Imagine a person at a party, someone walks up and starts talking about how great chocolate chip ice cream is for you. As they get into all of the benefits of dairy, another person interrupts them and says, “No, brownies are what’s best for you”. Hearing the conversation, another person comes in and says, “No, potato chips are what’s best”. Another person hears the commotion and pipes in that in fact celery was the optimal choice. After hearing all of these conflicting messages the person goes to the grocery store the next day and spends an hour walking around researching all of the different ice creams, brownies, potato chips and celery. Not being able to discern which is the right choice, they eventually purchase all of them. By the time they get home they have wasted hours of precious time and money purchasing all of the different items.
This is a great example of someone that does not have a clearly defined purpose and value system. If you don’t know why you exist and what you believe, then you will waste a tremendous amount of time and money and you are susceptible to every influence that comes your way. Without a clearly defined why, you have no filter to run decisions through.
Imagine that this same person valued a healthy life style, which included a healthy diet of natural fruits and vegetables and limited processed foods. Imagine that this person’s “why” included being a positive influence on others and leading by example. When presented with these same four options, the celery would be the only option that makes it through the “why” filter. After running these options through the celery test, their trip to the grocery store is quick, focused and inexpensive. The choice was clear.
I encourage you to define your “why”, and then use the “Celery Test” to run all possible decisions through to make sure they are aligned.
Is it better to spend time with your family or watch TV after dinner?
Is it better to read an interesting book or watch the next episode of “Naked and Afraid”?
Is it better to eat out or have a home cooked meal?
Is it better to offer a helping hand or ignore someone’s problem?
Is it better to buy that thing you don’t need or save your money?
Is it better to learn something new or spend an hour on social media?
Is it better to sleep in or get up and go to church?
We all are faced with countless decisions each day. I challenge you to define your “why,” and then create a habit of running each decision through the celery test. I bet you will be more purposeful in each decision and your time and money will be more focused and more impactful.