1-14-21: The importance of making THE CHOICE

Sent 1/14/2021

Today's Think Better Newsletter is about the importance of choosing.

The Idea

Noubar Afeyan, Founder and Chairman of Moderna, did an interview with economist Tyler Cowen. In it they touched on immigrants and what makes America work (emphasis added):

"Imagine if all of us were also born imagining a better future for ourselves. Well, we should be, but we've got to work to get that. An immigrant who comes here understands that they've got to work to get that. They have to adapt. The problem is, if you're born here, you may not actually think that you've got to work to get that. You might think you're born into it.

This will be a funny thing to say, and I apologize to anybody that I offend. If we were all Americans by choice, we'd have a better America because Americans by choice, of which I'm one, actually have a stronger commitment to whatever it takes to make America be the place I chose to be, versus not thinking about that as a core responsibility."

This statement, regardless of your opinion of immigration, has a central truth. We are more committed to something when we've chosen it than when we are "born into it."

Think about talent. There are countless talented runners who are "born into" being good at the sport. But most don't achieve their potential for one simple reason: they never choose to commit to the sport. They may have some success for a while, but talent only ever takes you so far.

Someday, everyone has to make THE CHOICE: the decision to commit to being the person we aspire to be.

Those who choose to be the best version of themselves--in running or any other endeavor--are the ones who ultimately accomplish great things.

Success doesn't start with talent. It starts with THE CHOICE.

The System

Commitment requires making THE CHOICE not once, but over and over. There is always another path you can go down, and it's up to you make the right choice. 

So we need a system that makes re-choosing as easy as possible.

I recommend using physical reminders. If you've made a choice, and are committed to it, fill your environment with reminders of that commitment. Post-it notes, wall calendars, key chains, photos, t-shirts... If you are committed to doing sit-ups, keep the yoga mat visible. Keep your shoes by the door. Make it so that you are consistently reminded of your commitment to THE CHOICE

When the time comes, your environment can either prime you to do it or prime you not to.

Choose to create an environment that makes it easier.

The Question

Are you getting by on your talent, or have you chosen to be the best you can be?


Go Be More,

Bryan Green
Author of Make the Leap: Think Better, Train Better, Run Faster and the companion Think Better Workbook
Co-host of the Go Be More Podcast

"Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different than it was before."
- C.S. Lewis


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