I have to thank Charlie “Tremendous” Jones for discussing decision making. I remember hearing a short little 10 minute segment on one of my Success magazines dual discs where he focuses on this topic. Where do we put the power of making our final choices- in the hands of ourselves or in the comfort of others because we can’t live with ourselves if we make a wrong turn in life? Are you the type of person who can come to a conclusion about where you want to go quickly, or do you need to ruminate for a few days on every aspect before bouncing around in your head what you should or should not do?
I believe whatever you do, own your decision making. While it’s acceptable to take other people’s opinions into consideration, as you weigh the pros and cons understand that no one else can lead your life but you, so acknowledge your doubts and fears and get into the game by firmly going after what you truly want. Judges, referees and umpires know that they can’t please everyone with their viewpoints, so it’s acceptable that you’ll make some people happy and other people unhappy with whatever you decide.
When I go shopping, I usually have a game plan and a purpose for getting the items I want, and rarely stray off on another path. I may ask for assistance from my wife or customer service representatives/ staff on the floor- but that counsel should not turn into mind manipulation, brow beating or a guilt trip.
Both of my girls consistently ask my wife and I what they should do in their lives. We may give input, but I don’t want to make final decisions on such areas as if they should save or spend their money, if they should spend quality time with their family or sleep over a friend’s house- or the tougher issues of their emotions when they miss loved ones. As pre-teens and teens, you need to establish your own code of conduct- part of which will be your personal philosophy and standards you expect to live up to. I can shape their mind and give them all the love, structure and support in the world- but I’m not there during school time or when they hang out with their friends at the mall where split second decisions of right versus wrong occur.
I’ve had friends move to other parts of the country to pursue their dreams. Even if they hit bumps in the road and stumble, who am I to say they’ve not made the right decision for their lives? I’m wrestling with aspects of my people pleasing personality everyday. If I decide to go in a fresh direction, there will always be critics whispering and thinking they know why I’ve done what I’ve done- how about asking me to my face why I came to a new insight instead of speculating and complaining? If I feel like my needs are not getting met emotionally, spiritually, mentally within certain environments, I do have the right to remove myself and seek out other individuals who will be more supportive and nurturing. (Don’t worry, my marriage is not what I’m talking about here).
When you are an adult, you have so many people to answer to. Be sure when you flex your muscles for decisions, you make 100% commitments and understand it’s not your job to please everyone else all of the time. The toughest calls will be ones where you have to look within to make sure your needs are met. We can’t be better for others though if we aren’t whole ourselves.
And to those who lie on the fence, unsure of what to do- trust me life gets much better when you stand up for yourself. You’ll learn that it’s ok to fall, it’s ok to fail, because next time you’ll make a smarter, more informed effort to do what’s best. Study leaders in your field of business or sport. Learn from the experts. Take their box of tools and create your own. Gain confidence in knowing that you’ll own your choices, developing into a real, respectful and responsible individual.