I have a question for you: are you the owner of your life? Do you wake up in the morning and have a plan for the day?
Or, is life the owner of you?
Who is dictating what?
Here’s a fact: life is a series of choices.
Each and every day, we face 100s of choices. You reading this sentence? That’s a choice.
You don’t have to be here. You could be taking a walk. Maybe you could be talking to a friend. You could be driving to visit family. There are so many things you could be doing in this moment, but you chose to read this post.
Thank you for choosing to continue to read on.
I’m choosing in this moment to continue writing and my hope with the rest of the post is to make it enjoyable for you.
Life is a series of choices. Each day, we face 100s of choices. Either these choices can be positive, and lead us to our goals, or negative, and distract us from going towards our goals.
With these choices, there’s a thought and decision to be made.
Are you going to control your life? Are you going to make the right choices leading towards success? Or are you going to decide to not take control and let life happen to you?
Life is a Series of Choices
Starting right now, you have the ability to steer your life in whatever direction you want it to go.
Yes, everyone’s starting point is different. Everyone is unique and has had a different set of circumstances growing up.
However, where you are today is a result of your past choices and where you are going to be tomorrow is a result of your present and future choices.
Compounding is incredibly powerful, and it goes both ways: make positive efforts over time and you’ll see massive results; make negative efforts time and you’ll see poor results.
While in the moment you might feel forced to do something, it is still your choice on whether or not you do it.
Of course, there are consequences with every decision. If I decide to eat go out to eat, instead of eating in, that will result in more money spent. At same time, there will be less effort spent on my part to feed myself.
Controlling what is going on in your life is much better than letting life happen to you.
Where I Am Today is A Series of Choices from Where I Was Yesterday
I met one of my good friends in middle school. Both of us shared a lot of the same interests, and both of us enjoyed math.
Going into high school and looking at colleges, we both had thoughts around getting degrees in math.
Both of us earned a score of 28 on our ACT, and I entered college with 23 credits (from AP and College in the School courses), and he entered college with a slightly higher amount of college credits.
Up until this point, you could say that we had a similar starting point, and many of the same characteristics on our transcript. (28 ACT, 20+ college credits, same high school, similar neighborhood, similar interests).
When I got to college, I decided I was going to graduate in 3 years. A 4 year degree, at the state college I went to, took 120 credits. Each semester, 16 credits was considered a full load (4 classes) and consequently, 32 credits was a full load for the year.
3 years of 32 credits would be 96 credits. 96 + 23 was 119 credits, leaving me one short for graduation in 3 years.
“I can find 1 more credit over 3 years to get to 120 credits”, I told myself.
I wanted to save money, time, and effort.
One Decision Can Have a Huge Effect
I finished my school in three years and saved money, time and effort.
Next, I decided I needed more schooling and went for a Master’s. This was my decision, as if I didn’t go for a Master’s, I would have needed to learn more on my own in programming or math. At the time, I was working in a job paying $12 an hour, and since I had not made enough efforts networking, I didn’t have any salaried job prospects.
Fast forward 2 years, and after my decision to get a Master’s, I landed a job paying $63,000.
I did finance some of my Master’s program with a $15,000 student loan, and understood the consequences if I didn’t land a real job in my field.
5 years after starting college, I had a $63,000 job, and I was in a position to buy a house when I made a ridiculous decision to house hack. I paid off my student loans and now am saving for the future.
My friend, on the other hand, finished in 4 years and struggled to find work for a while, and found a full time job in the 5th year (I’m not sure his salary, but he stayed at home for a while to save up some money).
He is still paying off his student loans, and is smart and I know he will be fine.
It’s just very interesting to see where starting from the same spot can yield different paths and different results.
Every Decision Can Have a Huge Effect
There a compounding which happens over time as well with decision making.
If I didn’t graduate in 3 years, I might not have gone for a Master’s.
I probably won’t have landed a high paying job out of college if I didn’t go for a Master’s.
If I didn’t land a high paying job out of college, I would’t have house hacked at 23 years old.
Not house hacking at 23 years old would have lead to a much lower net worth at age 24, 25, and 26 years old.
One decision to graduate in 3 years lead to a waterfall of great experiences and outcomes.
Not to be dismissive, at each point in this 8 year period (from 18 to 26), there were a number of decisions and experiences which I didn’t talk about: studying, going to class, going out on the weekends and drinking way too much, having fun, traveling, getting into and getting out of relationships, learning on my own and side projects, networking, going golfing with my classmates, hanging out with family.
Each one of these decisions and choices could have gotten me off course. Maybe luckily, or maybe not luckily, I have been able to continue utilizing the power of compounding to continue to succeed with my finances and career.
I can eat cheeseburgers and no greens today, or have a mixed diet. Today, it probably won’t matter, but over time? I’ll become fat or I’ll be healthy. I can make this choice.
Now, what other choices can I make to lead me to success?
What Decisions Will You Make Today?
First, thank you for choosing to read my post here. I really appreciate it.
Second, let’s revisit the question from the opening paragraph. Are you the owner of your life? What decisions will you make today that will lead you to your goals?
Consciously and subconsciously, you will make 100s of decisions today… what to wear, what to eat, who to talk to, where to go, how to walk, what to say, etc.
Are these decisions going to be pushing you in the direction you want to go, or pulling you away from your goals?
I’m making the decision to be the owner of my life. Are you going to make a choice to be the owner of your life?
Thank you for reading!
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