not impossible. Mind you just difficult to help everyone that calls on us. We do not have enough time in the day to capture all of the opportunities and work with everyone. However, we attract a significant number of opportunities with our opportunity filter process that fuels growth beyond our targets each year. Does this mean we don’t help those that are indigent?

Of course not. We perform a substantial number of pro bono hours each year to meet our corporate attribute of kindness. Some people simply need a helping hand, not a hand out strategy. Number two is to set a minimum level of income or positivity enhancement to determine your decision, to accept an opportunity. Again, we’re talking about chances and choices and maximizing them for a more abundant life for yourself and your family. Now, lastly, strategy number three is to prioritize the opportunities for maximum benefit. This statement sounds just a little selfish, but let me add some color to the statement. It is similar to a pressurized airplane, suffering deep pressurization in the cabin and those oxygen masks fall from the roof. They just dropped from the ceiling right in front of your face. Who do you serve first? You, of course, if you don’t take care of you, the ability to take care of others is severely diminished.

Think of it in these terms, your family needs you to perform at your best at all times to do this, it takes proper diet, exercise, and sleep or rest. If you lack any of these three dynamics of life, your response to your family’s need will be sub par by maximizing your benefits from opportunities you gain the most by efficiently utilizing the mental, physical, and fiscal resources you possess. When I was a young teen, I was in the Boy Scouts of America. Some of the best times of my young boy head life were gained through the Boy Scouts of America at summer camp. One year I earned my life merit badge and lifeguard certification. One day on the waterfront, a home of a young man at Wayne May by approximately 60 pounds and taller by six inches was exhibiting distress motions about 25 yards from the dock of the lake.

I immediately sprung into action with my rope and life ring, but he was too far out to be reached in this manner, entering the water and a Fireman’s entry form. I swam out two within six feet of the young man. He started swinging his arms and wailing the bat, screaming in panic and attempted to grab me to pull himself from the water quickly. I grabbed the hair of his head and pushed him deeper in the water while swinging him around to get to his back. Knowing that he outweighed me was more muscled than me had greater arm length than me. I had to do something that made a good decision from a bad situation, throwing my arm over his right shoulder and painting his left armpit with all my mind, the muscled football player started getting more calm and we swim back to shore. Once on shore, he thanked me and then proceeded to criticize that I had bruised his underarm because it was sore. He then informed me that was his throwing arm. On his left side. I calmly looked at him and asked, which feels better. A sore arm or lungs filled with lake water. And you floating at the bottom.

He slowly started shaking. His head, looked up and smiled while saying, thank you. The purpose of this story is not to embellish my abilities, but to illustrate the importance of taking care of yourself first, so that you may be a help to others this week, your challenge is to open your eyes and capture those opportunities around you to increase your family’s security, help someone in need, or to simply build a better community. Now, go out and live your life by design.

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