Revelations of Our Choices
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

This past weekend I heard a statement that really spoke to me, “The choices we make reveal intent.” This statement hit me in such a profound way that I quickly added it to my journal entry for the day. In fact, I pondered on the statement for several hours as I went through the various activities of my day. Little did I know that I would be coming back to it so quickly.

“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” In the Crucial Conversations training model, once you realize where you are stuck, you focus on getting your heart right. The statement we ask in the workbook is, “What are you behaving like you want?” Isn’t it interesting that they are teaching that the choices we make are revealing our intent? Our intent is based on our heart. If we get our hearts right, our intent will be right, and our choices will be right.

If our heart is focused on short-term gains, quick pleasures in life, and playing now rather than investing in our future, we shouldn’t be surprised if our future turns out to be bleak. If we work hard and invest in ourselves by spending time each day intentionally learning and growing, our future will be bright. On the corporate side, if our objective is to maximize short-term profits by cutting investments in people, processes, and infrastructure, we shouldn’t be surprised when we lose market share to those who are paying now so they can play later. Our choices reveal our intent, and our intent reveals what’s in our hearts.

Several years ago, I went through the process of discovering my personal WHY statement. What I came up with is this, “To enable people to live a life with purpose, and together be a force for good.” WHY statements are great because they help us make better choices in life. When I look at the choices I make, I can learn if my intent is in line with my WHY. Am I choosing to grow and learn, or am I wasting time on activities that really don’t provide any lasting value? Am I choosing to rest, exercise, and take vacation time, so I can think fresh thoughts, or do I book myself day and night to drive my revenues higher? Revenues are nice, but they don’t show up anywhere in my WHY. The funny thing is, when I do focus on my WHY, the revenues take care of themselves.

I think John Wooden said it best, “There is a choice you have to make in everything you do. So keep in mind that in the end, the choice you make makes you.”