How making the right choices will lead you to financial success

Life is a series of choices, and those choices will determine whether you will be financially successful or not. (Freepik pic)

Billionaire Warren Buffett visits notable educational institutions every year to share his experiences with 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 to imagine a genie appearing to him at a very young age and granting him a wish.

The genie says that he would magically bring him the car of his choice – brand new and all his.

However, there is a small catch. The genie says that this would be the only car he would ever own in his entire life.

So then, it would only be normal if he would do his best in nurturing the only vehicle he can ever have.

The only car in your life

What would you do if you could have only one car in your entire life? (Rawpixel pic)

Warren Buffett tells his mesmerised young audience that he would always keep the said car garaged and 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 it fixed right away as he would not want it to rust.

According to Buffett, that is precisely the position we are all in when it comes to our mind and body. We only get one mind and one body, both of which we have to nurture for 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.

A once in a lifetime opportunity

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. The simple “cause and effect rule” applies here.

Whatever we do will have a direct effect on what is to become of us in the 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.

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 as the saying goes, 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 choices you make directly affect your future. (Rawpixel pic)

The steering wheel of your life is in your hands, 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, so one has to continuously better themselves at managing additional power and resources.

The secret of success lies in continuous practice and the determination to exceed yourself by testing your limits in all situations.

Where you are now is a result of your past choices

If you look at yourself today, you might want to ask – what were the choices that led you here? Some also want to reflect on past mistakes, and what could have been done right.

The most important thing here is to be able to learn from your mistakes instead of overthinking or obsessing over 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

Work smart and seize opportunities at the right time. (Rawpixel pic)

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 undo. You might 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 through 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.

So, to succeed, there is no need for a fortune teller. All you have to do is make the right choices most of the time.

This article first appeared in

KC Lau’s first book Top Money Tips for Malaysians has sold thousands of copies. He launched the first online personal finance course specifically designed for Malaysians, entitled the Money Automation System. He also co-founded many other online financial courses including the Bursa Method, Property Method, Founder Method and REIT Method.