By Udeme Archibong
THE LAW OF DECISION:
“Every great leap forward in life is preceded by a clear decision and a commitment to action”.
“In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing”.
You are who you are, what you are, and where you are today because of the daily decisions you made yesterday. Moreover, the quality of your future hinges on the quality of your daily decisions. Decision is the pivot of all actions and the cornerstone of all intentions. From our waking moments to our night rest we make innumerable decisions. But although we are bombarded with choices every moment of our lives, there still remains a few decisions of which we have no control.
We cannot choose our background or who our parents are, but we can choose what we become in our lives. We cannot choose our physical attributes, but we can choose and shape our personality. We cannot choose our nationality or race, but we can choose our sphere of influence. We have never been able to choose our temperament or our talents, but we can choose to develop them into a masterpiece.
We cannot choose people’s opinion of us, but we can choose the opinion we have of ourselves. Neither can we choose people’s attitude toward us, but we can choose how we respond to them. We could not choose our upbringing, but we can certainly choose our upshot.
We cannot choose what the weather will be, but we can choose our feelings about the day. We may not be able to choose all our circumstances or conditions, but we can choose what we can do about them. We are able to choose our actions, but we are not free to choose the consequences of those actions. Our choices determine our chances in life.
NO RETREAT! NO SURRENDER!
Once upon a time Julius Caesar landed with his legions on the soil of England, he was about facing a powerful foe whose men outnumbered his men. To guarantee his success on the battle field, Caesar gave an order to burn the ships that had transported him and his soldiers.
Addressing his men before the first battle, he said, “You see the boats going up in smoke. That means that we cannot leave these shores alive unless we win! We now have no choice-we win-or we perish!” Guess what? They won. Wow! No retreat! No surrender! Here’s the catch, you can always predict the success of your dreams if you make a decision to stake your entire future on your ability to accomplish your dreams so long as your dreams are not against the laws of God.
The word “Decision” is derived from the Latin roots de, which means “from” and caedere, which means “to cut”. This implies that making a real decision means absolute commitment to producing a result and then cutting or severing yourself from any other possibility; burning your bridges behind with no possible way of retreat. No Retreat; No surrender. No retreat to defeat and other lesser desirable option and no surrender to excuses.
What are you committed to give up to go up? How badly do you want to win at life? Do you want it as badly as you would want to sleep at night? Yes! If you want to win at life, you will have to give up some hours of sleep many nights to succeed. Do you want to succeed at life as badly as you would want to eat when you are hungry? Trust me; there are times that you will forget to eat if you really, really, really want to succeed.
Do you want to accomplish your dreams as badly as you would want to buy beautiful shoes and clothes or even ride the latest car? The truth is that to lay hold on the prize you need to pay the price. There are times that you must choose to forfeit buying what you want in order to gain what you really need-your dreams. The pains of the present attract the gains of the future; the pleasures of the present attract the pressure and pains of the future.
A certain girl went to a director of an Opera to have her voice tested. However, he bluntly refused to test the girl’s voice. The director took a critical look at the awkward and poorly dressed girl, he exclaimed, “With such a face, and with no personality at all, how can you ever expect to succeed in opera? My good child, give up the idea. Buy a sewing machine, and go to work. You can never be a singer.” The girl grew up to be a genius-a musical genius. Hidden within an unattractive face and an awkward personality was an intense desire to birth the dream of becoming an outstanding singer. The director of the Opera expressed his verdict but the girl deeply impressed her vision with a burning desire and with time her vision was expressed. Here’s the catch, the girl decided to focus on what she wanted; to become an Opera singer and not on her supposedly limitations. She decided not to buy into the Director’s opinion of her personality and her abilities; she decided to give an empowering meaning or interpretation to the incident. She decided to take consistent, focused and purposeful action in the direction of her dreams in order to create the result she desired.
What is the little difference that makes a big difference in life? What can defy death and bring life to its possessor? What can make the lowly dine with kings? What can transform an impulse of thought-an idea- a dream into reality? What can knock-out failure and erase impossibility? It is in the moment of decision that our destiny is shaped. An intense or burning desire for something definite could be likened to an engine and your dreams could be likened to an airplane. The engine powers and gives motion to the airplane. Without the engine the plane is handicapped-cannot serve its purpose. An intense desire for a definite purpose mixed with faith backed up with a definite and sound plan attracts success.
Success belongs to those who do not accept failure as a reality. Success beckons to those who do not permit excuses to trap them down. Success is the custodian of those who do not accept defeat but rather convert the defeats of life into assets of inestimable value. Success crowns those who do not entertain any other option or possibility other than to succeed.
Nothing can conquer a person with an all consuming obsession for his purpose; Thomas Edison failed over ten thousand times, before he ultimately produced the incandescent lamp; Henry Ford was poor and uneducated yet he birthed the Ford automobile. Your story is next. I dare you to hang in there; don’t give up; don’t give in.
Remember, no retreat! No surrender!
“There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision”
To develop your decision making muscle you must be courageous to make vital decisions frequently and on time. The more decisions you make the more your decision making muscles will be developed and the more right decisions you will make if you continually study and analyze the reason behind the wrong decisions, learn from your mistakes or experiences, then forget it and forge ahead on doing better next time.
Indecision happens when you are not clear on what you really want.
When parents do their children’s thinking for them at an age that their decision-making muscles should be developed, they grow into adulthood becoming dependent on others to do their thinking for them.
Insecurity about us and our abilities breeds indecisiveness. Therefore, we must learn to love ourselves unconditionally and believe in our abilities.
Craving for the acceptance and approval of others nourishes indecisiveness. The vacillation between or among options is heightened as the embattled person struggles within self to please people and at the same time contending against what he or she really wants.
Fear of making wrong decisions which could be termed as mistake is the entrance of indecisiveness and the exit of decisiveness.
Action must flow from every true decision.
In making right and wise decisions we need to enumerate the options that are available and also consider long term consequences of each decision. Don’t make major decisions when tired or emotionally stressed out.
Examine your motives before making a decision. Ask yourself, “Why am I making this decision or choosing this option?” Am I at peace with myself or can I live with my conscience after making this choice? Will this decision produce positive or negative consequences in the long term? Is this choice the right and wise use of my time, finances, energy and attention? What is really important to me in the long term? Will this choice yield positive results for me and others? Does God approve of this decision?
Never lose faith in yourself when you lose the rightness of a decision to mistake. Remember, decisions are the determinant of destiny.
An effective decision making begins with having clarity of what you want and taking specific and committed action to transform your decisions into reality. When you tune-in to decisiveness you tune-out procrastination.
Until you establish the values you want to live by decision making will be a dreaded task leading to a drabbed destiny. When you live by values governed by correct, universal, timeless and self-evident principles almost all your decisions are made and you can be sure they will be effective ones leading to success. Every turning point in your life begins with turning on your decision making switch. Direction flows from decision.
When your mind is full with truth you will make right and wise decisions but if your mind is full with error you will make wrong decisions. It is pertinent to fill our mind with truth always.
When spiritual truth is the anchor on which every decision of our lives emanate from we can be free to make sound decisions and reap amazing rewards. Daily prayerful meditation on the scriptures (Bible) is a vital necessity for the in-filling of truth into our minds.
“It has been said that history turns on small hinges. So do peoples’ lives. Over a period of time you make a series of decisions, each seemingly of little consequence. Yet, the total of these decisions finally determines the outcome of your life. A successful life depends upon developing a higher percentage of wisdom than error”
NORMAN VINCENT PEALE.