Recently, I picked up a used copy of Tony Robbins’ second book, “Awaken the Giant Within” and I must say—what a wealth of information is in it! In fact, I devoured in a week and am reading it for a second time. His six points on harnessing the power of decisions are so enlightening that I wanted to share part of it here:
1. Remember the true power of making decisions. It’s a tool you can use at any moment to change your entire life. The minute you make a new decision, you set in motion a new cause, effect, direction, and destination for your life. You literally begin to change your life the moment you make a new direction. Remember that when you start feeling overwhelmed, or when you feel like you don’t have a choice, or when things are happening “to” you, you can change it all if you just stop and decide to do so. Remember, a real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided. Some people may believe that whatever happens, it’s what fate has designed for them. The way to get life back on track is to make decisions that are right for you.
2. Realize that the hardest step in achieving anything is making a true commitment—a true decision. Carrying out your commitment is often much easier than the decision itself, so make your decisions intelligently, but make them quickly. Don’t labor forever over the question of how or if you can do it. Studies have shown that the most successful people make decisions rapidly because they are clear on their values and what they really want for their lives. The same studies show that they are slow to change their decisions, if at all. On the other hand, people who fail usually make decisions slowly, and change their minds quickly, always bouncing back and forth. Just decide!
Realize that decision-making is a kind of act in itself, so a good definition for a decision might be “information acted upon.” You know you’ve truly made a decision when action flows from it. It becomes a cause set in motion. Often the effect of making a decision helps create the attainment of a larger goal. A critical rule I’ve made for myself is never to leave the scene of a decision without first taking a specific action toward it’s realization.
3. Make decisions often. The more decisions you make, the better you’re going to get. Muscles get stronger with use, and so it is with your decision-making muscles. Unleash the power right now by making some decisions you’ve been putting off. You won’t believe the energy and excitement it will create in your life!
4. Learn from your decisions. There’s no way around it. At times, you’re going to screw up, no matter what you do. And when the inevitable happens, instead of beating yourself into the ground, learn something. Ask yourself, “What’s good about this? What can I learn from this?” This “failure” may be an unbelievable gift in disguise if you use it to make better decisions in the future. Rather than focus on the short-term setback, choose instead to learn lessons that can save you time, money, or pain, and that will give you the ability to succeed in the future.
5. Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach. Once you’ve decided who you want to be as a person, for example, don’t get stuck on the means to achieving it. It’s the end you’re after. Too often, in deciding what they want for their lives, people pick the best way they know at the time—they make a map—but then don’t stay open to alternate routes. Don’t become rigid in your approach. Cultivate the art of flexibility.
6. Enjoy making decisions. You must know that in any moment a decision you make can change the course of your life forever: the very next person you stand behind I line or site next to on an airplane, the very next phone call you make or receive, the very next movie you see or book you read or page you turn could be the one single thing that causes the floodgates to open, and all of the things that you’ve been waiting for to fall into place.
If you really want your life to be passionate, you need to live with this attitude of expectancy…Know that it’s your decisions, and not your conditions, that determine your destiny.