A happy, fulfilling life can be designed and crafted like a fine piece of art. And at the heart of all creation is learning to make empowering decisions.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” While I like the idea of a benevolent universe standing ready at my beck and call to support and nurture me, the truth is we can accelerate the process and force the hand of nature, in a manner of speaking, through decision making.
The word decide comes from the Latin roots ‘to cut off.’ In essence, when we make a decision — a true decision — we are cutting off all avenues of escape. We eliminate all other options related to our decision. We remove, by our decision making, the need to re-decide every time we are faced with a choice.
For example, if my goal is to complete a marathon race, I need to establish a training regimen. This routine will involve some key decisions related to miles run each day, sleep and recovery, diet, etc. Those decisions become immovable and concrete. I lock them in. By adhering to those decisions, I form a channel which will eventually lead me to achieving my goal. By making true decisions, I have given the universe no choice but to conspire in my favor.
Here are 5 decisions that have made a huge impact in my life:
1. Decide to decide. Too many people stand idly by, seemingly contented to accept whatever default life the universe throws at them. By refusing to make a decision, they in fact make a decision. I’ve been guilty of this myself. Stop drifting through your life. Take a stand. Decide where you want to go and who you want to be.
2. Decide what you want. What you really want. Not what your parents or friends or society want. Live the life you want to live. Be honest with yourself. Stop lying and saying you’re fine when you’re not. Be bold. Ask for what you want. And don’t apologize if your version of a fulfilling life doesn’t align with theirs. Just remember to give others the same consideration.
3. Decide that your dreams are worthy of pursuit. Your hopes and dreams have merit and value simply because they are yours. Choose today to make your goals worthy of your best efforts. No ones dreams are more or less valuable than another.
4. Decide you will do what it takes. Never give up on yourself or your dreams. Vow to work hard, to put in the effort required to achieve your dreams. Commit to do what is necessary. And if you get stuck or don’t know how to proceed, decide to keep an I’ll-figure-it-out attitude and be humble enough to ask for help.
5. Decide to ignore the naysayers. No one knows what is best for your life but you. Know that when you embark on the path towards your dreams, you will encounter haters, trolls, and naysayers. The discontented will work to hedge up your way because your dedication if a reproof of their own failings.
When you learn to make true decisions, your life will actually become easier. You won’t have to expend your mental bandwidth over and over every time you are faced with a choice. As the saying goes, “100% is easy. 99% is hell.” The decision is yours.