In the past week, I’ve had 3 clients ask me about effective decision-making. In his ‘Time Of Your Life’ program (one of the most fundamental, game-changing MUST DO programs in creation), Tony Robbins teaches us a 6-step decision making system that can be used in any situation, from the simplest to the most complex. Here is the first of a four part series to take you through the critical importance of decision-making.
We are constantly making decisions – from the simplest decision of what to have for breakfast to the more complex decisions when we are at crossroads in our life. At any given moment, there are 3 things we are always deciding:
1. What to focus on
Once we decide (consciously or unconsciously) what to focus on, we then decide:
2. What does it mean?
Once we assign it meaning (consciously or unconsciously), the 3rd decision we make is:
3. What am I going to do about it?
As an example – lets say you’ve made a dinner reservation at 7pm for you and your spouse. You arrive on time. At 7.15, your spouse has not shown up. At this point, you are making a decision to focus on your spouse being late. Now, you might either start thinking “I can’t believe he’s done it again. He is always late. He doesn’t respect me at all. I’m sick of this!” or you might be thinking, “I hope he’s okay. I hope he hasn’t been in an accident. Its raining outside and the roads are wet. Oh no, what if he’s hurt?”
In both of those cases, you are assigning a particular meaning to your spouse being late. At 7.30pm, he arrives. He’s been stuck in traffic and his phone battery died so he couldn’t reach out to you. Depending on what meaning you had assigned to his lateness, you may either decide to launch an attack at him or you might throw your arms around and tell him how much you love him. Whatever meaning you have assigned to his lateness will produce both an emotion and an action. He hasn’t ‘made’ you feel anything by being late. His lateness is nothing more than a mere observable fact. You decide what it means, you decide how you are going to feel about it, and you decide what to do next. Over time, these small decisions direct and shape your life.
You MUST understand the incredible power of your decisions. You MUST understand the snowball effect that these 3 moment-to-moment decisions have over time. Changing your life comes from making a decision, conscious or unconscious. Your life is in constant motion and is constantly evolving, moment to moment.
DECIDE what to focus on. Fear or Desire. Anger or Love. Helplessness or Power. That choice alone will direct your life and will shape your destiny. Stop believing your life is the effect of some external factor – a person, place, event or situation. It isn’t.
People say they don’t have choice but we DO – it is, in fact, the only thing we do have. We have the choice about what we focus on, what we make it mean, and how we respond. If you don’t like something that is going on in your life, change it. You are not a tree. You can move – move your focus, move your meaning, move your action. Create the change you want to see. Make a decision and just do it. Easier said than done, you might be thinking …
In Part 2 of this series, we will explore the 4 reasons why people don’t make decisions and the critical illusion that can paralyse and prevent us from moving forward.