There is a gap between stimulus and response, and the key to both our growth and happiness is how we use that space.
Steven Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
Accidents invariably happen when decision-making is compromised. Driving 100k’s down the freeway is not the time to have a moment of indecisiveness. Hit the indicator and then take that turn, there’s a reasonable chance you’ll negotiate the journey safely. The autobahn of life operates similarly, and yet so many of its participants lack the decisiveness to negotiate its perilous journey and myriad of choices with clarity and confidence.
Due diligence is given as an excuse to postpone making a decision. Procrastination is a nice sounding word that has cancerous implications. So many poor souls live lives of quiet desperation, not because of a scarcity of choice, but rather because opportunities are so often disguised as scary monsters residing in the location of the discomfort zone.
It has taken a lifetime to reach this status quo we find ourselves inhabiting, and we are well equipped to justify staying there, regardless of how insanely uncomfortable it really is.
Regret is a mostly pointless indulgence. However it is an emotion that modern societies seem to encourage.
Crass confessions of celebrity excess are the fodder of tabloid press. Brands need to be protected, and therefore carefully crafted interviews conveying remorse are channeled through crocodile tears for the consumption of the masses.
The masses in turn tend to confuse this manipulation as an example of the risk of poor decision-making. More often than not, it is a weakness in actually making decisions quick and often that leads to paralysis and unfulfilled ambition.
Questions precede all actions. There is a remarkable tendency for the mind to find the resources to achieve emotional and concise goals. Ask the right questions and be prepared to make decisions that may initially appear to be taking you in the wrong direction, and almost imperceptibility miracles will seem to manifest.
The girl you fancy may rebuke your advances, but significantly less often than if you’d never asked! Apparently super models are rarely approached by mere mortals as conventional wisdom is that they can do better! The irony of course is that there’s less competition for the brave soul willing to act!
Traveling to the other end of the globe, for something as frivolous as a holiday can so easily and rationally be postponed, indefinitely. The money could be spent in so many better ways…and yet, this mindset is what creates the sense of apparent lack.Creating a big enough vision, a big enough WHY will usually facilitate the HOW.
Be prepared to get it wrong. (There is no wrong by the way, it’s a perception, some of the greatest experiences in your life would never have happened if you hadn’t taken a ‘wrong’ turning somewhere back on the road that led you to the big payoff)
Start a business. Risk some money lose it learn from the experience and move on better educated and equipped to take advantage of the next opportunity that comes your way.
Take some piano lessons, enroll in art class, buy the car that symbolizes your mid life crisis, sell your house and travel the world for two years.
Is such unbridled hedonism just an excuse for irresponsibility? That’s for you to debate, but I would play the devils advocate and state that the craving and pursuit of the sensible is what defines the height of the ceiling of all potential accomplishment.
Think of the worst decision you’ve ever made in your life and I’d venture to suggest it ended up becoming the greatest lesson you ever learned. If you have any regrets I’d also guess it was a factor of failure to actually make a decision that led to the regret.
So next time the apple of your eye demands a treat, the lawn needs mowing, the out dated TV needs replacing, or an acquaintance invites you to a function try occasionally being spontaneous- make the decision on the spot, don’t say you’ll think about it, or try, or will check with your boss, husband, lawyer…just a Yes or no will suffice.
Just don’t blame me if it all goes pear shaped….