“Success is a Choice” … I first heard this phrase when Rick Pitino wrote a book that had this as the title. It is one of the best quotes I have heard. In fact, I have borrowed it as the primary motto for my basketball program over the years. It goes on all of our letterhead, locker room posters and motivational pieces. In general, every person has the choice of how they act and behave.
Oftentimes, people say that they had no choice to explain why they do something. You always have a choice. The author and speaker, Charles Swindoll, is the person credited with saying that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to the things that happen to you. Success may not be as quick as you would like but doing things right and making the right choices and decisions will almost always lead to success. Of course, the definition of success is not always the same for each person so it is important to define what success is to you.
Your actions and behaviors are your choices. If you choose to do things that have a positive effect on your future then you’ll be closer to being successful. Unfortunately, the converse to this statement is also true. Failure is a choice, as well.
One of my coaching mentors, Denny Lehnus, used to say all the time ‘what you do is what you believe; everything else is just talk’. When I was leaving Kent State University after serving as Gary Waters’ graduate assistant for two years, Coach Lehnus hired me as one of his assistants at Anderson University. I found out first-hand that he knew what he was talking about when it came to taking what you believe and what your goals are and turning them into good choices. A few years before I was hired by Coach Lehnus, he had lost a little more than 200 pounds in a year. At one time, he weighed more than 400 pounds. He continues to maintain his new health to this day. Remarkably, even though he lost the weight in a year, the success was and still remains a continual day by day process.
As Robert Collier once said, ‘Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.”