Our favorite decision to make is the one we don’t have to make at all.
Every time we make a decision, actually being a proactive force in our lives and choosing our path forward, we take a risk.
And we hate taking risks. Our entire physiology is wired to avoid risk. Also avoid being seen, because if you fuck up and people are WATCHING, that would be almost worse than death.
So every time we don’t have to make a decision—when our path is already laid out in front of us—we’re happy.
We gravitate to 5-star Amazon reviews and “Chef Recommends” items on the menu. If 5000 other people like it, I’ll probably like it too.
We use little shortcuts like this all the time so we can avoid making decisions based on our own independent thinking.
When you make decisions based on your own independent thinking, you are taking a risk. Not only do you risk making a bad decision, but because you are now following a path less-traveled, you also risk being seen.
And we hate taking risks. Using shortcuts like this is not a bad strategy for making decisions overall. After all, if 5000 other people like it, chances are it’s pretty darn good.
Only one problem with it, though: the strategy based on avoiding risk isn’t optimized to get the best possible outcome. Your decision-making strategy is optimized to get the outcome least likely to have a catastrophic result.
And when you go through life, constantly making decisions based on what’s least likely to be disastrous, you end up with average outcomes. Because that IS the path of least resistance through life. It’s the life that most people simply default to. Not by choice, but by avoiding choice. By avoiding looking themselves in the mirror, asking themselves what they really want for their life, and then making choices that lead to the creation of that life.
So to truly build the life that you really want, you have to do that by choice. You have to do that by taking the path of MOST resistance: the path of independent thinking.
And to do that, you have to take risks, all the time. You have to take risks as a way of life. You have to LIVE on the edge, because the alternative is to get sucked back into a life of boredom and mediocrity.
To build that life that you really want, you have to become a leader, and you have to become an entrepreneur.
A leader is someone who makes choices based on independent thinking. That now carves a new path that others could follow, by default making them a leader. Whether or not anyone follows is not important, the leader does what he knows is right based on his own independent judgment.
An entrepreneur is someone who has a vision for what the world could be, then takes decisive actions to bring that vision to life. You cannot be an entrepreneur without also being a leader.
And to do both, you have to make choices.
Sometimes in life, we get to a point where the choice in front of us isn’t that obvious. Then, we don’t know what to do, and we say we have a problem.
And a lot of times when we think we have a problem, we don’t really have a problem, we simply have a choice to make.
Ironically, the most high-risk strategy of all is by following the path of avoiding risk.
Following the path of least resistance means you’re vulnerable to marketers like me who can make suggestions to influence your decisions.
While taking the path of least resistance is low risk, the problem is that you’ll always end up where someone else wants you to go.