Life, a Series of Choices

Billionaire Warren Buffett visits some notable educational institutions every year to share his experiences with the young pupils. One of the famous anecdotes he mentions to his audience is the story of the car and the genie.

He tells his audience animatedly that suppose a genie appears to him at that tender age and grants him a wish. The genie says that he would magically bring him the car of his choice – brand new and all his. However, there remains a small catch. The genie says that this would be the only car in his entire life. Therefore, one would do their best in nurturing the only vehicle he can ever own in his lifetime.

The only car in your life

Warren Buffet tells his mesmerised young audience that he would always keep the said car garaged, would have read the manual at least five times to know how the parts work. If there is the slightest little dent in the car, he would have fixed that right away as he would not want that to rust.

According to this inspiration of a man, that is precisely the position we are, concerning our mind and body. We only get one mind and one body, which we have to nurture the rest of our lives. If you do not take care of it, it’s going to turn into mush forty years later, just like a car would.

Our lives are short, and we only get one chance at it.

Once in a lifetime!

Making life worth living is one of our primary goals as human beings, and here comes the importance of making the right decision. Life, as we know it, happens to be a series of choices- whether right or wrong. The simple “cause and effect rule” applies here. Whatever we do will have a direct effect on what is to become of us in future.

Steve Jobs has appropriately said, “Stay hungry, stay foolish”. It might sound somewhat harsh at first glance, but it is indeed true that our life is made up of choices. The leading cause of poverty happens to lie in poor decisions.

An example of that can be the fact that some people choose to spend all their bonus pay rather than saving or investing it. Only your foresight and decision making can keep you from going bankrupt in this situation. Inactivity is often attributed to lack of success, and indeed, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop”. In order to succeed financially, one needs foresight, a good look at all the factors at play and most importantly, the right choice.

The steering wheel of your life

The steering wheel of your life is in your hands, and hence the choices you make shape your destiny. Rich people, for instance, consciously learn about how to be more productive, more efficient, become better leading figures, better managers and hence better investors. Great power does lead to greater responsibilities, and hence one has to continuously better themselves at managing those additional power and resources. The secret of success lies in continuous practice and the determination to exceed yourself, testing your limits in all situations.

Your position now is due to your past choices

The fact also remains that you are at that position in life where you chose to be. If you look at yourself today, you might want to ask – what were the choices that led you here? What are the options you have made that have brought you to this position? Some also want to reflect on past mistakes, and what you could have done right. The most important thing here is to be able to learn from your mistakes instead of overthinking or obsessing over those wrong decisions in your life. Wrong decisions can happen to the most careful of people, yet it is always important to contemplate before deciding what to do next.

Make smart choices

Hence it is evident that choice is the most powerful control you have in your life. A single wrong choice can have serious, unforeseen repercussions in your life. These unintended messes can be tough to override. Hence you might have to end up cleaning up after your past self for many years to come. To prevent this, there is no alternative to good choice and good judgment.

The successful, the rich and the famous have reached their position by dint of sheer hard work- not just merit or luck. It is also vital to work ‘smart’ rather than work hard, and it is crucial to seize opportunities when the timing is most favourable. Learning to make smart choices will get you better results in life.

To succeed in life, you do not need a fortune teller. All you have to do is making the right choices most of the time.


Personal finance author and trainer

    4 replies to "The ONLY CAR in Your Life…"

    • Jacqueline

      Dear KC and Ian,

      Thanks so much for your inspiring words. I guess I need to work harder to find out my strength in order to get into the right path. I did read few good inspirational books such as from Anthony Robbins and attended motivation talks as well. I even did meditation previously just to keep myself positive. I had such a bad experience at work whereby I left my job without any backup and rested for 3 months. When I got into new job after 3 months rested, I finally realized that all the problems lie on me. If I don’t preserve and stay strong, I could not achieve anything at all.

      Thanks again for your guidance in life. I think mindset and power of believing does wonder. I hope one day I can achieve great things like you both. Appreciate so much on your reply and have a nice day, both!

    • Jacqueline

      Hi KC,

      The topic of this article still making me wondering what should I do in life? I do not have a good career life. I’ve changed to 3 jobs and my boss always commented the same on me which is I am slow in observing info, hence, my boss don’t have high expectation on me. I am still only an Assistant Manager in my 31. I know I am slow, not the street-smart type, but I do try my best in my job. Absorbing slow is not beyond my control. I might be absorbing info slower but doesn’t mean I don’t understand at all. I hoping myself can shine at work but is even harder now because I start to believing that I am not good enough like what they commented on me. This is why I keep feel unhappy since I started workforce after graduated. I am weak in making choices that is why I am where I am now still.

      • KCLau

        Jacqueline, of course you can do better. Each one of us has our strength. You just need to realise yours. When you identify it, find a job that let you play on that strength and it will become your advantage. With better accomplishment, you will be much happier and feel appreciated.
        For example, when I did insurance selling 15 years ago, I was not good at it. But I never found passion in that field too because I felt that I am not using my strength.
        Years later, when I manage to do a lifestyle business like this one, I am so happy and can live a wonderful life. I believe you can do it too.

      • Ian Tai

        Hi Jac … I’m Ian, a team member of I’ve read your comments and felt that I could do some ‘Add-ons’. Hopefully, you’ll find them insightful. I do feel you as, honestly speaking, I’m also one who doesn’t have or know it all together. I guess I’m human too. I’ve learnt that, chances are, you’ve been ‘replaying’ the negatives in your mind which led to diminishing self-esteem. Trash talking from your boss, colleagues, customers … etc is not encouraging. But, it is worse if we become good in doing our own trash talking.

        I believe, deep inside, you have a sincere desire to excel in your respective career. Of course, some are high-flyers while many others are still stuck in the rut. It’s okay. Even a tortoise can beat a hare in a race. I’m sure, this makes us feel much better. Like a tortoise, slow progress is still a progression towards the finishing line. So, it’s important for us to keep learning and move forward even if the steps taken are small. Personally, I like to read inspiring stories where successes are achieved beating the odds … something like David vs Goliath. It keeps you inspired, motivated and hopeful. Definitely better than trash talking.

        I believe, all of us have inherent qualities which are able to provide value to the people associated around us. After all, a Ferrari on a bad day needs a tow truck. Everybody has something to offer. I think, it’s a good idea to focus on: ‘What values I can offer or give to people today?’ instead of being introspective. Who knows. Perhaps, you just don’t realize what a great blessing you are towards the people around us today. So, don’t let others or yourself make yourself feel small and insignificant.

        Life is to be enjoyed. Cheers. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.