Sunday, October 4, 2009



"I think I will."  "Maybe I won't." "I probably should."  "If I do...well...I just don't know." "Just let the pieces fall where they may." Sound like you? The truth is, it sounds like just about all of us at some time or another. 

How do you feel about making decisions? Do you usually know what's right or best? Are you the kind of person who procrastinates and ponders? Are you someone who assuredly proceeds on the path that you think is the best choice?

Decisions can be very difficult. Some, if not most, require much time and effort. Many things that concern us need to be looked at inside and out. Our most important decisions require critical and analytical thinking to get the best results. 

The process can be grueling, until we master our critical thinking skills. We find that making the best decisions requires that we break down any situation into smaller "thought -size" pieces, even giving each point "microscopic" scrutiny in some circumstances.

Of course, sometimes, the smaller, less difficult decisions can often be made quickly. Without much consideration given to the outcome, we can anticipate from prior experience what the results could possibly be. If only all of life's decisions were so easy!

Unfortunately, all of life's decisions ARE NOT so easy, And, more unfortunately, sometimes we leave some of our vital decisions unaddressed for too long. What happens then? What happens is that a problem which may have been tackled and resolved, has now become a mammoth situation, and more difficult to manage.

Why do we do this? We often are intimidated by the change a decision can bring, or fearful of facing the consequences of our decisions. Even worse, we don't decide because we think we will make a wrong or bad choice. We duck and dodge some decisions because our lack of confidence in ourselves to do the right thing. We question ourselves and we questions ourselves, hoping to somehow discover what's "right".

While we struggle to know what to do, it's good for all of us to realize that we can't and will not always be right. We won't always make the best or correct decisions or choices. I've had to look face-to-face at bad decisions and wrong choices, and if you're like me, some of the resulting circumstances produced were none too kind and very hard to fix. That's the bad news, especially when your hope is that your "good" decision is supposed to be the "fix"! Wrong decisions happen though, and we just won't be on target every time. Even so, we can learn so much from our foibles, and our poor decision-making. 

Decision-making skill is often best developed when we make decision-making mistakes. If we choose the wrong thing a time or two, or twenty, we learn to be more careful and cautious. We also learn to use our acquired wisdom and "risk" analysis further down the road when tougher decisions need to be made.

Our confidence in ourselves and our decision-making grows, and our self-esteem strengthens when we begin to make better, bolder, and more accurate decisions. We feel self-assured about the results. And, even if it doesn't result in the manner we intended, we can still feel confident dealing with the damage that may result.

With all this in mind, certainly this "decision stuff" can be a risky business. Time can slip away. Opportunities can be lost. Things can go from critical to crisis. A situation can go from bad to worse. A little fire can become an inferno. Or, we can decide to take advantage of timing with confidence. We can decide to grasp opportunity fearlessly. We can decide to can take charge and manage your way through a hard process. We can decide to be a "fire-fighter" and "handle our business" with assertiveness and skill. Does all of this mean we could decide to exercise more control of our lives, affairs, and ourselves? Let me think...YES!.


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