Everyone makes mistakes.
While it’s true that any one mistake can have catastrophic results, most bad decisions are of middling consequence.
In other words, one bad decision won’t usually reroute your life too much. But make five bad decisions in succession and you could be on the road to ruin. This is true in business as well as in life.
For example, a couple weeks ago, three local men in their early 20s got together for an evening of fun. We know from what happened that at least one of the guys was bad news, so it can be said that it wasn’t a good idea to hang out with him. (Bad Decision No. 1).
The three made a decision to drink in public (Bad Decision No. 2). They grabbed some beers and motored over to a local high school. It isn’t known if the men drank in the car. (Bad Decision No. 2A).
Feeling adventurous, the men climbed up to the school’s rooftop to party. This of course, is called trespassing. (Bad Decision No 3).
While on the roof, one of the lads fell 20 feet into the school’s enclosed courtyard. We can assume that happened because rather than take safety precautions, he was walking too close to the edge. (Bad Decision No. 4).
The only way out of the courtyard was through the building. Instead of calling the police for help and ending the evening with possibly only a misdemeanor charge that might be reduced to a civil infraction, the two guys on the roof decided to break into the school to retrieve their friend. This is known as breaking-and-entering. (Bad Decision No. 5).
The three had already had a full evening, but having made five bad decisions in a row, their evening wasn’t over.
Breaking into the school triggered a silent alarm that not only notified authorities of the breech, but recorded the young men’s voices.
The police arrived to apprehend the perpetrators, but the trio fled (Bonus Bad Decision No. 6). One was captured immediately and the others eventually turned themselves in.
And that’s how it goes when you make five bad decisions in a row.
I love that line in the Bruce Willis movie, 16 Blocks.
You can’t be lucky all the time, but you can be smart every day.