"What will you do today that will matter tomorrow?" - Ralph Marston
As the countdown continues for when the stork arrives (having a baby, in case you hadn't heard), these types of quotes stand out to me like, well, a crying baby! There's not a day that goes by without me pondering at some point or another what I'd like to teach my daughter - or how I can best influence her to make the right decisions. I believe that understanding consequences plays a huge role in learning to make the right decisions and ultimately helping define your future.
In business, every decision I make impacts the future of the company at some level or another. Some decisions may seem minor today, but could pave the way for something much bigger tomorrow. This is true for both good and bad decisions so it's important to not underestimate the value of each decision at hand. Naturally it can be unrealistic to think that an adequate amount of time can be spent making every single decision that crops up throughout the day, so it may be helpful to come up with a single question that you can ask yourself when you're required to make a decision. For example, if I have a goal to reduce expenses in my business, each time I'm making a decision about something that will cost money I need to ask myself if I can make do without adding the additional expense. On the other hand, if my goal is to increase profits, then I only need to ask myself whether or not the additional expense will lead to more profit and I can then make the appropriate decision based on that answer.
One thing many may underestimate is how much the decisions in our professional and personal lives affect the consequences of the another. If you make a decision to stay out late on a "work night," then you'll likely feel the affects at work the next day. Equally as true are the decisions you make at work, such as if you over-invest yourself in any one particular area, it can certainly take its toll on your personal life. There really isn't one right or wrong answer for everyone, but understanding the consequences of your actions and whether they are in line with what you're trying to accomplish will ultimately help you make the right decisions.
Every person has a different set of parameters to work from, but we all should understand that what we do today will somehow matter tomorrow... let's just make sure it counts!