Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Decisions, decisions, decisions

I make decisions every day. It is part of living. Some are pretty mundane like what color shirt will I wear. Others are a bit more important, for instance will I stop at the red traffic light.

Some people have difficulty making decisions. Really important decisions require thought and consideration. There really big ones fall into the category of things like am I going to buy a new car or change jobs. But most decisions do not fall into the same life altering realm.

I am convinced that for the majority of decisions in what I call the middle zone--that zone between life and death decisions (like stopping at a traffic light) and life altering decisions (changing jobs or buying a new home), the actual decision is less important than actually making a decision.

Decisions are points where I have the ability alter the direction of an activity. For most of the decisions we are faced with, the critical thing is to make the decision and not let fate or chance become the default decision maker. Whether the decision is right or wrong is not the best way to look at the problem. A better way is to look for opportunity.

Decisions are about opportunity. Each decision comes with opportunities gained and lost. Not making a decision or letting a decision point become "overcome by events" or OBE, is not taking advantage of the opportunities present in the situation. That is the definition of a bad decision because it allows inertia to be in charge.

Good or bad, making a decision is always better.

Even seemingly, at the time, decisions which do not maximize opportunities may be the right decision or may work out in the end because the decision maker energized the organization, or family, in a particular direction and that provided the guidance to motivate and mold the solution.

The key to good decisions is realizing that making a decision is the first and most important step in the process. The actual decision itself sometimes is almost secondary.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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