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Often it is the little choices we make (or don’t) that lead us down unintended paths. David Cottrell’s Monday Morning Choices creates awareness for us to identify these choices and focus on making sound and considered decisions. The result is the creation of an environment where we consciously decide to move our lives in a positive direction. Cottrell’s book asks us to evaluate each of these choices on Mondays and promises that in a 12-week timeframe a transformation will have occurred – “Change your Mondays, Change your Life”!
Monday Morning Choices categorizes the choices we make in three overarching categories:
1) Character Choices ask us to examine and affirm that we choose not to be victims, that we have passion, and that our values are in check and our integrity is appropriately framed.
2) Action Choices challenge us towards creating a bias for action, to never give up, to display appropriate enthusiasm and to embrace adversity.
3) Investment Choices challenge us to develop meaningful relationships, seek and learn from criticism, consistently face the truth and build you legacy.
Cottrell suggests a “slow read” approach and advocates creation of a discussion group to give readers the opportunity to share their thoughts.
The Big Idea
Focus on Failure
"Successful people learn from failure. In fact, most successful people fail faster and more often than the average person. They learn from failure to become successful."
In my daily life things go wrong all the time. The myriad of ways in which failure occurs can range from a work project blowing up to a personal relationship that sours to almost anything in between. One of my core competencies is being able to deal with these failures in a way that contains the problem. I am a capable firefighter and will not get derailed by something going sideways. Like many of you, I focus on the solution, not the problem.
As I consider how to apply the “persistence choice” in my daily life, I have realized that the solution focus may not be the right choice for me. I need to think more about the root cause and systemic issues that create this “sideways” scenario. A more critical look at my failures may present opportunities to avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
Build Powerful Relationships
"By surrounding yourself with others who choose commitment and passion, you’ll find yourself making more progress."
When considering our passion choice, Cottrell asks us to find those who share our passion and commitment. He logically points out that those with a shared passion feed off each other and are in a position to achieve more. I need to focus on finding other avenues where I get connected with others that share my passion to excel and discover. I am going to leverage my networks and social media to create the group approach to rereading Monday Morning Choices that Cottrell suggests.
Optimism and Passion
"We have an opportunity to choose our attitude for each decision everyday…"
Cottrell reminds us that we have the opportunity to choose our attitude on a daily basis. It is entirely up to us. We need to consider that there will be challenges but a proactive and optimistic approach is in all of us. As a firefighter my attitude tends to what is required to fight today’s fire – I’m incredibly reactive. I am going take 10 minutes on Monday mornings, to reflect on the week ahead and establish my attitude. I will work not to get sidetracked during the day.
Monday Morning Choices poses important questions to consider and brings some of those unconscious choices we make into the spotlight for new examination. Additionally, David Cottrell has provided an excellent tool to guide you in the reexamination of these choices.
How often do you examine the choices you make? What framework or tools do you employ for such an examination? The author of Monday Morning Choices suggests reading and discussing this book in a group setting – would this work for you?