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Choice not Chance: Rules For Building a Fierce Competitor by Joanne P. McCallie

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Chapter 2

Creating “Choice Not Chance”

We Are All Products of the Choices We Make

When I was coaching at Maine, we created a program called “Choice Not Chance,” which stemmed from a philosophy that I thoroughly believe in and endorse. My mantra is simple: “Choice, not chance, determines destiny. Choose to become a champion in life.”

We had a big white blank wall outside our offices on the third floor, and I knew I wanted to put something on that wall where everybody could see it. I was only 26, and as the youngest head coach in Division I basketball at that time, philosophy was very important to me. You had to stare at that wall when you left my office. Some people would have covered it with photos or pictures, but I wanted to use a quote, and the preceding quote was the one I used. I am certain I must have read it someplace, but I honestly have no idea where it came from. It just seemed to appear, and the blank wall was a perfect spot for it.

I came up with five components of the philosophy that grew out of the quote. I didn’t realize how much it would evolve over time. It pushed me to think further and broaden the philosophy to the point where those elements are now a fixture of Choice Not Chance. Developing each of these five components has truly been an evolutionary process:

1. Choices dictate life’s opportunities, so make choices with great care.

2. Your “little choices” do matter. You must commit daily to seeking out the right choices for yourself, and operate according ...

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