As We Move Forward: Be Specific – The Secret to Effective Decision Making

ChoicesDo you find it difficult making decisions? Many people get to the point of deciding to take all the valuable information they have been accumulating and find themselves frozen at the point of taking the first step in any direction. Frustration over decision making can occur at many levels in life. How often do you approach the choice of where to go to have a meal only to be frustrated at picking a restaurant. Some people have this difficulty in settling on a vacation destination.

It seems that young people seeking to find a career–their calling in life–are faced with an almost infinite number of choices. How do you decide what you want to “be” when faced with the knowledge that you can “be”nearly anything you set your mind to. It is easy to find periods in history when the course of one’s life was largely dictated by the circumstances surrounding one’s birth.

Creativity“Decision making is the specific executive task” – Peter Drucker. That does not mean that only executives make decisions. It does set decision making apart as an act of creativity. A decision marks a turning point. Something changes as the direct result of a decision. Another way of saying this is there are consequences to every decision. One thing is selected. Another is not.

Do you make decisions based solely on the effect the decision will have on you, or do you thoroughly evaluate the effect the decision you are contemplating will have on others? Do you make decisions that are consistent with your values, your mission, your passions? What do your decisions say to others about your beliefs?

“Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision” – Tony Robbins. Even to decide to do nothing involves a decision. If we begin to view decisions as a set of simple acts, designed to trigger a particular behavior or pattern of behavior, we can begin to take responsibility for every decision we make. The good news is we do not have to make every decision over and over. The only time we have to do that is when we realize we have made a decision or series of decisions that are not consistent with all the things we know about ourselves.

Small Decisions“Change is the end result of all true learning. Change involves three things: First, a dissatisfaction with self — a felt void or need; second, a decision to change to fill the void or need; and third, a conscious dedication to the process of growth and change — the willful act of making the change, doing something” – Leo Buscaglia. So, consider decision making as one of your basic tools. Start small with simple decisions, easy to carry through on. Like any tool, practice improves competence. Make decisions every time the opportunity presents itself.

Don’t be afraid of making a decision you will have to change. That is how we learn. “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson’s sentiments may sound lofty, but there is something to be said for the fact that decisions lead to outcomes. Don’t dwell on decisions. “All my life, whenever it comes time to make a decision, I make it and forget about it” – Harry S. Truman. As President, Truman faced some overwhelming obstacles. His decisions impact the world through the present. Decide and move forward is good advice. I want to end with a quote from famous motivational speaker Tony Robbins concerning making decisions.

Crossroads“You are now at a crossroads. This is your opportunity to make the most important decision you will ever make. Forget your past. Who are you now? Who have you decided you really are now? Don’t think about who you have been. Who are you now? Who have you decided to become? Make this decision consciously. Make it carefully. Make it powerfully” – Tony Robbins. Make decisions, and enjoy the process!!

David C. Bloom,
CEO of IHS Services, Inc.

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