Your decisions are your destiny. But sometimes you can make a good decision at the wrong time and still get disastrous results. Need an example? Think of the millions of people who purchased homes in the United States in 2007—and now the values of those homes are down by 30, 40 or 50 percent. Buying a home was a good decision, but 2007 was the wrong time to do it. Investing in technology shares in 2000 at the end of the dot-com boom was a good decision made at the wrong time. Investing in $1 stocks in 1939 was a good decision at the right time, and that decision set Sir John Templeton on a path to becoming a billionaire.
To make the right decision at the right time, you must know the season your life is in. But it’s just as important to know the season of your environment—the economy, your business and your community. As in nature, there are four seasons.
Spring—This is a time of creation. People, animals and businesses experience massive energy during this time of newness, renewal and growth. In our societies and in nature, this is a protected time of life. Throughout childhood you’re cared for and nurtured. In a business, this is the time of inspiration and excitement for new possibilities.
Summer—During this time, things heat up. We’re tested, but we also experience massive growth. This time also calls for a little relaxation… a summer vacation. During this time we get married, we build a home, we work diligently in the day-to-day operations of the business. And every now and then we take a long weekend or a weeklong vacation.
Autumn—In nature, this is harvest time. It’s when plants, people, businesses and communities come into full maturity. It’s a time of celebration. People in this stage are running the show. They’re competent and confident and full of life. And interestingly, if you experience a challenge or a setback during this time, you’ve likely already learned enough during your spring and summer that it’s possible to quickly recover. Autumn is also a time of unwinding—and that makes some people uncertain because they’re used to living at full speed and maximum intensity.
Winter—During winter, we slow down. It’s a time of regeneration and rest. Some things die so new things can grow. For humans, this is a time of “elderhood.” If you’ve taken care of yourself well during the other seasons, winter can be the time you have the most influence as a mentor and a leader.
Some seasons come early, some come late, some last longer, but they never change their pattern. They’re predictable. And if you can predict them, you can take advantage of them.
Read more from Anthony Robbins: Take control of your decisions and your life with these strategies.