Successful people in life are those who are better at taking decisions. And, success is not always about the decision itself as much as about taking the decision; i.e. the act and its timeliness.
Gladwell (2005), in his book “Blink”, states that the best decisions are often those that are impossible to explain to others.
In this article, I’m not going to talk about decision making matrices or sophisticated models and processes. Very often, I see paralysis of decision by analysis. We over analyze and we make it more complicated than it should be. In this article, I will simply go to the basics and talk about two straightforward concepts regarding decision making.
There are three main obstacles in life that stand in the way of happiness and success. We call them the “Enemy Trio”. The better people can deal with this Trio, the happier and more successful they can be. The Enemy Trio is nothing but fear, doubt, and indecision. All three are related, and one may feed the other since all three relate to lack of confidence, courage, and faith. Fear and doubt cloud your ability to think right and make a proper decision. Overcoming fear and doubt will help you address the indecision because you’re better prepared to deal with the consequences.
It’s often said making no decision is worse than making the wrong decision.
So how’s a wrong decision better than no decision?
First, there is an opportunity to learn from mistakes if you make the wrong decisions. You’ll know for yourself what works and what doesn’t work, hence enriching your experience.
“Success comes from good decisions.
Good decisions come from experience.
Experience comes from bad decisions.”
Second, making no decision exposes one of your greatest weaknesses – submissiveness. But, on the other hand, by taking a decision, you prove to yourself and to others that you’re not a submissive or passive person. Passivity diminishes a person’s credibility and his/her ability to lead.
Third, timing is almost everything. Some decisions can’t wait. You may be better off taking the wrong decision than risking the time wasted factor, especially when you’re not sure what the time wasted impact is. Get to know the urgency of making the decision.
In addition, keeping changing a decision is another form of indecision.
Be bold, be a risk taker, challenge the status quo. Have faith in what you can do. Even if you make the wrong decision your faith in what you can do will help you deal with the consequences.
My second set of Trio in relation to decision making is a very practical concept that relates to one’s values. Knowing what your values are will definitely make the decision process easier and faster, but again the key is in knowing exactly what your values are.
When you’re faced with a challenging decision to make, ask yourself the following:
-Is it ethical?
-Is it legal?
-Is it profitable? (“profitable” here is not necessarily assessed in terms of money, but rather in terms of value added)
Your values will determine how you prioritize these questions and make you your decision accordingly. However, while it may seem simple on the surface, the dilemma is when culture or laws dictate the values and when these values are not always in synch with our own personal ones. For example, what’s ethical may not always be legal nor what is legal may always be ethical.
So, do you follow your mind? Follow your heart? Or follow that super power? The answer is: just follow what you have the most trust and faith in.