#1263 The Illusion of Choice

Want Greatness? There Is No Choice

We’re kinda on a roll exploring some of Trevor Moawad’s peak performance wisdom from his great book It Takes What It Takes so, I say, how about another idea?


As much as I loved Trevor’s take on “neutral thinking,” I think I might’ve loved his take on what he calls “The Illusion of Choice” even more.

He tells us: “My dad was always trying to adjust his phrasing to make it resonate with the largest audience, and he knew when he’d found words that hit the target. This phrasing hit the mark. I could see it in the players’ eyes. I could see if in the coaches’ eyes. They understood. I see that same recognition every time I present to a new group and explain the illusion of choice. ‘Of all the things you teach, Trev, nothing hit me between the eyes like the illusion of choice,’ MGM Studios COO Chris Brearton told me. ‘It so clearly is true, and yet we all compete against our own choices every day.’ Deep down, we all know our choices ultimately determine our behaviors and those behaviors ultimately determine our outcomes.

That doesn’t make choosing correctly any easier in our own lives.”

The ILLUSION of Choice.

We THINK we have an array of choices available to us. And, of course, on one level we always do.


If we’re SERIOUS about actualizing our potential, achieving greatness, winning our own version of the Super Bowl (or however you want to define your ultimate goals in life), THEN THERE SIMPLY IS NO CHOICE.

Moment to moment to moment we need to step forward into growth and give our best.


Trevor tells us: “Making bad choices is the lifeblood of average. It feeds it. It consumes it. It protects it. Choice is a competitor—as much as any tangible opponent you or any team will face. In fact, it’s the ultimate competitor. It taunts you. It will lie to you. Take choice out of your way, and it’s like pulling the fitness band off Usain Bolt. The Velcro snaps, and watch his ass disappear. Choice is an illusion. Choice is Keyser Freaking Söze.

This may sound crazy, especially in an age where many people are bombarded by options. The music we listen to. The shows we watch. The time we wake up. The food we eat. The people we associate with. The way we prepare. The effort we give. The effort we don’t give. But do we have the luxury of choice if excellence is what we aspire to?”

I mark the bliss out books when I read them.

Right below that passage I wrote: Paradox of Choice. The Freak Factor. GSP: Sacrifices vs. Decisions. Chasing Excellence.

In the Notes on the book I read RIGHT before this book (that one was called The Freak Factor) we hit on the EXACT same theme. We’ll talk more about that tomorrow.

For now…

We THINK choice is awesome. But, ultimately it’s NOT.

ESPECIALLY when we decide to go for excellence.

When you get up? When you go to sleep? How you train?

How you show up in your Work and your Love?



Let’s drop the illusion and make the ultimate decision that makes all the little decisions for us.

Let’s choose to actualize our potential and high five our inner daimons and give our families and the world all we’ve got.

Moment to moment to moment.


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