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How To Make Good Decisions

The failure to arrive at a decision causes a person to go round and round and round in maddening circles. The person ponders over the same information over and over. It is this failure to grasp a problem that creates nervous breakdowns. Once a decision is made, a clear, definite course of action opens up. Once a decision is acted on, a flow of courage and energy opens up new possibilities.

There is no guarantee that the decision is correct. Not making a decision, however, can result in disaster.

You can arrive at a decision in a baffling situation by writing down four steps.

Step one: Write down what the problem is.
Step two: Write down what you can do about it.
Step three: Decide, or choose, what to do.
Step four: Act on it as soon as possible.

This method should not be underestimated because it is so simple. It is efficient, concrete, and strikes at the root of the issue. Decision-making puts an end to an endless loop of fact-finding and increasingly bewildering analysis. Once sufficient facts are in, and once sufficient analysis has been done – make a decision and act on it.

Decisions are powerful because they lead to action. Action is a positive effort to resolve the problem.

Sometimes problems do go away on their own. Sometimes they need decisive action. Sometimes you need to wait to get more information. But whether you decide to ignore, act, or wait – do decide rather than wallow in uncertainty.

Seldom are decisions life and death issues. Often enough, you have to make the wrong decision so as to later on arrive at the correct one. It is not possible to be wholly accurate, but it is possible to find the right route by taking all the wrong ones first.

It is self-destructive to refuse to confront a situation. When you deal with it, you’re on your way to resolving it.

Above all, decide. Waite Phillips, one of Oklahoma’s most prominent of oil men, once said. “I find that to keep thinking about our problems beyond a certain point is bound to create confusion and worry. There comes a time when any more investigation and thinking are harmful. There comes a time when we must decide and act and never look back.”

Once you have made a careful decision based on the available facts, swing into action. Avoid hesitation, reconsideration, retracing your steps. Follow the advice of William James: “When once a decision is reached and execution is the order of the day, dismiss absolutely all responsibility and care about the outcome.

Saleem Rana got his masters in psychotherapy. Discover how to create a remarkable life

Copyright 2005 Saleem Rana.