Yes or No – What it takes to make powerful decisions?

7, Oct, 2015, by Seema Bhatnagar

Life is all about making decisions, however big or small they may be. Observing little closely, every moment we are taking some or the other decision whether it is about eating food, making relationships or choosing jobs. For every small activity of life we tend to think and decide the best possible action to undertake. Sometimes it happens that we get stuck in our own trap of thinking and find ourselves paralysed with no exit possible, completely clueless and directionless.

Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

Perhaps, many of your decisions are in parking lot because of your habit of procrastination or timidity. The love for comfort zone is not permitting you to take a required leap. At this very moment, perhaps some of your life transforming decisions are crying for attention but somehow you are not able to reach a point where you feel alright to go ahead. Whenever it is time for taking some hard decision you simply shy away from situation or seek ways to avoid it. With this state of mind, life feels like a burden and for every step to take you seek some help, guidance or support.

Personal inability to make decisions creates lot of negativity and at times it becomes a cause of constant stress and anxiety for an individual. Ability to take good decisions is a symbol of personal growth.

Why is it difficult to take decisions?

Every decision comes with a price attached to it. Price means how much impact it would have on life, what all one can lose and how much would be gained from it. For some, doing this analysis is a big hassle and they simply give in to the situation. Not knowing the cost and doing action means putting self to unknown amount of risk and associated disappointment. For majority people, reluctance to spend extra efforts in understanding the nitty-gritty of every aspect of a decision is the main reason behind not able to take good decision.

Lack of confidence and fear of failure are two other major reasons which put many off from taking some hard decisions in life.

Doing a good analysis for every decision prepares you to face the worst outcome in future. I have seen people taking rash, impatient and mindless decisions, the cost of which is borne by family or the teams or may be the country in certain cases. One wrong decision can cost million lives, depending upon at what level the decision is taken.

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is a good decision?

A definition of a good decision is - it is mindful and thought through with required diligence, backed with facts, data, information and prior experience of self or others.

As per laws of nature - every action has an equal and opposite reaction or there is a cause for every effect, so is true for life also, for every decision you take there is a consequence attached to it. Conclusively, no decision is perfect - it is only that every decision has negative impact or positive impact on you.

Whether it is a decision of choosing a life partner, getting married, breaking up, making a business decision or changing a job or a career, a mindful decision goes a long way and it actually impacts your mental health significantly.

Whenever you are taking any decision, just keep a thought in the back of your mind that it is not only you who would get impacted with a decision, it can have impact on people around you, on your own life and future.

Perhaps, by taking one decision you are opening a door for million possibilities and it is also possible that you are closing door for many opportunities by not acting or not taking any particular decision.

Discussing your decision with friends or somebody who understands you well or may be any consultant who can give altogether a new opinion and can throw light on hidden flaws in your decision can help you in reaching an optimal decision for any particular situation. Weighing each and every aspect of a decision with possible losses and gains is a prerequisite for any good decision. To overcome a fear of failure, just think over how much loss you can bear in life. Think of a worst case scenario for any decision you take.

Take an honest assessment of your life and see how many decisions in your life just happened or were taken by somebody else or taken by you and how it created an impact on your life. How it impacted your success?

Even on giving your best efforts any decision can go bad at the end, but you should feel good about the fact that at least you gave your wholehearted attempt. Most importantly, you are ready to face the consequences which otherwise could have shattered you, so, an effortful decision-making actually enhanced your emotional strength.

Emotions and decision-making.

Every decision you take reflect your sensitivity, level of consciousness towards self and others. Your personal values create a very deep influence on your decisions. Understanding your values would reflect how each and every decision embodies your personal values.

There are many other factors which come into play while taking a decision - emotions, ego and fear. The combination of these three influences the logical part of any decision. Some hard decisions demand overcoming this emotional part and more emphasis to be made on the logical part, where the logical part constitutes the physicality which means, money, place, roles, relationships and other social statuses.

There are many other factors which come into play while taking a decision - emotions, ego and fear. The combination of these three influences the logical part of any decision. Some hard decisions demand overcoming this emotional part and more emphasis to be made on the logical part, where the logical part constitutes the physicality which means, money, place, roles, relationships and other social statuses.

For example, for a decision of getting married, one must weigh its’ logical and emotional parts. Doesn’t matter how intense your love affair is but you must remind yourself about that fact that you will have to share the same roof and resources with your partner, how open are you about sharing his/her likes of food, dressing style, or anything which comes bundled as a part of personality. Are you emotionally ready to provide support to each other? How you would resolve your mutual conflicts? These are just few logical and emotional parts of a decision, but these are really significant enough to ponder upon before actually deciding to get married.

Since human emotions are very dynamic and volatile in nature so decision based on this would not bear the optimal results. This does not mean that one should brush aside emotions altogether, but at the same time it should not be the only basis of making a decision. There has to be a just right balance between these two ends while making any decision.

If you are an emotional individual then most of your decisions will have more of emotional influence than a logical one, but you have to weigh correctly what is needed most in the current situation. Keeping in my mind that at the end of the day, it will be you, who would have to bear the brunt of your decision, so don’t get blown away by the intensity of emotions.

For every decision, there are long term and short term impacts, you should see if you are fine with discomfort for a short period or willing to wait for fruits to come in long run. Have a big picture of your life and see how this decision can change the landscape of your life and should not get lured by the short term benefits of a decision.

Sometimes it's the smallest decisions that can change your life forever. ~ Keri Russell

My personal experience.

Personally, I feel fortunate enough to live a life where I could enjoy the liberty of taking some important decisions of life. Being an individual who loves freedom beyond its meaning, making decision comes quite naturally to me. Choice of a subject at college, choice of a profession, working abroad, starting my own business are some of the big decisions I made myself. Some of them were thoughtful and some of them were driven by the prevailing circumstances. But more or less, I was given a free hand of making almost all small and big decisions of life.

Have these been good or bad for me? – my answer to this would be – at this very moment, I feel empowered to face consequences of my decisions. This is comforting enough for me that I have made reasonably good decisions to sail through the situations in life. Thanks to all divine and physical forces which gave me mental strength to take decisions.

When I see individuals not able to take decisions because of personal inability to think deep and logical and not having enough courage to go with what it feels right to them, I feel sad for them because it really feels very suffocating when you can’t go in the direction you want to go.

Looking back at my own experience, even small decisions have changed the quality of my life significantly. Eating healthy, speaking less, making only few friends, breaking-up relationships which were not going anywhere, leaving people who want to have control over me, sleeping less, sitting in a right posture, doing Yoga everyday without a fail are some of the small decisions I have made and they have profoundly changed my life. Some of these decisions were emotionally draining and some were physically draining but I persisted until I reached to peace with myself.

The skill of decision-making plays a very significant part in personal growth. I could develop this skill because I continuously threw myself in new situations which demanded me to take decisions. Being in business now, I have to continuously think over various aspects be it marketing, finance or resources, I am required to take decisions to reach a state where I get somewhat better results. My decision-making skill is put to test almost every day.

Art of decision-making.

"A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows public opinion" ~ Chinese proverb

Our initial years of life is so designed that we hardly get an opportunity to learn how to take decisions, that too, hard decisions. During schooling, the syllabus and curriculum is already designed to be followed, one has to accept the way it is, further down college, hurry to get a degree to grab a nice job hardly leaves any space for learning to take thoughtful decision. For at least 23 years of life, decision-making is not much needed as things are already designed to be followed. When the actual need arises to take hard decisions in life, of choosing life partner, when to get married, choosing a business over job or choosing a new career - it gives a hard time and it feels like a challenge.

A good and happy life needs a seasoned and polished decision-making skills. Your personal growth is directly proportional to decisions you make in your life. If you seriously want to progress in your career, profession or relationships, good decision-making skills give you edge over others. It makes you feel stronger and confident about yourself and you can lead others effortlessly. A good leader is the one who can think through tough situations and arrives at the best and optimal decision.

Once you make up your mind to work towards your decision, the power of focus comes into play and overcoming any personal discomfort does not feel like a challenge. You would experience that every tiny action you are taking is actually pushing you towards fulfilling your decision as if all the cosmic forces are helping you to achieve your objective.

If you want to progress in your life, learn to take decisions not just as a skill but as an art because there is no clear cut formula for taking decision. The more decisions you take, the more you would learn this art. Doesn’t matter whether you experience a failure or a success, both ways you would learn something. So, do not sit back and shy away, utilize this very moment and take decisions which are crying for your attention, however small or big they may be. You might lose something but you would gain a lot which will always remain with you as experience. Just open the door to millions of opportunities which are waiting and trying to reach you.

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Seema Bhatnagar
, Blogger, Writer, Life Coach and Founder of Abundance Thinkers, site for personal growth and development. Empowering people in achieving and living the best of personal potential.

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