It Takes Great Insight To Choose What Is Right

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Recently at a keynote I shared with a group of leaders a story that allowed each of them to think about their choices and how those choices affected their lives. The story had a profound impact on them and I want to share it with you.

The story begins in a tiny Mexican village.

An American tourist complimented a Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

“Not very long,” answered the fisherman.

“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the tourist.

The fisherman explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The tourist asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife.

In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full life.”

The tourist interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can sell the extra fish and use the money to buy a bigger boat.”

“And after that?” asked the fisherman.

“When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?” asked the fisherman.

“After that you’ll be able to retire, live on the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends.”

As leaders we are always choosing and the choices we make may come from the idea that we must have the best job, the most prestigious title, the newest technology.

But in reality our deepest pleasures almost always come from the simplest source and life is asking us to choose – to choose with great insight because when we do we make it right.

So what do you choose?

Choose self. Find your purpose and put yourself in the center of it.

Choose living over doing. The smartest and the most courageous thing you can do is to live the life you want. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else but you.

Choose what is right over what is easy. If you desire to make a difference in the world, you must be different from the world. Don’t let the fear of difficulty guide you toward an easy choice when it comes to deciding your future.

Choose priority over pleasing. If you are busy pleasing everyone, you are not being true to yourself and you are not doing what is important to you. Nothing is worth more than knowing your priorities and acting on them. That’s success.

Choose to work less and have more. Don’t allow yourself to be caught up in working and dealing until you are too stressed and exhausted to enjoy your life and the people you love.

Choose heart over mind. Choose the heart of intuition, knowledge, understanding, and trusting in favor of the mind, which is analytic, reasonable, precise, logical, and exact, which is caught up in systems and processes.

Lead From Within:  After all is said and done we are free to choose, but our choices that are worthy don’t always come from the activities or achievements that involve making money or creating business. It may just be centered around a sense of purpose and cultivating meaning.

Every day, everywhere, we are surrounded by positive things and precious people.

Will you choose to see them?

The choice is ours.

We only have one life to live. Choose your life carefully; choose with insight and make it right.

 


 

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images


Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

35 Responses to “It Takes Great Insight To Choose What Is Right”

  1. Sunil Jogdeo

    02. Sep, 2014

    Very inspiring Lolly. There goes this word `what next` when we start taking spiritual lessons in India..and finally we say `death` with many things remaining without proper enjoyment and with lot of stress still being relieved. People follow same old routine which is known to create lot of stress. Thank you so much.

    Reply to this comment
  2. lollydaskal

    02. Sep, 2014

    A great idea for a new blog post “WHAT NEXT”< Thanks for the inspiration Sunil! You are the best! Lolly

    Reply to this comment
  3. David Tumbarello

    02. Sep, 2014

    I am struck by the words in the story, “I can help you.” To me, when I hear those words, I caution flags. Sometimes help is necessary, like when the other person is in danger or stagnant or unhappy. If a person is in danger, we should help and bring the other person to safety. But in other cases, when someone is not in danger & making a choice that is different than our choice, we should be very careful about saying, “I can help you” because this is an instance of two people having different value systems. Before saying “I can help you,” have empathy and then figure out if the other person wants help. To me, that’s one of the many take-away’s from this story. Thanks!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      02. Sep, 2014

      David,

      People say “I can help you.”.. with the best of intentions.

      When someone speaks to me I usually ask myself – is this about me or this about them?

      When its about me I take it to heart when its about them- I listen with heart.

      Thanks for your insightful comment. Wonderful thoughts David!

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  4. Bill Benoist

    02. Sep, 2014

    Your story is a great reminder there is no luggage rack on the hearse, and to refocus on what we truly cherish most in our lives.

    Reply to this comment
  5. lollydaskal

    02. Sep, 2014

    There is no luggage rack on the hearse < TRUTH! (what a visual) Thanks so much for commenting Bill! YOU ARE THE BEST. Lolly

    Reply to this comment
  6. Terri Klass

    02. Sep, 2014

    It is true that what each of us choose to do with our careers and our personal lives may be meaningful to only us. But that’s ok if our choices are bringing fulfillment and growth. It is when we feel that we must follow a certain path to be valued, we can end up empty.

    Lolly, I love the post and I love how you ask us the difficult question: What do we choose?

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      02. Sep, 2014

      We must always choose what is right regardless of what others think we should do.
      If it feels right for us. Follow your heart.

      Reply to this comment
  7. Panteli Tritchew

    02. Sep, 2014

    Week by week, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment, we make choices. Our choices leave tracks. There is no off the record choice, for in their wake is our track record. Thank you, Lolly, for reminding us that it is our choice to choose wisely.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      03. Sep, 2014

      As always Panteli you know exactly what to say and how to say it.

      I always love reading your input, comments and thoughts.
      They inspire me.

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  8. LaRae Quy

    02. Sep, 2014

    Another great post, Lolly!

    Love this: “But in reality our deepest pleasures almost always come from the simplest source and life is asking us to choose – to choose with great insight because when we do we make it right.”

    Knowing what truly gives us meaning and value in life is the key to success 🙂

    Reply to this comment
  9. Garren Fagaragan

    02. Sep, 2014

    Excellent timely post Lolly…

    How do we choose what is right?

    My partner has recently introduced me to Kinesiology -simpliflied.

    With this tool…I’m able to bypass the analytical mind…and gain direct access to my innate wisdom.

    It’s cool stuff…and I’ve found it quite handy to determine what choice is right…what is optimal for me.

    Curious to hear what you and your readers use to make the right choices.

    Thank you for another insightful post.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      03. Sep, 2014

      Garren

      I have used Kinesiology my whole life. It is a wonderful tool. Short cut to the heart it helps you bypass the mind…

      Thanks so much for sharing. Hope all is well with you!

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
      • Garren Fagaragan

        07. Sep, 2014

        That’s great Lolly.
        I’m doing great! thank you.
        I trust you are too.
        blessings…
        Garren

        Reply to this comment
  10. johnpaul

    02. Sep, 2014

    I choose Life!! 🙂 Thank you Lolly! Here is a little place along the pacific where everyone and every business stops in order to watch the sunset each day! Enjoy, http://bit.ly/1vKPfmL

    Reply to this comment
  11. Christopher Watkins

    04. Sep, 2014

    Thank you for a fine read; sort of a wonderful twist on a beautiful zen proverb (and I paraphrase here): Before I began, mountains were mountains and rivers were rivers; when I questioned deeply, mountains were no longer mountains and rivers were no longer rivers; and after I had finished, mountains were again mountains and rivers again rivers.

    Thanks again!

    Regards,

    Christopher Watkins
    Social Media Manager
    fisherVISTA/HRmarketer

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      04. Sep, 2014

      I never heard that Zen proverb it is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing Christopher. Stunning visual. Meaningful purpose.

      Reply to this comment
  12. sridhar laxman

    05. Sep, 2014

    Lolly
    Thank you for another inspiring and important post

    “Life is the sum of all our choices”
    ~ Albert Camus

    I refer to this quote often in my coaching work to help clients develop insights on their current choices, decisions, actions and outcomes

    Reply to this comment
  13. Marek Wakulczyk

    05. Sep, 2014

    Always a great reminder. Thanks !

    Reply to this comment
  14. Ron Worman

    05. Sep, 2014

    It is so hard to say ‘Yes’ to Life, when Life is occupied with tomorrow. Perhaps we need to say ‘Yes’ to Today with acute awareness of what we are saying ‘Yes’ to, “No’ to, and ‘Maybe’ to. Perhaps the choices are overwhelming us because we do not have a filter (or scorecard)? How do you make choices Lolly? Do you have a scorecard? The Mexican fisherman in your story did.

    Reply to this comment
    • Ron Worman

      05. Sep, 2014

      By the way, I acknowledge your “Choose” list. What I mean is how do you determine what is inside each of those elements? Most leaders I work with have a hard time determining what is inside those containers. For the fisherman, it was simple. His world view was not as complex as ours… He isn’t worried about long term medical care for our loved ones or ourselves, running out of money and becoming a burden to the family, etc…. I think our fears about tomorrow hinder our ability to live the life of the fisherman.

      Reply to this comment
  15. Paty Peterson

    05. Sep, 2014

    What an inspiring article. Thank you Lolly. Now to work on conquering the fear.

    Reply to this comment
  16. David Brooks

    05. Sep, 2014

    Lolly,
    My wife Sandra and I are trying to do just as the fisherman and do more with less! Great post!
    David Brooks

    Reply to this comment
  17. R LOHARIWALA

    06. Sep, 2014

    INSIGHT MOST OF US, WHO MAY BE READING THIS,HAVE BUT SKILL IS REAL CHALLANGE

    Reply to this comment
  18. skipprichard1

    06. Sep, 2014

    Full of great wisdom. The story requires a reassessment of our current path, our values, our goals. Inspiring.

    Reply to this comment
  19. Dawood Chishti

    07. Sep, 2014

    Live within the parameters of life. An honest advice from a loving heart. Thanks!

    Reply to this comment
  20. Jean

    07. Sep, 2014

    Lolly,

    Great article! It’s very inspiring! I believe that to profit from a good coach and a good advice requires more wisdom than to give it. Thank you!

    Reply to this comment
  21. kassaye

    08. Sep, 2014

    Choose what is right over what is easy. If you desire to make a difference in the world, you must be different from the world. Don’t let the fear of difficulty guide you toward an easy choice when it comes to deciding your future. I agree with this !!

    Reply to this comment
  22. Jun Song

    10. Oct, 2014

    My question on one statement you made “Choose heart over mind” in the post “It Takes Great Insight To Choose What Is Right”: why do I get so hurt and my heart is even broken, when I followed my heart? Does a person who is fighting for survival have a right to listen to his/her heart? Or does this only suit those who already have no financial burden?
    Thanks and appreciate your comments.

    Reply to this comment

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