American Pickers and Choices

One of the TV shows I relish watching is American Pickers on the History Channel. Frank and Mike are two "Antique Archaeologists" who are searching for rusty gold in barns, buildings, and anywhere else people might have stored things of value or simply items from their past. The "pick" is the actual search through boxes, piles, or shelves. They then bargain with the owners, attempting to buy the item at a price they can then resell to someone else-or keep as a treasure of their own. I enjoy the history given on the items and always learn so much. Mike and Frank's banter is also engaging and endearing.

On a recent episode, Mike and Frank visited two brothers who had an incredible collection of antique motorcycles. These brothers had found much joy in restoring the bikes, actually riding some of them on a regular basis. Mike and Frank, being motorcycle maniacs themselves, were truly in a "honey hole" for picking.

As Mike and Frank attempted to buy some of the bikes, the brothers resisted giving a price. Ironically, they had started a brewery some time ago, and really needed the money from the sale of the bikes to grow their business. However, almost every time they were asked about a motorcycle and its selling price, they had this lost look in their eyes. Their comment was something like, "We have spent a lot of time working on these bikes. It's hard to let them go."

Mike said, ‘These guys are going to have to choose beer or bikes! They can’t have both.’

Throughout the show there are cutaway interviews, and in one of them Mike said, "These guys are going to have to choose beer or bikes! They can't have both." And the brothers did choose. They sold $62000 worth of motorcycles, which will definitely help grow their brewery business.

Their plight mirrors our own when it comes to choosing the right course of action on a daily basis. It's not usually a choice between something bad and something good, but rather between something good and something better. And the more we have invested in work on the good, the harder it is to let go and work on the best. Here are a list of questions to ask yourself to help you choose the best instead of the good more often:

  • Which choice will give me more freedom in the future? (To read more about choices and freedom, click here to read a recent blog)

  • Which choice will I look back on _____________________ (tonight, next week, next month) and be glad I made it?

  • Of the two choices, which moves me more toward accomplishment of my highest priorities?

  • Is one choice appealing only because of the temporary positive emotion it will bring?

  • Am I choosing one action to avoid taking the other one now?

  • Which choice would someone I truly admire and respect encourage me to take?

  • Am I making this choice to avoid having a difficult conversation with someone?

  So... when is your next pick? It may be sooner than you think. Make Mike, Frank, AND me proud with the treasures you start finding when the pick is a success.

How am I "picking" the next action to take?