178. This is the way to go.

Embracing The Habit of Being Decisive sometimes comes with a price.

Saying yes invariably comes with the risk of a decision proving to be the wrong one and, along with making a wrong decision comes the possibility of remorse, anguish, regret, facing those who love to say “I told you so” and all the various and sundry emotions that accompany wrong decisions.

And with the fear of having to deal with all of the above emotions comes the potential to develop the habit of avoidance rather than embrace The Habit of Being Decisive.

There is little risk involved in saying no. The status quo remains as it was, nothing changes and life continues in its same direction.

For many, this is the desired pathway to a happy life, and yet I struggle to understand how avoiding The Habit of Being Decisive can still the feeling of restlessness, and the willingness to risk losing it all in the belief that you will gain it all, that resides in many of us.

Learned helplessness is a learned response that comes about after repeated painful or otherwise aversive experiences. After these experiences some folks simply come to the conclusion that their desired result is nothing more than an illusion, that success is impossible, and commit themselves to never trying.

Imagine for a moment, when faced with a decision which, if successful, will forever change your life in ways you always dreamed of, and which, if unsuccessful, will bring pain and despair of an unimaginable intensity, you are able to set aside all those emotions that play such a role in influencing our decisions, and objectively assess the pros and cons of success and failure.

Now imagine how magnificent your life will be if the promises of this decision all came true and then imagine how you will feel if you never achieve those things you most desire.

Will the day come when you will look back at the opportunity fear prevented you from grabbing and be regretful of your decision or look back with glee at the best choice of your life?

The Habit of Being Decisive is not intended to turn the most risk-averse of us into wild and careless risk-takers, but rather it serves as a reminder that our objective evaluation of pros and cons is a far better decision making strategy to employ then to take the easy way out and simply say no, just because saying yes causes those butterflies in your stomach to break formation and fly in every which direction.

More than 150 years ago Alfred Lord Tennyson told us, “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

What he was really saying is that we can never experience pleasure if we remain unwilling to risk pain and that the pleasure we do experience is always that much greater by virtue of the amount of pain we had to endure in order to get there.

If it is true that time does indeed heal all, then the pain we may experience from poor decisions will lessen and pass as the clock keeps ticking whereas the wonderful memories resulting from right to decisions are everlasting.

Life is too short to look back at opportunities lost through the fear of saying yes and by absorbing The Habit of Being Decisive into our very being, we increase enormously the likelihood of living life to the fullest and, when the day comes, dying with a smile on our face.

It sounds like too good a deal to pass up.

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

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