Saint Paul, Minnestoa
Hey there, what’s shakin?
I’ll tell you what’s shakin’ — my cold kids’ knees here at swim lessons!
Tonight at dinner my daughter said she didn’t want to go swimming. As she advances in her classes, they’re spending more time in the lap pool.
The lap pool is colder than the play pool. Neither pool has the bathtub temperature we’d all like.
Anyways, at dinner she said she didn’t want to go. I mean, she did, but she didn’t, I mean, you know, it’s so cold, and I like it but, and um, hemming and hawing about class.
We said, “You decide. If you don’t want to swim, you don’t have to.”
Well, that changed things. No longer were we “forcing” her to swim. Now it was her decision, her responsibility.
The hemming and the hawing stopped.
And… she made her own decision, choosing to attend class.
Another story for you.
Some 20-plus years ago, I was applying for highschools.
It came down to two final choices.
One school was an all-boys military academy, where all of my closest friends were attending.
The other school had girls.
I had decision paralysis, where someone just can’t seem to make up his mind.
Both options seemed good and I didn’t want to miss out on what the other offered.
A school with Friends? or a school with Girls? Friends? or Girls?
I pondered this decision for days, maybe even weeks.
And while both decisions would have been just fine… I wasted all that time with anguish just trying to pick among two excellent options.
When I finally decided on the school (with girls!), my anguish subsided.
I didn’t look back. What was the point?
This brings us to today’s entry for 31 Ways to Change State: Decide.
If you want to get moving, make a decision on a course of action, and then follow it through.
Many people want others to decide for them. I know I did.
We don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings…
we don’t want to miss out on opportunities…
we don’t want to rock the boat…
We don’t want others to think we made a poor decision, so maybe it’s better to not make a decision at all.
That way, we can blame others if something goes wrong!
Now, when we ask others to decide for us, we’re giving up control of our lives.
We’re all floating down the “stream of life.”
Tony Robbins uses this metaphor when he discusses decision making in our lives.
When that stream of life has a fork in it… many people will let the current take them where it will.
That’s one option.
The other option is to take responsibility when that stream has a fork in it.
When you decide, and you take responsibility for those decisions, you gain charisma and influence. You build confidence and people see you as someone who follows through on your decisions.
You can decide. And if you want to improve your life, you must decide.
It’s going to involve some risk. Embrace it.
Because that stream has forks in it, all day, every day.
You’re making decisions at all times. Some of them easy, some of them hard.
At the end of the day, the month, the year… your life is the cumulative result of the decisions you make.
Decide which way you want your life to go.
And get moving.
P.S. You can learn more about Tony Robbins’ ideas on decisions in his book Awaken the Giant Within.