Edmund Hillary Climbing Mount Everest
Kennon-Green & Co. Global Asset Management, Wealth Management, Investment Advisory, and Value Investing

There is an old Rolex ad featuring the explorer Sir Edmund Hillary.  The tagline was powerful.

“People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.”

You are nothing more, and nothing less, than the choices you’ve made in your life.  Warren Buffett is Warren Buffett because he chose to start a business called Buffett Associates, get outside of his comfort zone, and raise capital.  Walt Disney was Walt Disney because he rose up, founded his animation studio, and made films that entertained people.  Michael Phelps has 16 Olympic medals because he chose to get in the pool nearly every day of his life and focus on becoming a great swimmer in conjunction with his natural talent.

You, as a human, have a fearsome and terrible power to choose.  You can choose good or evil.  You can choose kindness or cruelty.  You can choose wisdom or folly.  While we cannot always control what happens to us, we can control how we react to what happens to us by choosing.  That is the real might mankind wields.  In every moment, with every choice, we shape our destiny in no less a manner than God Himself calling forth “let there be light”, forming reality from nothing.

If you don’t know where to begin, picture yourself in 10 years with the life you want.  Then, reverse engineer the choices it would take to get you there, working your way back to this moment in time.  Choice is power.  Choice is the key that unlocks the doors and tears down the mountains.  Even doing nothing is, by default, making a choice.  Whatever you do and wherever you are, by God, make a choice!  Do not let life just happen.  Do not be carried on the currents of inertia, mindlessly passing time until death.  Choose!

Emund Hillary

Edmund Hillary was the first man to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Image © Jonathan Keelty and Made Available Under Creative Common Attribution License Through Wikimedia Commons.