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How to Win

Choices You Make

All of life is choice.

Your decisions make your destiny.

That’s why a classroom demonstration left me speechless yesterday, barely able to process what I had just seen.

Dr. Rob Gilbert, professor at Montclair State University in Northern New Jersey, opened his sports psychology class with an offer.
He pulled a $20 bill from his wallet and said, “This money belongs to you if you leave class. You can have the money, but you can’t come back into the room today.”

No one knew what to make of this offer. Was it a trick? Some hands went halfway up. Then a couple went all the way up. Dr. Gilbert handed one student the money, pulled another $20 from his wallet and made the same offer. A hand went up, Dr. Gilbert gave a second student the cash.

Then the two students had to fulfill their side of the deal and leave class. Their body language showed they weren’t too comfortable about it. One of them wondered if he would get an “F” for the course.

No, this demonstration wasn’t about grades. It was about the choices you can make every day. It’s a choice between entertainment and education, between doing what you want in the moment and doing what you should for your future. It’s a choice between being bored and being interested.

Both students were uneasy enough to come back. They gave back the money and sat down. One of them even participated in the class. They had given their choice some thought.

It was a great drama being played out, watching people make decisions on their life.

After class, Dr. Gilbert told me he had made the same offer in an earlier in the day. One student took the money and left. He never came back.

That was his choice. What’s yours?

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