I received the following as part of an article in a Remote Connection newsletter that I receive through Zig Ziglar. It was a question that was actually used during a job interview.
You are driving along in your car on a wild, stormy night. You pass by a bus stop, and you see three people waiting for the bus:
1. An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.
2. An old friend who once saved your life.
3. The perfect man or woman you have been dreaming about.
Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing that there could be only one passenger in your car?
Think carefully, now. You have several options. You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus you should save her first; or you could take the old friend because he once saved your life, and this would be the perfect chance to pay him back. However, you may never be able to find your perfect dream partner again.
The candidate who was hired (out of 200 applicants) had no trouble coming up with his answer. He simply answered: “I would give the car keys to my old friend, and let him take the lady to the hospital. I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the woman of my dreams.”
How often do we rattle off the first thing that comes to mind? How often do we try to give the person asking us a moral or ethical question the answer we think they want to hear?
I must admit, my immediate reaction was to take the old lady. I figured most of my friends would defer to her, anyway. I also figure that if the “perfect man” is really my perfect match, he’ll (1) insist that I take the old lady and (2) show up again somewhere in my life. (This is all theoretical, of course, since I’m already married to my perfect mate.)
Seriously, we make thousands of decisions a day. Most of those aren’t life-and-death questions, but they all lead us down a particular path. Several years ago I was blessed to attend a women’s retreat where Kendra Smiley was the speaker. She spoke about this very subject. She encouraged us to live life intentionally.
If I choose oatmeal over a donut for breakfast, I’m making a healthy choice that will help sustain me and give me energy for the rest of the morning. This is likely to lead me to make healthy choices for lunch, dinner, and snacks. If I choose the donut, my choice is much more likely to leave me dragging by mid-morning. This is likely to lead me to make unhealthy choices for the rest of the day. After all, I’ve already blown it. I might as well have that bag of chips.
It’s true of my business as well. I can choose to engage in income-producing or relationship-building activities, which helps to build my business. Or, I can choose to spend my time engaging in online games and grousing to friends about my lousy calendar. Those choices have the power to change my business.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against taking some time to relax and have fun. It’s important. What I’m saying is that the choice of when and how I engage in those activities is important.
That Remote Connection article reminded me that it’s important for me to stop and think before I make decisions. I do want to live my life intentionally. I want to keep my life moving in a good direction.