Based on the idea of “Present Potential“, one of the things I’m just starting to understand in it’s full power and impact, is how decisions are so crucial to our results.
I’m sure you’ve experience that moment of standing in front of the fridge with the door open, or staring at a restaurant menu, and looking at two options; 1. healthy, 2. unhealthy. What’s amazing is that in that moment, those couple seconds of indecision, you are literally crafting your results and future! Those couple milliseconds are what changes the age you live to!
One of my favorite quotes of all time by Will Durant, that sums up a lot of Aristotle’s thinking and work:
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
– Will Durant
As Eben Pagan says, we likely underestimate how much of our lives are habitual. So unless we’re making our habits and letting our habits make us, we’re simply drifting and only being influenced by random winds and currents.
I’ve long considered the implications of how will power and discipline are nearly magical traits that are a rough governor on success. One of the things that can help our discipline power is utilizing what I call the “pause”. You’ve probably already heard it used in another context, such as if you’re angry to count to five before doing anything. But I think it’s power is tremendous in nearly every other area.
Imagine you’re standing in front of the fridge. Door wide open, energy in the form of heat pouring in, cold air sinking out, one hand on the handle, other probably dangling loosely as the question rolls around; “what should I eat”. We’ve probably all experienced this a time or two. But as you stare your fridge down, options appear. This is of course the expected result, but what’s incredible about this single solitary moment in time, is that your response to it determines a large majority of your health and subsequently your longevity and quality of life.
In fact, those moments combined may never equal more than a couple minutes of time throughout your life. But may end up contributing to a loss in the neighborhood of years from your life expectancy. This is obviously a huge disparity of results to input (aka leverage), which is always something I’m interested in. Essentially anything that’s at least 80/20.
Taking just 5-15 seconds to consider why you’re actually standing in front of the fridge and assumedly desiring food (boredom, frustration, etc), the long term implications (“what if every meal I ate was this level of health?”), and how badly you want change (better health etc).
I think there’s tremendous leverage in utilizing the “pause” in all your decision making, by making your default decision to make a good decision.