Sunday, December 11, 2011

Decisions, Decisions...

"Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so." -- William Shakespeare

We may not always have control over what happens to us, but we have absolute control over how we react to what happens in our lives.

We decide what things mean and what to do with information, whether it was information we searched for and found, or whether it was thrust upon us without our consent. We can decide to ignore situations, be frustrated or angry by them... or we can decide to learn from any or all situations and then move on. We don't need to let any specific situation define who we are.

No matter what happened in your past, your future can be influenced by one simple decision that you make in this present moment; as long as that decision is followed by action. You MUST take the appropriate steps (actions) to bring that decision into reality.

We control what we think, which leads to how we feel (or our emotions). Almost all decisions are made based on our emotions. And it is our emotions that drive us to action. Actions create the results that can change our lives.

Some people think there are easy decisions and hard decisions. But really all decisions are easy if you truly know what you want. If you have powerful goals and strong values then you only have to ask, "Will this decision bring me closer to my goals and is it congruent to my values?" If it DOES bring you closer and IS congruent, your decision is made. Of course, the action required to implement the decision may be difficult, but the decision itself will be easy. Also, any alternate decision you make (other than the right one) will just frustrate you, disappoint you and make your life miserable later.

Some decisions require difficult actions now but make our lives easier in the long run; and some decisions require much easier actions now but make our lives more difficult in the long run.

Have you ever seen the old classic movie 'Network'? The main character is a News Anchor and you can see the process of decision making in his body language, tone of voice and action. He not only made a decision for himself, but his resolution was so strong that he motivated his viewers into action as well by telling them to open their window and yell out, "I'm as mad as Hell and I'm not going to take this, anymore!"

See the clip here:

These are the emotional outbursts that drive us to ACTION! Nothing will ever change for us until we decide that we are 'fed-up' with the way things are now. Until we decide that we will no longer tolerate (fill in your blank here). When you decide that you are 'sick and tired' of: being poor or living paycheck to paycheck or are 'sick and tired' of being pushed around or 'sick and tired' of being bored, sitting around the house watching TV for hours a day; when you are 'sick and tired' of being 'sick and tired'...only then will you be motivated to take action.

Only then will you decide to take the actions necessary to make, save and invest more money. Only then will you decide to take the actions necessary to become more confident. Only then will you decide to take the actions necessary to be more physically active and adventurous.

All of this because of one simple emotionally charged decision!

You can DECIDE RIGHT NOW to make your life into what ever you want. You can decide to do what ever it takes to make your dreams come true.

But don't just decide it. Make it a goal. Write it down. Set a date by which you intend to achieve that goal. Look back to the two Posts on Goal Setting (see January 3rd and January 13th posts) if you have not already read them, to find out what S.M.A.R.T. Goals are,how to set them and what to do with them once you have them.

I like what Hyrum W. Smith says about decisions, "When you decide to spend one hour watching TV, you have also decided NOT to spend the time on what?... Everything else!"

This is one of my pet peeves. People (especially kids) spend hours watching TV and playing video games. They will never get that time back. I very much doubt that anyone lay on their death bed thinking, "If only I had made it to the next level of Mortal Kombat" or "I really wish I had a few more hours to live so I can catch those three episodes of 'Lost' that I missed."

Live your life in a way that you won't have any regrets. Live your life as if today is your last day on Earth. Cultivate your personal relationships. Do the people in your life that are important to you, know how important they are? If not, I suggest you tell them. And even if they do know... I suggest that you tell them again, just because.

Our destiny is shaped by the decisions we make on a daily basis. Our decisions determine our actions.

"Character is the ability to carry out a worthy decision after the emotion of making that decision has passed." --- Hyrum W. Smith

Right now, go find a quiet spot that inspires you. Someplace to be alone to write down your thoughts. It could be a beach, mountain top, hillside or even your own office or bedroom. Get a notepad and pen. Write down what you REALLY want. Just let the ideas flow at first, without editing or judging. Write down anything that comes to mind.

Then when you have all of these thoughts written down, prioritize them. What is really important to you and what would just be fun, or nice or a bonus.

Now take all of the really top priority goals and decide what you will need to do to make each goal a reality. Set a completion date. Congratulations! You now have a goal. But wait! There is one more thing. Never leave the scene of a goal-setting session without doing at least one thing to make that goal a reality. You must take some action to make this real.

For example, if you are sitting at the ocean and you set a goal to lose 10 pounds in the next 3 months, you might take your first jog along the beach followed by a gentle stretch and a handful of push-ups or sit-ups. You may even decide to reward yourself by eating a healthy salad for lunch on your way home. Or at the VERY least, you should call a close friend or relative. Tell that person about your new goal so that they can help you achieve your goal (even if it's just by not tempting you to go out for ice cream or junk food).

Make great choices.

"Make a decision TODAY, that your future self will thank you for." --- Tony Robbins

Good luck.

Peace and Love,