About 6 weeks ago, I coined the word gumptionable. Gumptionable is simply defined as being 100 percent personally responsible for all of your actions and interactions. It is a combination of the conventional meaning of gumption, along with the theory of living with Gumption.
The conventional term gumption has these meanings:
- Sound practical judgment, with synonyms including: common sense; ability; intelligence; sagacity; shrewdness; cleverness
- Fortitude anddetermination,with synonyms including: guts; moxie; initiative; backbone; grit; spirit; spunk; courage; nerve; daring; enterprise
The theory of Gumption combines Forrest Gump’s three personality traits integrity, presence, and receptiveness with these four key areas of daily living: choice, opportunity, adversity, and communication.
By combining gumption and Gumption and analyzing them as a way of living, we arrive at the 7 principles of being gumptionable.
Today let’s take a deeper look at principle #4: Making shrewd choices
Here is the make shrewd choices principle as originally stated:
Everything we do is a choice. Shrewdness requires attention to details, astute reasoning, and practical sharpness. Basing one’s choices on thoughtful consideration necessitates discipline and a willingness to be accountable.
So how do you make shrewd choices?
Here are 4 suggestions, based on our favorite protagonist, to help you make shrewd choices:
1. Life is Like a Box of Chocolates
First and foremost you need to accept that everything is a choice.
When you look inside the chocolate box, you get to choose the exact chocolate you want, just as you get to choose most everything in life. What time will you awake? What will be your mood when you awake? Will you exercise before work? After work? Or not at all? Where do you work? Will you accept a job at company x? company y? or maybe you’ll start your own business? Who will you have a relationship with? Marry? Have kids? Don’t have kids?
Sometimes it feels like we don’t have choices because of our many obligations, but if you stop and analyze life honestly, everything is a choice. Accepting that everything is a choice is the first step to making shrewd choices. Life is like a box of chocolates … you get to choose the one you want!
2. Stupid is as Stupid Does
Commit to life-long learning.
Life is an evolution, a process; there will be successes, and mistakes will be made along the way. One of the keys to making shrewd choices is being committed to learning from each of these successes and failures and improving along the way, Stupid is as stupid does is a humorous reminder that we never know it all, and the phrase can bring levity to the moments when set-backs occur, even when the set-backs are from your own doing!
3. Run Forrest Run
Just do it. Take action! Step three is where the Nike Cortez starts pounding the road. You’ve already accepted that everything is a choice and that a life-long learning commitment is required … now it’s time to take the action. A choice isn’t really a choice unless action is taken. Without action, it’s only a dream or fantasy. Run Forrest Run is the action.
4. And That’s All I’ve Got to Say About That!
Don’t look back. Get rid of the rear view mirror and keep your eyes focused forward through the windshield. That’s all I’ve got to say about that is the reminder that once you’ve made a choice you are heading in a definitive direction. History is interesting and a potential learning experience, but a waste of energy if you play the woulda, coulda, shoulda game.
Now is not the time for second-guessing yourself … or worrying about the choices not taken; be forward-thinking and committed … there is ample time to make new choices in the future.
That’s all I’ve got to say about that is a stamp on what has passed and a catapult forward.
Making shrewd choices is as simple as acknowledging choice and its infinite possibilities; accessing your current and future knowledge; taking action; and not looking back.
Have you been making your choices shrewdly? Will the 4 Gump-phrases help you make shrewder choices in the future?
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Next Blog Date: October 21, 2010