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Decide to Decide

It’s decision time.

All eyes are upon you. Which way will you go? What path will you take? It’s your call, and the impact of your choice can forever shape your life for better or worse. Time’s up. So let’s have it.What is your decision?

Every day, life presents you a myriad of choices in all shapes and sizes. Some are relatively simple, such as how you like your eggs, what you wear, or what you will watch on TV tonight. But, interspersed with these innocuous quizzes are real-life puzzlers. We encounter questions that demand answers, and sometimes we are unable or unwilling to conjure a definitive and confident response.

“Should I take that job, even if it means moving to a new city?”

“Can I make it if I try to start my own business?”

“Is this the person I’m supposed to be with for the rest of my life?”

“Is the time right to have kids?”

“Paper or plastic?”

This month’s Action Mail is about decisions – what they mean, and how we can make them with greater ease and confidence. As you read this, I hope you will contemplate your real time life issues. What decisions are presently on your plate? Whatever they are – as mammoth as a new mission or as straightforward as a new pair of slacks, we can decide with certainty if we get to the heart of the questions: How to choose? What to choose? And, how do you know if you made the right choice?

How to choose?

Consciously – We cannot avoid making decisions. An inability to decide is itself a choice – one that relinquishes control of your life to other people or outside circumstances. The trouble is, you might not like what you end up getting, and by the time you know it, your alternative options may be slim, or nonexistent.

Informed – Start by checking your premise. Does this really matter to you? Why? What is your motive? Answer those questions, then learn all you can about available options and all the necessary details.

On Principle – Get clear about what you value and what you believe. Solid principles simplify decisions.

Multi-Dimensionally – With life’s big decisions (and even some small ones), you need to get the big picture. What impact will this have on all five spheres of your life: your work, your relationships, your health, your spiritual growth, and your personal interests? There are no “isolated” choices.

Completely – Commit to your decision one hundred percent , without an escape plan or mandated “requirements.” Turn the page and engage your choice completely, resisting the temptation to revisit the last chapter.

What to choose?

Easy over difficult – Do not battle your choices or brace yourself for conflict. It’s not necessary. Smart decisions (even the big ones) should be easy, as long as you ask the right questions and start from a solid foundation. The right choice, because it is a new path, may be challenging. But the decision is easy.

Simple over complicated – Get down to the basics. What is the real issue – the main thing about the main thing? Don’t turn this into a mental obstacle course. Keep it simple.

Gut over head – Once you have gathered sufficient information, follow your instincts. Most decisions are made with the gut and then rationalized afterward. And that is not a bad thing. Betray your gut, and you might end up with puke on your shirt.

Evidence over wishful thinking – Past results and actions are real indicators of possible outcomes. Especially where people are concerned, the evidence of past behaviors is difficult to dispute or “wish away” in the hope for a different outcome tomorrow.

Positive over negative – Every thought you have and each response you make is an opportunity to choose a positive or a negative path. Choose positive. This isn’t an altruistic, lip-glossed view of what is best for the planet. This is vital and what is best for you! Negative thoughts and actions always induce conflict, stress, and anxiety. Positive thoughts and actions empower you and enable positive results, every time. Be nice. Be inquisitive, not justifiably irritated.

How do you know you made the right decision?

If you ask this question, you haven’t really made a choice. You still have one foot on the other (untaken) path. Life is too short for “split decisions.” Choose, and move forward. How do you know it was the right choice? You made it. It was right for that moment, decided for the right reasons. Everything happens for a reason.

When you know yourself and what you are all about, and you operate from that mental footing, then choices become opportunities to test and demonstrate your purpose. They become easier, as well, because you are not simply rolling the dice and hoping for the best.

Into Action

1. Decide to decide. Your most important choice is what you are thinking. Your next most important choice is what you will do next. Focus on just the next choice, and make it a good one.

2. Ask the right questions of yourself and others. Get clear on what you believe and what is most important, and you’ll find the “right answer” is clearly revealed.

3. Commit and “own” your choices. It’s like when you rent a car and drive over the spiked hump. Backing up will only result in “severe tire damage.” So put it in gear and go!

Decidedly, your partner in action,

Dan

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