The Rhythm of Choices

This is going to start out pretty personal. From time to time, not all the time, but occasionally, I am crippled with anxiety. Now when I say crippled, I don’t mean “sometimes feel great.” I mean that sometimes I’m unable to move, unable to breathe and unable to think. Let me tell you about the time that I sat down in a grocery store thanks to choices.

I am obsessed with the idea of the butterfly effect. If you’re not familiar, it basically means that the smallest of decisions or actions can impact the world in an incredible way, from great distances. The exact theory states that if a butterfly flaps its wings in China, North America has an earthquake. The impact on our lives from the smallest of decisions can be enormous.

But let’s get back the grocery store. In what was a low point of my life, I was standing in a grocery store trying to decide between a couple of different brands of chips. And I just stopped. And I sat down. Because I couldn’t decide.

I started to think about all the decisions that had brought me to this point. And I just stopped. What if the decision to buy THIS bag of chips would change the rest of my life? What if whatever bag of chips I picked would determine my job for the next 10 years? What if I picked the WRONG bag of chips I’d walk out the door and get hit by a bus?

And then I got up. And I picked a bag of chips. And I walked outside. And I survived. And things have been ok since. I came to a realization that has forever altered the way I’m able to deal with making decisions. Now, rather than being concerned with what type of chips to buy, I just grab a bag and move along. Now, I’m focused on the rhythm of choices, specifically the rhythm of really tiny choices.

We tend to focus on the big picture. I consult with new entrepreneurs and they’re always concerned with the greatest of choices. They very much put the cart before the horse. They’re concerned with how they’re going to make 75k this year instead of concerning themselves with what they’re going to do, right now, today, that’s going to change the course of their lives.

The thing is, I still very much believe in the butterfly effect. I just think it has less to do with butterflies and more to do with us.

I think that more important than the flap of a single butterfly wings is the flap of a thousand butterfly wings. When we get in the habit of making decisions, we build an army of butterflies.

It sounds a little cheesy. Actually, it sounds a lot cheesy. I don’t care.

The rhythm of choices is our most powerful tool.

“But what if we make the wrong choice?”

Oh, that’s the really fun part.

You see, one of the great things about the rhythm of choices is that it’s about constantly making tiny choices. These choices are so minute that they border on meaningless. They’re not actually meaningless because together, these little tiny choices come together to build a plan. Here’s an example.

I have a lot of clients that struggle horribly with pricing. They know that their service is valuable but they don’t know if they should charge $50 for a consult or $75 for a consult or $37.53 for a consult. And so they don’t choose. They think and they think and think but they don’t ever do.

Imagine instead if you just made a choice. Imagine if you just decided, “$50. Yup. That’s a good price.” You would then be ale to move along to your next choice. And the next. And the next.

And in doing so, you would begin building your business instead of sitting in the middle of the grocery store aisle trying to figure out what kind of chips to buy.