This quote by the great New York Yankees catcher and manager, Yogi Berra, about choice, is a great summary of part of my life philosophy. Life is a journey molded by the choices we make and the paths we follow.

We all make numerous choices every day. Our choices are one of the few things that are totally within our control. We may not always believe that, but it is true. Certainly, there are influences and circumstances that affect the choices we make but we still have control over those choices. Every choice we make affects our lives in some way.

I often think back to the end of my first year in college, now over thirty years ago. I had just finished my first engineering course and I thought I had failed it. I was thinking about changing my major from Engineering to Business. I passed the course; however, and decided not to change majors. I had come to the fork in the road and I had taken it. How different would my life be right now if I had made a different choice? Extremely!

You choose how to live your own life. It is no one’s choice but your own. No one can make you do something; no one can live your life for you. Every small choice you make has an impact on your life. Moreover, every thing matters. All the small efforts you make add up to your life. You have control over those choices. You, and only you, create your own destiny. My favorite quote by Kirk McCaskill says it all: “Each day you get to make a choice whether to take a step forward, stay the same or take step back.”

You also choose your attitude. You choose how you will respond to any situation. You can choose to look at everything in a negative manner or you can choose to be positive. You can choose to get up in the morning and have a positive attitude or you can be negative all day. It is your choice.

In many of the books I have read on success, discuss the “Law of Dominant Thought.” This law states that we will become what we think. The key here is dominant. If we choose to think positive thoughts and we choose to have a positive attitude, and this is our dominant thought, we will become positive. Remember, “A positive attitude is a magnet for positive results. “ It is your choice.

Choice and sports are no different. When you compete, you choose how you respond to any situation. You choose whether you will let a mistake affect your play or whether you will forget it and focus on the next play. You choose your attitude on the field or the court. You choose whether your self-talk will be positive or negative. You choose your attitude. It really is up to you.

Finally, how you lead your life and stand up as an example, for others is your choice (there really is a pattern here, isn’t there). Your choices have an impact on those around you. Your choices affect everything you do in the future. I have a value I call Sportsmanship. I dislike unsportsmanship-like behavior whether I am watching sports or in life itself. Sportsmanship consists of fairness, honesty, integrity, honor, and graciousness. It is how I choose to live my life. How you lead your life is a choice; Sportsman like or not, again it is up to you. Remember; however, that it is your choice and every choice you make has an impact on your life, the life of others, your community, your nation, and the world.

You control the choices you make, or don’t make. Every choice has a consequence. Your life today is the sum of all the choices you have made in the past. What you become in the future will be affected by the choices you make today. Take some time and think about all the choices you make today. Be aware of them and think about them as they happen, the little ones and the big ones and remember: Everything matters.

“When you come to the fork in the road, take it.”

Author's Bio: 

Lee Stang, personal success coach and motivational speaker, is founder and owner of LS2 Success Coaching. Lee’s coaching enables individuals to produce the winning effort necessary to achieve peak performance in life or sports. He speaks on a wide variety of success topics and mental success techniques. Visit him on his website at or email him at