Every choice we make is either good for us or bad for us. On the border between these two outcomes is a line that divides the plain (0). Below the line is gross negative outcomes (-) and above the line is gross positive outcomes (+).
When we make our first decision, we set off in a particular direction, either positive or negative. Should we continue with positive decisions (that which is good for me) we climb higher on the positive side of the plain, away from (0).
Naturally, we want the best possible outcome over time on whichever criteria we chose to measure (fulfillment). We all start at zero (0). We do not all have the same quality start. This could be due to a lack of role models, mentors that guide us along this path, environment, means, etc. By the time we understand the realities of these compounding decisions, we could be anywhere on the plain.
Some of us are sitting pretty, some are in dire straights and others are comfortably hugging the border. No matter where you are, we all face the same challenge. It’s very hard to spot the impact of a single choice towards the ‘good’ side or the ‘bad’.
This fallacy either lulls us into a superiority complex where we take advantage of the traction we made (our distance from zero) and we make some poor decisions. They seem inconsequential so we do it again. Before we arrest it, the slope of the line is in steep descent towards the mean. If we manage to arrest it, we will probably dip into the ‘bad for me’ area.
If we find ourselves stuck in the ‘bad for me’ area, it’s hard to conceive the benefit of a single positive choice. Fortunately the same is true. We just have to stick with it a while longer. With every decision, we increase the slope of the line and cover the spread faster.
No matter where you are in life, realise the power of the knock-on effect of compounding decisions. Your life is the sum of these decisions.
Sure, we don’t all get the same start, but we all get choices.