top of page

What Choices Will You Make?

Mindset Made Simple Tip #125 – Watch or listen HERE.

I stopped to take a picture as I walked my dog yesterday. I thought about doing it the day before, but today I couldn’t pass it up.

If you walk out of the neighborhood far enough, you get to a busy intersection. On Sundays (there are a few churches nearby), a panhandler stands at the corner.

Today’s picture? Pennies, at least 20 of them, laying on the ground where the man stands. If I had a penny for my thoughts as I first walked over them...

Seeing the pennies made me think about a million things and little things. It made me think about decisions. Decisions I have made. Decisions my parents made. And the decisions this man makes.

It first made me think about my parent’s choices, starting with the simple decision of where to buy their first house. They looked at houses in my mom’s small hometown but opted for the house we lived in my entire childhood in Akron. Which led to where I went to school. Which led to who I met. Which led to opportunities that turned into experiences and shaped who I am today…and on and on.

Their decisions made a huge impact on my ability to live in the neighborhood that allows me to take this specific walk!

It is amazing how many thoughts you can have in just a few short minutes. Because before I got ¼ mile away from the pennies, I started to think more about the decision to leave 20 pennies on the ground.

I am sure you have heard this trick question I often ask my new teams and athletes. It goes like this. “If I were to offer you one million dollars today or a penny doubled every day for 30 days, which would you choose?”

Well. Which would you choose?

If you chose the million, you’d have a million bucks. Not too shabby!

If you chose the penny doubled, you would have $5.12 after 10 days. But, if you wait 30 days, you will have $5,368,709.12. Wait just one more day and you have over 10 million dollars!

That is the power of something as small as a penny. That is the compound effect!

Decisions determine our destiny, whether they are the decisions on where to buy a house, to get your workout in first thing in the morning (which I did not do today), or to leave money on the table, or the ground, in this case!

As we look to a new year and an upcoming holiday break, we tend to turn our thoughts to being better the next time around.

Our decisions, big and small…but mostly small, will determine this, too!

As James Clear often discusses, if we improve anything by 1% each day, it will be 37x better by the end of the year. Think about having 37x more money in the bank or being 37x fitter!

It’s the little things we do each day that make the difference. We are a culmination of our small choices. As John Wooden said, “little things make big things happen!”

I think I need to stop at the corner next Sunday and share this equation from author Darren Hardy with the guy on the corner:

Small choices + consistency + time = significant results.

Add up those pennies over time, and you have something to show. Leave those pennies on the ground, and over time, my son will have something to show because he thinks they are gold!

The little things we do matter.

We are what we consistently do and it’s the little things we do that make or break us!

Think about the greats in any field. They are the most consistent. Think about Cal Ripken Jr., Roger Federer, Steph Curry, Lisa Fernandez, Candace Parker or Jocelyn Alo. They were CONSISTENT and their consistency added up to being some of the best of all time!

We don’t have to be twice as good as the competition, we just have to be one second quicker, one shot better, one run better, etc.

Then, if we are on second, shot, or run better day after day, we will consistently find success.

To be consistent, we must take consistent action. We must manage the moments and keep moving forward, no matter how slightly.

It is often the small decisions consistently we make over time that take us off course. Ask any pilot about the impact of being off course only 1 degree. Stay off course for 1 degree from JFK to LAX and you’ll end up 40 miles out in the Pacific! I understand why you’d want to avoid LAX but landing in the Pacific doesn’t seem like the best option 😊! JK!

Our performance is the result of our lagging indicators. What we did or didn’t do last week makes a difference in what we can do today.

Today’s progress is directly affected by yesterday's effort or lack thereof and the little things we do today (or don’t do) will add to those.

When I was coaching, I often talked about potential and kinetic energy. We all have potential energy, but it’s kinetic energy we want because objects in motion stay in motion. Potential energy has the potential to do work. Kinetic energy is working…and nothing works unless you do!

Consistent action wins!

So, it’s time to evaluate your small choices. How are they adding up for you?

All winners keep track…of their habits, their systems, their sleep…you name it. As I learned years ago at the NCAA Administrative Institute, if you don’t measure it, it doesn’t matter!

Becoming aware of your choices will help you change them or improve them…and these small changes make your lagging indicators work for you!

What are you compounding?

More importantly, what do you want to compound?

Moment-to-moment decisions change everything. You may not notice it today, but it’s these little things…that compound into big things…that make or break our success.

I’m a penny pincher and you can bet that my son and I will be walking to the corner tonight to pick up those pennies. Not because we need them, but because it is a perfect teachable moment (shout out to my friend Jason Ronai and his book Endless Teachable Moments!).

Because if he chooses to pay attention to pennies and his other small choices, we win!

Manage the moments!


P.S. It’s time to start thinking about the next phase of your season. Contact me to kick off 2023 with the right mindset! Email me at or call/text 234-206-0946.

82 views0 comments


bottom of page