When the moment comes – when we’re afraid, exhausted, or tempted – what choice do we make? Do we abandon our values? Do we give in? Do we accept average performance because that’s what most every else accepts? Do we capitulate to the pressure of the moment? Do we give up on our dreams when we’ve been slammed by brutal facts? The greatest leaders we’ve studied throughout all our research cared as much about values as victory, as much about purpose as profit, as much about being useful as being successful. Their drive and standards are ultimately internal, rising from somewhere deep inside.
We are not imprisoned by our circumstances. We are not imprisoned by the luck we get or the inherent unfairness of life. We are not imprisoned by crushing setbacks, self-inflicted mistakes or our past success. We are not imprisoned by the times in which we live, by the number of hours in a day or even the number of hours we’re granted in our very short lives.
In the end, we can control only a tiny sliver of what happens to us. But even so, we are free to choose, free to become great by choice.
- Jim Collins, Great By Choice
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