How to Make the Right Decision Quickly

Most of our decisions are fairly easy. Many of them are automatic. But how do you make your big decisions? Most of us spend a lot of time agonizing and worrying over these. We make lists, we research on the Internet, and we ask trusted friends. And then we worry some more. Not good.

My oldest daughter has been accepted to the BFA in Acting program at two of her favorite universities. She has a deadline to decide which school she will attend and she’s having difficulty making the decision.

This is a bit of a pattern with her. She wants to make sure she’s making the “right” decision.

Good news: She researches and looks at all the possible outcomes of her decision.
Bad news: This can lead to the dreaded paralysis by analysis, worry, anxiety, and frustration.

Here are some secrets to help you, and my daughter, make the right decision faster.

Most of the time a quick decision is your best decision:
Lots of research and several books have been written about how our quick hunch, gut, or blink decisions are usually best.

Our bodies are great at using our memories, experiences, and beliefs to help us make the right call. Our “intuition” helps us figure out patterns and sift through factors in ways we aren’t even aware of consciously. One study showed participants started betting correctly on a card game before they even consciously understood how the game worked.

Pretty cool.

One caveat – sometimes we need to slow down:
Our quick, almost unconscious, gut decisions are tied heavily to our emotions and sometimes our emotions fool us. My daughter could fall in love with the resort style dorm and pool in Florida. She could mistake that feeling for her gut telling her to choose that school. Whoops.

Quite often there is no “right” decision:
My daughter really likes both of these schools and their programs. They both have great opportunities for her. Regardless of which one she chooses she will learn a lot, become an even better actress, have a head start on her career, and have fun. There is no right or wrong decision to make.

You can support or undermine your decision:
Once you’ve made your decision you can support it by never looking back and focusing on all the good that is coming your way, or you can worry about what you could be missing if you’d chosen differently.

My daughter can throw her self into her classes, put in her best effort, make friends, audition for shows, and make the most of every opportunity at her new college.

Or, she can dismiss all the good in her decision, mope around, think of all the things she’s missing at the school she didn’t choose and be miserable. It’s her choice.

Bottom Line – Use a Mix of Your Gut and Your Logical Brain:
For the big decisions ask yourself, what do think is best? Then immediately right down the answer.

Then, go ahead and do your due diligence – research, write your pro and con list, talk to someone you trust, pray about it, sleep on it, and then decide.

Once you’ve decided, don’t look back. Make the decision work. You’ll be surprised how well it works out and how quickly your worry and anxiety fade away.

Let’s GO!

(I’m now offering a 40 day online coaching course to kick start finding and pursuing your Passionate Purpose.)

The Danger of Overreacting

elite-daily-titanic

Those who fail to respond to a changing marketplace – fail. In fact, things happen so fast now, that you need to predict the changes in the market place and act before the changes actually occur or it might be too late.

I think that’s true, to a point. We can also overreact with unintended consequences. We can change so quickly and so often that we lose our core audience, customers, clients, or purpose.

You’ve heard of the Titanic, but have you heard of the Eastland? Their connection is a tragic story of overreaction and unintended consequences.

After the Titanic sank, taking 829 passengers and 694 crew members with her, our government sprang into action. Congress passed new laws to make sure the Titanic disaster would never happen again.

The Eastland was mandated to add more lifeboats, rafts (and cranes to lower them into the water) then the boatmakers had planned.

The additional weight made the boat top heavy. As the passengers began embarking for the journey across Lake Michigan, the boat began listing to one side. The sailors compensated by adding water to the ballast tanks on the other side. Once the boat was packed with passengers it began to list to the other side. The sailors couldn’t fix the problem fast enough. The Eastland capsized while still tied up to the dock in the Chicago river.

Overreaction helped cause the death of 841 passengers and 3 crew members. Wow. More passengers died from the overreaction to the Titanic than actually died on the Titanic.

Yes, it was a good reaction to make sure every ship had enough lifeboats for everyone. But, it was an overreaction to force lifeboats that were too heavy on to the Eastland.

Keeping your eyes on trends and changes in your field is very important. But, be careful of the danger of overreaction as well. That can be just as, or more, dangerous than not changing at all.

Let’s GO!

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You Become What You Think About

 

Have you noticed that every time you want to change something in your life the change starts with how you think? You can’t do anything until you think about it first.

Take a look around you right now. What do you see? A couch, a chair, walls, furniture, lights, windows?

Someone had to conceive of the couch you’re sitting on before the plans were made, the materials were gathered, and the work was done to make it and ship it to the store where you purchased it. Someone had to dream up the house you’re living in before it was built. I had to think of every word on this blog post in order to write it so you could read it right now.

Everything that gets done in this world begins as a thought. From the first automobile, to manned spaceflight, to the Internet, to cancer treatments, to magnificent symphonies, to Candy Crush to the awful candy – Circus Peanuts, everything had its origins in a thought. (Hey, not all of our thoughts are winners.)

The same holds true for who you are and what you do. Everything you do and everything you are begins as one of your thoughts…

A man is what he thinks about all day long.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

You become what you think about. You become what you think about all day long. You create what you think about all day long. You develop solutions and ideas for what you think about all day long. You only change who you are and what you do, when you change what you think about and how you think about it.

What you think about leads you to who you are, who you will become, what you do, and what you will do.

That sounds fantastic and unbelievable, doesn’t it? Test it to see if it makes sense to you. What have you ever done that didn’t begin with a thought? When have you ever made changes in your life that didn’t begin with a thought?

Obviously we need to take action to make change. But, you can’t act until you have created the thought that leads to the action.

Ninety percent of our thoughts are automatic. We don’t even realize we are thinking them. That’s our biggest problem with making changes. We have to change our thoughts before we can change our behavior.

So what are you thinking about all day long? Are they your original thoughts, or are they thoughts other people put in your head? Are they positive or negative thoughts? Are they helping or hurting you? What do you need to start thinking about that will help you reach your goals? When will I be done asking you questions?

Right now.

Stop reading right now and take some time to think about and answer each of those questions. Write down the answers. It will help change your life.

(While you do that, I’m going to throw away some candy Circus Peanuts that are still in my daughters Halloween bag from last year.)

Glad you’re back. Hope you got some great answers. Remember,whatever you focus on, you will tend to get more of it. Your conscious and subconscious minds will get the message that this is important to you. They will work all day and night to help you with whatever it is you are thinking about. Isn’t that amazing?

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything.

–Gautama Siddhartha, the founder of Buddhism

If You’re Waffling, The Answer is No

excited

I was invited to attend an event, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to go.It would have been fun, the people involved were nice, and it might even have led to some business opportunities.

But, I had a speech I needed to finish writing on the same day and I knew I wouldn’t be able to get it done if I said yes to the invitation.

Still, I felt bad about saying no.

What to do?

Do you ever feel like that?

I like what Derek Sivers says, “It’s either HECK YEAH! Or No.”

This event wasn’t a HECK YEAH! so I politely declined. I got my speech done and felt great.

We are all busy and we can’t do everything. We have to make decisions all day long on what we allow to take up our precious time.

This is a way to reclaim some of that time. When an opportunity comes along, give it the “HECK YEAH! Or No” test. If you’re not excited about the idea, don’t do it.

Simple.

Liberating.

This leaves you more time to do what matters most.

There are countless opportunities for you in the world. If you spend your time on the ones that are just good, you won’t have time for the truly great ones that feed your Passionate Purpose.

Give it a try this week and let me know how it goes.