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Monday, July 04, 2016

The Gravity of Decisions We Make


Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision Anthony Robbins

Decision originated from two Latin words: de and caedere. De means from and caedere means to cut.
Decision therefore means “to cut from”. It is an action taken to cut oneself from a particular habit, attitude, behavior, patterns or to begin doing new things.


Decision is the force of our destiny. Our life is the sum total of decisions we have taken in the past and what we could be in the future will be the sum total of decisions we are taking now. We are our decisions.
In 1979, I traveled to my village to join one of my uncles in his trading business as an apprentice but just two days before we were to depart to city, I had an encounter with another uncle of mine who encouraged me to at least go to high school.

He radically changed my orientation towards education. After that encounter, I took a decision to go to high school and at least obtain a high school certificate before venturing into trade. The decision of that day changed the entire trajectory of my life to this day. If I had taken a different decision that day, I may not be educated today.

On October 9th 1998, Elizabeth a 20 year old college fresh student accepted to travel with her friend Ann to attend Ann’s brother traditional wedding. At the wedding Elizabeth met Mike, a handsome final year student of another college and they became instant friends.
Elizabeth grew up in a loving Christian family with strong values particularly on premarital sex while Mike grew up in a family with loose values on sex. Mike kept putting pressure on Elizabeth for sex while Elizabeth kept resisting because of her strong Christian values until one day, she succumbed.

On this particular day, Elizabeth yielded to Mike’s persistent pressure and they had unprotected sex. After the first time, they continued to do it with less and less resistance from her. About a year later, Mike took ill and visited the hospital and tested positive to HIV.
Elizabeth on hearing this became frightened and was later convinced by her friends to also take the test.
Unfortunately, she also tested positive. She was devastated. 

She started blaming Mike, her friend Ann who invited her to the traditional wedding and every other person she could think of except herself. Yet it was the moment she accepted to sleep with Mike that she also took a decision to accept the consequences of that choice.

Every time we decide to do or not to do something, we also at the same time decide to accept the responsibilities and, or consequences of our decision. If we know that every decision has its own set of consequences, we would begin to take decisions with more thought and care.
If I decide to over – eat all the time or to eat unhealthy foods, it means I have accepted the out – come of that decision which would probably be obesity, clogged arteries, high blood pressure, diabetes, general lack of energy and in some cases early death.

When I decide not to take my studies seriously as a student and stay away from lectures, I should be ready to also accept the consequences of that which is low grades or total failure in school.
If I decide to work out regularly, eat healthy foods and have reasonable rest, it means I have chosen to live longer and with lots of energy, vitality and passion.
When I decide not to read books or attend seminars or get involved in general development activities, I have inadvertently chosen ignorance and the consequences therein.

Every decision has its own consequences. So before you decide, check out the result of that and make your mind about living with that result. If you are okay with the result, then go ahead with the said decision and lock into that.
This does not mean that we should delay unnecessarily in taking decisions as decision is power and indecision is powerlessness. There is no power with people who can’t make up their minds on what things mean to them, what they want to do with their lives.

Decision is certainty while indecision is uncertainty. Indecision is weakness, indecision paralyzes initiatives and weakens resolve. And while we say that decisions should be taken thoughtfully and thoroughly, we are not in any way advocating that we push ourselves to the level of excessive analysis; trying to make sure that all things are equal before we decide.
We know that all things are seldom equal so such action will lead to more paralysis of the resolve to act which is like moving around in circles, making no progress.

We take decisions at different at different times, on different things, for different purposes on different levels on a daily basis.
We take decisions on where to live, the books we read or not read, what to eat, where to be, the cars to ride, the house to live in, the company to keep.
We take decisions on what to wear, what to say, what to watch, what to think and how to react to circumstances around us.
We take decisions on what our visions in life would be, what our priorities should be, what our core values should be and what our guiding philosophies should be.

We take the decisions on what to do with our lives whether to start our own business or to take up a job with a any available organization.
We take decisions on whether to sit back and continue to complain about the problems in our society or whether to take action and become part of the solutions. The list is unending.
Everything we do is guided by our decisions. If we take the right decisions today, we would be happy tomorrow. The content and form of our future are anchored on the decisions we take. The difference between the rich and the poor can be seen in the differences between their decisions.

Great men take decisions that separate them from the crowd. When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. took a decision not to accept the injustices meted out to the black people in USA and to lead a crusade to end it, his life took off in a new trajectory.

He never became the same again and today, about forty years after his assassination, the entire world still celebrates him.
When Dr. Nelson Mandela took a decision not to continue to accept the inhumane treatment meted out to blacks in South Africa, during the apartheid regime and to spear – head the crusade to end it, his life never became the same again. He locked into that decision and was not swayed by the huge opposition and life threats from the government.

Today the late Nelson Mandela is a world hero and I believe the most influential leader when he was alive. This was all made possible by the decision of that faithful day.

History abounds with great men and women who took decisions that changed both their lives and the entire world.
World personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln, Mother Theresa and Princess Diana at one point or another in their lives took decisions that both changed their lives and the world.

MAKING DECISIONS

When your values are clear, making decisions become easierRoy Disney

The best and easiest way to make decisions quickly and smoothly is to first answer the following questions on who we are and what we want to do in life.
When we are clear on these, the decision making process becomes easy and smooth.

1.  Who am I? 
2.    What do I want in my life? 
3.    What do I really want? 
4.    Why do I want this? 
5.    What is my vision? 
6.    What do I want to accomplish when my life is over?

If we take time to clarify what our core values in life will be, it will help our life path a lot and also smoothen the decision making processes. These core values would act as the compass guiding our life.
What would your core values on money be? Would it be something like fairness and equity? You can bet that decisions on money for someone whose core values are equity and fairness would be very different to that of a person whose core values are radically different.
This is very vital such that we should not start anything without taking time to clarify our core values.

Some suggested core values that will help create a great life include:
TRUST

SERVICE

FAIRNESS

EQUITY

EXCELLENCE

INTEGRITY

Armed with this, we can easily take decisions without undue delay. We would ask, what do I want out of this; would this move me towards my values and goals or would it take me further away from my values and goals.
This will help us to take decisions more quickly and once taken, we should endeavor to stick to our decision knowing also that we may adjust our approach as we work out the processes.

Very successful people take decisions quickly and when they do, they stick to it. 
Note that the more decisions you take, the more matured you’ll become in the decision making processes and the better your decisions will become too.
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