Monday, May 7, 2012

A Decision is Like a Goal

In some way it is; a definite decision is the beginning of the path we travel to reach a certain goal.  Life happens because of decisions. We can’t even get out of bed in the morning without deciding on it. Being happy is a decision. What we decide today will shape our future.

Decision is defined as a choice, determination, judgment, or even as a promise.  It all starts with making up one’s mind and then taking a certain direction.  Just like goal setting, making a decision is not enough to accomplish anything.  To me making a decision is the beginning and the end as well as the journey in between. 

Sometimes, the decision and the goal are very close, that’s when we act immediately upon an inspiration; not waiting for anybody else’s opinion, or even reasoning out why that idea maybe unrealistic.  It has been said, that when we have a “why” the “how” will unfold along the way.  Let’s look at decision making a little more closely.

 “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.”
~ Amelia Earhart

How to make good decisions?

1)    Decision making is a skill

Like any other skill, making good decisions takes practice.  There is no failure in decision making.  With every decision we will get a certain result.  If we don’t like the outcome we can make an adjustment and take a new action.  With commitment and tenacity we will make better choices and get the end result (goal) we want.

“A real decision is measured by the fact that you've taken a new action. If there's no action, you haven't truly decided.
~ Tony Robbins

2)    Avoiding Procrastination

Napoleon Hill, in his book Think and Grow Rich, dedicates the whole Chapter 8 on the topic of indecision.  In hesitating and being indecisive we lose a lot of power and momentum.  Procrastination often goes along with self-sabotaging which has its origin in emotional/psychological behavior and has to be dealt with before one can move on.  Letting go of old emotional baggage and releasing it can make room for new adventures.

“The world has the habit of making room for the man whose words and actions show that he knows where he is going.”
~ Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich – Chapter 8

3)    Knowing ourselves

Our decisions have to be rooted in core values.  When our conscience is based on core values like honesty, loyalty, responsibility, etc. it is easier to make wise decisions.  When we know our shortcomings or weakness’ we can also make better choices.   It is best not to make life changing decisions when we are hungry, tired, or just in a bad mood; it is better to sleep on it.

I recently listened to a talk by Chade-Meng Tan who authored a book “Search Inside Yourself.”  His advice for knowing ourselves is based on three observations: 1. Pay attention to stay in the NOW; 2. Self-knowledge and self-mastery makes us aware of new opportunities; 3. Create new mental habits like practicing kindness.

He believes that it takes as little as 100 minutes to establish habits of centeredness and focus.  To become a true master of self-discipline though is a lifelong process.

“If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ’failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.”
~ Mary Pickford

4)    Man is the only animal who can make decisions

Ever wondered why young people are often so spontaneous in decision making?  Scientists have discovered that the prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain where decision making can be measured) does not develop until the early 20s.  In fact, this part of the brain which is located behind the forehead is the last part of the brain developed in the progress of man throughout history and is the only part which separates us from animals.  

While the prefrontal cortex is like the control center our brain has another (emotional) center – the limbic system.  Since emotions are often more powerful than reasoning, we can explain why young people sometimes make bad choices.

Being born in the sign of Libra, the scale, I have had my issues with making decisions.  Through experience I have learned that there are ways to circumvent the hesitation or even fear of deciding.  By applying the above guidelines, I have become better in decision making.  I have discovered that decision making is empowering as it is linked to the Law of Attraction.

The action of deciding comes from the Latin word decidere which literally means to cut off or to end.  Making decisions therefore has absoluteness to it and that will clear a path to reach any goal.  Our future is depending on the decision we make right NOW.

1 comment:

Yusun said...

i also have a hard time making decisions (as i'm sure you know)... but i'm happy to say i've gotten better at it. i liked how you said decision making is a skill and can be developed, because i can't agree more. the quote you posted in the beginning is one of my favorites... frome the alchemist, right? thanks for this post!