It has been said that only 3% of your decisions account for nearly everything you have manifested in your life to date.
Some of the most important decisions you will ever make have to do with your choice of people. This is true in the widest possible sense; lawyers, business partners, boy/girl friends, life partners……..
How much of your time is wasted upon, and how much energy is expended trying to correct, the bad choices we make regarding people we deal with? If you stop and think about it, the answer is frighteningly large.
The number of stories of people who enter business partnerships with people who turn out to be dishonest or unfit in some other way is amazing. The amount of hours we expend, and the quantity of emotional energy we waste, in trying to correct poor choices of people or companies we interact with has to be seen to be believed.
Here is an example from my own life. Some years ago, I had to deal with the consequences of choosing a sub-standard lawyer. From the outset, I knew perfectly well that there were others with more experience. However, this individual came in much cheaper. Since I perceived the job to be quite standard, I went with his quote.
To cut a long story short, he was completely shoddy and had to eventually be replaced. His bill was outrageous for having done essentially nothing. I asked for a refund and was refused. The matter went to the Law Society, which required me to waste many more hours of precious time detailing the whole affair. They eventually ruled, in his favor, thereby proving that birds of a feather flock together.
How much time has been wasted! And all because I chose a misfit, operating out of his front living room in a secluded residential street, instead of hiring a proper specialized solicitor firm. Did I save any money? No. It has ended up costing me MORE, as well as delaying the my entire legal project by months. That’s not to mention the many hours spent writing lengthy letters detailing the matter to various parties.
Bad decisions, made on the spur of the moment, with disastrous long-term consequences. You doubtless have many such stories from your own life. I do! Learning to develop much more awareness in these matters seems to be my life lesson at this time.
Taking the theme I’ve talked about before about taking responsibility for everything that happens in our lives, what lesson can we learn?
Simple. Be VERY careful in making decisions about people/companies that you choose to deal with. ALWAYS do your due diligence. This does NOT mean simply talking to the individual/company at depth. Sadly, many people do lie, exaggerate, or tell tall stories. There are a LOT of scam artists out there in every conceivable field. Increasingly in our society, people become excellent at sounding professional without necessarily being professional. So check out any important person/company you intend to interact with by seeking plenty of evidence elsewhere. It is so important and will save you so much time and trouble, you will not believe it.
All of us make decisions meaning well for ourselves at the time we make them. Nobody seriously and consciously makes a decision knowing it will lead to disaster. So how does it happen? The reason is because we focus mostly on the short-term benefits of the decision and not the long-term consequences. In the example above, the short-term benefit for me was that the lawyer was much cheaper. However, the long-term consequence of choosing someone of lesser experience, and NOT doing the proper due diligence, was complete disaster and mutual recrimination.
Contrast the approach I suggest here with the way people find their meaningful partners, for example. It is hardly surprising that there is so much trouble, unhappiness and anxiety in this world of ours. People get attached to others due to “romance”. This is the short-term benefit; the good feeling that the other person gives you emotionally. At this point, disaster creeps in because people invariably make long-term life decisions at their most vulnerable time; at the point where they are in a sort of irrational “romantic trance” and behave in ways they would not normally behave under conventional circumstances.
What are the long-term consequences of not checking out the situation properly? I don’t need to spell it out. The results are all around us for all to see…..
The lesson here is that in our interactions with people or companies, always look to the long-term consequences first and not to the short-term benefits. Do your due diligence first and thoroughly.
If only 3% of our decisions account for most of what we have achieved in life, then let’s make sure we maximize the value of that 3%.
Copyright Asoka Selvarajah. All Rights Reserved.