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The Seven Choices

The death of both parents when he was age 19 led Andy Andrews to a string of bad choices resulting in becoming homeless. One night under a pier on the Gulf Coast, he met an elderly man who gave him three biographies of successful people. Reading these and many more biographies, he identified seven decisions that led these people to greatness. Andrews altered his destiny for the better when he began to apply these decisions to his life:

Tuesday, June 22nd 2010, 11:27AM


Accept responsibility for your failures, rather than blaming outside circumstances. If you make choices that lead you to a place you don't like, you can also make choices that lead you to a place you do like.


Make a conscious decision to learn lessons through books, people and service. Be purposeful about who you read, listen to and associate with.


Be a person of action. Instead of moving out of the way for a person on the run, be the person on the run. When you don't know what to do, do something. Doing something establishes a value for yourself, and others will also attach a value to you. People of value are the ones who get the offers and the yeses.


Criticism and condemnation come and go, but decisiveness helps you break through fear and judgment to pursue your dreams. The purpose of analysis is to come to a conclusion, not to keep analyzing. We are all leading people to something - or nothing. People follow those who know where they're going.


Decide to be happy. Being happy is a consequence of your choosing, not the circumstances of life. Smile while you talk. When you do, people can't help smiling, too. People who are happy get more opportunities in their personal and professional lives because others want to be around them.


Choose to have a forgiving spirit, because living the leadership principles is difficult when harboring resentment. Decide to forgive, and your emotions will follow your decision. The people you forgive don't have to ask for it, deserve it or even know it's happening.


The decision to persist without exception is key to achieving success in any area of life. When you feel you are lacking, you are only lacking an idea. When you persist without exception, miracles occur; you find a way where there is no way.


Andy Andrews is an internationally known speaker and novelist whose works, including "The Traveler's Gift: Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success," have sold millions of copies worldwide. He has spoken at the request of four U.S. presidents and has consulted with military leaders, athletes, and entertainers. His 2009 Annual Meeting presentation is available at


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