When you make a decision – Take Action
Decisions are not wishes, they are cast it stone, or at least should be. A problem often arises however, a few days after the decision is taken.
A decision is taken on the day when you are most determined to make the decision succeed. You are all fired up and the very good reasons why you decided to take the decision are all still fresh in your mind. Over the next few days the decision has still got to be carried through but the enthusiasm may wane somewhat. If the decision is just a ‘wish’ you may feel you can change your mind or go back to procrastination so it is useful to have a way to cement the decision so that it has to be followed through.
A friend of mine came over to my house for a party one Sunday and almost the first thing he said to me was that he had decided to give up smoking. I was very pleased for him as he had been smoking for many years and it was causing him some problems. “Yes” he said “I am going to give up smoking on Tuesday when the carton runs out”. I remained supportive but I was disappointed.
It must have been hard to make that decision on Sunday but when Tuesday came along he had to make the same decision all over again. In fact Tuesday’s decision would have been harder because he knows subconsciously, that he saw no benefit from the decision made on Sunday.
Needless to say he carried on smoking and only gave up last year when I bet him he couldn’t.
One way to cement your decisions in place is to take some action towards the completion of the decision straight after the decision is taken. This action starts the ball rolling and you then simply have to guide the decision to completion.
For instance some years ago I decided to sell my house, car and all my other belongings, buy a VW Kombi and spend two years traveling across Europe and Africa. This was a big decision (and then some!) so to cement the decision in place I took action by ringing everybody I knew to tell them what I was going to do.
I rang my friends and they were very supportive and wished they could do it but they couldn’t for all the reasons that you are thinking why you couldn’t do it right now. Next I rang my Mother and told her what I was going to do. She was horrified; she thought she would never see me again. Then I rang my Boss and told him what I was going to do. He was delighted… He thought he would never see me again either.
[bctt tweet=”Never leave the place of a decision without taking some action.” username=”richardmulvey”]
took to prepare for the trip when I started to question the wisdom of the decision. Even though I had periods when I wondered whether I was doing the right thing, in retrospect it was one of my best decisions but I may have changed my mind if the decision had not been fixed by taking that action.
Action is the key and a little appropriate action can cast the decision in stone.
About two weeks after one of my Seminars last year I had a phone call from one of the delegates who wanted to thank me for helping them give up smoking. “That’s great” I said, “How did you do it?”
“Well,” he replied “As I was driving home I decided to quit. I had had a lot of experience of that particular decision so I was getting quite good at it. The problem had always been the following morning when there was less enthusiasm for the decision. This time as soon as I got home I went to the bedroom and took the last carton of cigarettes out of the wardrobe. I then took the carton out to the road and put it behind the rear wheel of the car, started up and reversed over them. I then drove forwards and backwards and forwards and backwards until there was nothing left but paper, cardboard and tobacco on the road. I haven’t smoked since and I know this time I have broken the habit.”
Okay this may sound a bit dramatic but it worked for him. I have a personal rule that I borrowed from someone and it works very well. Try it and if you like it you can borrow it from me.
The rule is this:
Never leave the place of a decision without taking some action towards the completion of that decision.
It works for me!