Decisions are powerful. They are the starting point of accomplishing anything.
Before we take the first step on a journey, we shift our weight and lift a foot off the ground. This is a useful analogy. Decisions are primary, but they usually occur without conscious awareness.
If we want to make a change, we first have to make a decision to change. This sounds obvious. What is not obvious is that we make decisions every single moment.
Once we understand how these hidden decisions occur in our everyday lives, we can harness their power in a way that leads to greater confidence and success.
We decide on what to concentrate on: things we can control or things we can’t control; serving ourselves or others, problems or solutions; and the long-term or short-term implications of a situation.
Our focus determines our perception, and our perception determines our feelings. When we don’t like something, it is usually because we are focusing on the parts of it we don’t like. When we like something, it is because we are focusing on the parts of it we like. By controlling our focus, we can drastically alter our attitudes. And when we change our attitude, we change our outcome.
For example, when we focus on things we can’t control, it is easy to feel bitter and or that any action is futile. And when we feel embittered or that our actions are useless, we diminish our ability to handle the things that are in our control.
On the other hand, when we focus on things we can control, our proficiency increases. Over time, the number of things under our control grows in size and scope.
If we are looking exclusively at problems, then we only see limitations. When we are thinking of solutions, we see creative ways to overcome limitations.
Serving oneself or others are not mutually exclusive. In fact, there are often win-win ways of serving ourselves and others at the same time. Moreover, when we serve others, we are more likely to have our needs met by others. The service we render and our treatment of others is reflected back to us.
We also decide on the meaning of things around us.
Are uncomfortable situations punishments or gifts, challenges to be overcome or lessons to be learned?
The meaning we find in difficulties will determine how we approach them. If we think of the challenge only, we will need more willpower to face it. We might shy away and never reach our full potential. However, if we see difficulties as opportunities, we will welcome them. Improvement will come much easier.
Our lives would be much different, for example, if the feeling of nervousness had a different meaning: excitement. Suddenly, things that were once scary are now fun.
Behavior is also a choice. Specifically, we can decide to act either proactively or reactively.
Acting as the cause or the reaction is the defining characteristic of whether someone is a loser or not. This is a harsh truth that so many people fail to realize. Instead, they often identify with their emotional urges.
Losers constantly let other people and outside conditions determine their emotions and behaviors. Winners take steps to effectively influence people and change outside conditions. If we constantly become angry or upset because of other people, we are essentially surrendering control over our emotions to other people. From an objective standpoint, it is easy to see who has the power in such a situation.
Identity is another important decision. Few people make a conscious decision about their identity. Instead, they make daily choices that reaffirm or contradict the way they see themselves. Thus, one’s sense of identity is strengthened or weakened over time.
However, actively deciding who we want to be is powerful. Instead of only making a to-do list, we should also have to-be list.
Think deeply. What type of person would likely achieve the type of success you want? What traits or characteristics would they have? What virtues would they live by?
By consciously choosing our identity, we can create a guide to measure our daily decisions. We can create a better basis to determine how to spend time and energy.
Being a leader is making decisions. This applies not only to big decisions, but also small everyday ones.
We can follow patterns of thought and behaviors inherited from our parents, school, society, or our younger selves. We can live an unremarkable and unfulfilling life. We can cope.
Or we can thrive. We can become our best selves and rise to greatness. But first, we have to choose to.
If we want to live up to our full potential, then we must be willing to make decisions. We must be the leader of our own lives. We must lift our foot and shift our weight.
Become aware of everyday decisions. Be present to the moment. Disrupt habits, subconscious decision-making, and old patterns. Take control of life and begin to achieve the success.