How to Succeed at Anything

Do you ever have a single moment of clarity?

You know, when everything seems to come together and everything just clicks into place?

I had an epiphany today.

It wasn’t one specific “ah-ha” moment, but rather like the slow turning up of a dimmer switch. Only looking back on it now do I fully realize just how profound it really was.

I’m taking a leadership course and the reading material for last night really got me thinking. They were talking about leaders always doing the right thing, even if it’s extremely difficult.

The book detailed an illustration about an airline pilot and explained how the pilot goes through hours upon hours of training in the simulator, working out every possible crisis scenario before he gets in the cockpit for an actual flight. The author made the assertion that the pilot could not ensure he would make the right decision every time while he was in the midst of a crisis, so he had to prepare to do the right thing well in advance.

Fast forward to a lunch meeting I had today. I was standing in line for the buffet lunch and chatting to the lady next to me. She mentioned how she was trying to be good but would still get the pizza offered because she was really hungry. I mentioned casually that I was skipping the pizza and having salad, and that I’d brought my own protein and dressing so I could stick to my healthy eating plan. She seemed really impressed, but what impressed ME was the thought I had - one that seemed ordinary at the time, but now seems utterly profound: the reason I made a healthy choice today was that I had already decided yesterday what I was going to do.

Did you catch it? The key to succeeding at anything is deciding to take the best course of action before the situation even comes up. In other words, live with intention.

This realization was a long time coming. And believe me, I went back and forth last night trying to decide if I would eat the pizza offered (and that my company incidentally had paid for) or if I would stick to my Paleo plan and opt for the salad.

Ultimately the salad won out. And did you notice - not only did I make the decision beforehand, but I made the best decision for me. And if I’d opted for the pizza? That would have been okay, too. Because I gave myself the time to analyze the situation and make the decision that worked for me. If I had gone more than a week without eating non-Paleo foods, I probably would have opted for the pizza (that restaurant has REALLY good pizza). But the Chinese food we ordered on Sunday night did not made me feel good, and I remembered that I had committed to no more than one cheat day per week (again, planning in advance). I just couldn’t justify it!

So I urge you to try it. When you know there’s a situation coming - and food situations are the HARDEST thing to work out when you’re changing your lifestyle - think about it beforehand. Decide in advance to make the best decision for you. This will take the element of willpower out of the equation and set you up to win!

Remember: Choose your best option and decide beforehand to follow through and you will succeed at anything! [Tweet This]

So go out there and conquer!