Is Success Really a Choice?

A couple of months ago, I wrote an article titled, “Success is a choice!”. I didn’t come up with this title, rather, I heard it from Coach Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals. 

I do, however, strongly believe that success is a choice that you consciously make. It may be a difficult choice, but it is a choice. 

I bring this up as I was contacted by a close friend of mine, who was looking for some advise on work ethic, responsibility and spreading himself too thin whilst chasing his goals and future visions. Should he live in the now, the present? or should he work on achieving his goals?

For some people the answer may seem quite obvious, but unfortunately for the said person above, his present situation contradicts his goals and does not help him along the path to achieving them. Whilst, I try my best to not give any advise, I did share my opinions with him as explained below. 

1. Success is a Choice – Rick Pitino

This is not as clear cut as deciding that I will succeed and seeing it happen. If it was, then everyone would be successful. In my humble opinion, successful people make the difficult, but successful choices which in turn is what leads them to achieving the highest levels of satisfaction in their lives. What exactly are successful choices?

2. Everything is a choice – Alan Stein

I am a firm believer that every action that we take is a result of a conscious choice. A deliberate action. If my team practice starts at 08:00 and I am there 20 minutes early, that is a conscious choice that I have made. If I am late to practice, that is also a choice. 

It is a choice, because I decided not to prepare properly. I decided not to arrange for my lift; I decided not to pack all my gear and I decided to wait until it was too late before I ate. All these are choices. The problem is, most people don’t realise that NOT doing something is a conscious choice. Not working hard is a choice!

Waking up early is a choice! Going to bed early is a choice! Working on your craft is a choice!

Ultimately, only you can decide why you make those choices, but successful people make the sometimes difficult choices that are needed to allow them to achieve their goals. 

If I have practice with my squad tomorrow at 10:00 and I choose to go out the night before and socialise with my friends before writing my practice plan and preparing for my session, then that is a conscious choice that I’ve made which says to me one action has a higher priority than another. 

Only you can decide what your objectives and goals are. Only you can decide what the priorities in your life are. Only you control the choices that you make to allow you to become successful in your chosen craft.

But, I am spreading myself too thin and I feel like I am going to burn out!

The above statement is a statement that I can relate to personally, as only I know the sheer volume of activities that I am involved with at any given time. I don’t believe in the whole concept of burning out though. This is just my opinion. If you are approaching “burn out”, then it is my belief that you are not resting smart and not fuelling your body in an appropriate manner. 

3. Opportunity is Everywhere, the Problem is that we’re not – Kevin Eastman

I can’t slow down; I don’t want to slow down. That is also a choice that I am making. If you want to be successful, you need to put yourself in areas that will maximise your chances of receiving opportunities.

Time management is something that I am slowly learning more about, which allows me to take on more than others would. It has taken me a while, but I am getting better at time management. Having the discipline to sacrifice things that I may want, but not necessarily need for the bigger picture. 

4. Being Successful comes down to sheer dumb luck – Stan Van Gundy

Van Gundy is right on the money with the above statement…. but hang on a second.. did you not say that success is a choice? 

Yes, I did…. In order to be successful, you have to make tough and often difficult decisions an d choices as mentioned above; you have to constantly work on your craft and educate yourself to be as knowledgeable as you can possibly be within your desired field. Through putting yourself out there and not turning down opportunities, you begin to make contacts which allows you to create a professional network. Once you have got this far, you just have to keep grinding until you catch a break. 

Rest assured though, when this opportunity comes, you will be ready, because unlike others who have been waiting for a miracle, you have been preparing for this opportunity, for this moment and you will take advantage of it. 

“I would rather be prepared and not have an opportunity presented to me, than be unprepared and fail to take advantage of several opportunities!”


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