Are You Great by Choice or by Chance?

Are You Great by Choice or Chance?

Are You Great by Choice or Chance?

Three years ago my mother passed away in October. This year I attended my 30th reunion on graduating from Baldwin Wallace College. The two anniversaries collided in an unexpected way and it got me thinking about a single question. It’s one that has driven my life and everything I do for myself and for others. What is that question? The question is,  “Are you great by choice or by chance? “

Over the past thirty years, I have been blessed to work with and know many of the most influential men and women of our times. I have been given access to many of the most gifted entrepreneurs and leaders in history. I’ve never quite figured out why I’ve been given these incredible opportunities but I’ve never been afraid of taking on big challenges and serving others with my passions.  There are two questions I always ask all the wonderful people I meet. Who inspires you?   Now ask yourself as a serving leader, who inspires you? Have you achieved everything you want in life? The second question is one my mother asked me throughout my life and one that I ask of everyone, “Are you great by choice or chance? Their answers always bring a smile to their face and a twinkle to their eyes.

As you begin putting together your plans for the coming year, take time today to determine what your goals are and why.  The stronger the whys, the more you will get done in the coming years.  Now that we’ve engaged you in this discussion, let’s see if I can provide eleven questions that reconnect you with the passion and purpose of your life.

What activities bring you joy and peace?

To what do you aspire?

What do you perceive as obstacles in the way of your success?

What are your unique gifts that you bring to the world?

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

What dreams do you have of changing the world?

How are you using your strengths every day?

Who and what are you investing your life in?

Do the people around you support you in achieving your dreams?

What one thing in the world would you change if you were given the power?

How do you reconnect everyday with the spark of inspiration you have felt all of your life?

Now you’ve read the questions. Are you feeling any different?  How hard was it for you to answer them?  Are you doing what only you can do to create a better world? I feel the answers to these questions will help you answer the question my mother always asked me, ” Are You Great by Choice or by Chance?”

I use these eleven questions to help others connect their future with their past in the present.  Now that’s a mouth full.  Take time to review the questions and write out your answers. All eleven should take no more than ninety minutes.  When I ask people these questions, I’m always surprised by the answers I get. You can see the years fall away and they reconnect with their life’s mission, vision, and values. It doesn’t take long and they are moving faster and feeling stronger than they have for many years. They are energized and ready to start changing their life and the world for the better.

Why do I share these with you?  We have much to do before we rest.  My mother asked these questions of me thirty years ago as a graduation gift. They have helped me through good and bad times. They continue to remind me and all the other people I touch to find a vision for their lives. This was a lasting graduation gift that just keeps on giving over and over again. So are you great by choice or by chance?

If you enjoyed this blog you might also enjoy Does Your Life Need a Business Plan?

Next week, we give you a goal setting process that can help you live the life of your dreams. See you then.

About the Author

Tripp Braden’s corporate clients include many of the world’s most financially successful brands, and his partnerships have generated tens of millions of dollars of sales and profits. He has also been involved in over 70 mergers and acquisitions in his career. He works with a small group of select clients focused on growing the value of their business starting at 20 percent per year and going up from there. If your business is between ten and $250 million in annual sales, and you’re interested in learning more about how to grow its value 20 percent or more in the next twelve months call him for a confidential conversation.

Tripp Braden – who has written posts on Developing Serving Leaders.


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