Growing up, I was always a fan of options…choices. Clearly having more choices gives you more options and more chances of accomplishing your goal. But it has become clear that not everyone views options in the same way.

I was recently speaking with a friend of mine who’s trying to start a family with the help of modern medicine. Fortunately, they’re both in good health and have several options from which to choose.

They started pursuing their first option last month and blood work revealed that it wasn’t working so they stopped. My friend was upset because he felt this was a major setback and there are only so many options left to try. His wife had a different perspective.

And in talking with them, I realized that he viewed their failed attempt as reducing their options. His wife viewed the situation as progress because they were that much closer to honing in on the one technique that would work. It only takes one.

Think about the difference in those perspectives.

  • Feeling that you’re running out of options creates fear.
  • Feeling that you’re honing in on what will work creates hope, excitement, and anticipation.

One leads to action, the other…inaction.

So think about how you view options and what happens when one of them doesn’t work. Do you get inspired and jump into the next solution or mourn the loss of yet another failed attempt?


John Ryan

Host of Key Conversations for Leaders Podcast, Executive Coach, Consultant, and Trainer

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