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Archive for September, 2011

It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.  Tony Robbins

Of all the numerous faults that one can be accused of, being indecisive is one of the most serious faults for it makes a person fearful, confused, inept and paralyzed, thereby losing out on opportunities to progress, be productive and attain success. The sports arena illustrates this best when an indecisive player becomes a bane for the team and the game by poor coordination and shoddy performance. Ever noticed the mispasses on the field, wayward shooting at the goal and the back chatting between team members; many of these are symptomatic of the malaise of poor decision making. In real life, anyone who often echoes his/ her concern of being confused can be quickly identified as someone prone to avoid taking a decision. Sadly, very often many of these people become indecisive not because they lack inputs but because there are too many equally attractive options or equally scary consequences and deciding on any one is challenging.

Here are four pointers to help one become an effective decision maker.

Analyze extensively but don’t get paralyzed by it. Paralysis by analysis is the bane of those who believe in extensive study in order to minimize the chances of failure. Most people would profess to study threadbare the situation that needs a decision so as to be able to make the best decision, but subconsciously many of them are trying to find the best way to hedge their decision should it fail. As a result making it fail safe becomes the focus rather than maximizing success. When risk appears we tend to demonize it and consequently vacillate between alternatives until forced into a decision either by time constraints or other external pressures.

Accept the reality that not all decisions will be right. Human nature comprehends failure to indicate ineffectiveness, incompetence and ineptness, faults which in our myopic opinion grievously devalue us in the eyes of others. The reality is that failure is proof that someone dared, someone miscalculated and that there could be alternatives to the path taken. How many were actually ruined by the mistakes made? Barring some who were foolhardy or blinded by a false sense of invincibility, every other person who failed learnt from those failures and bounced back with better decisive strategies.

Be aware of the consequences of taking the decision and also of not taking the decision. By being indecisive and avoiding making a commitment, the chances are that we are risking not grasping opportunities, perhaps even missing out on minimizing / avoiding failure and certainly ensuring that the original issue remains unresolved. .  Ask anyone who has invested in shares and stocks and chances are you will get more stories of failures in stock picking but probe further and then they will accept that they rue being indecisive. Many others will blame their impulsiveness in taking decisions that led to poor stock selection.

Never forget that it is only when you can bite the bullet that you can lead the charge. Every leader has invariably reached the top by getting bruised and battered in the battle field of life. What has set them apart is not just their doggedness and ability but their ability to take crucial decisions at critical junctures. At times their decisions could have backfired and send them hurtling down the steep slope of success but with renewed vigor and enthusiasm they took the decision to battle their way up.

Remember : Some people, however long their experience or strong their intellect, are temperamentally incapable of reaching firm decisions. James Callaghan

Try this:

  1. Play a game of snakes and ladders but here is the twist to make you be aware of decision making. Every time you roll the dice you have a choice to accept the number that comes up or to pass the move except if the number that is thrown up moves your counter to a slot with a snake, in which case you go down to the tail of the snake. Check how and when you make the ‘decision’ to pass your turn .Are there times you felt you made a mistake because you made the decision ‘to pass your turn or not to pass your turn’?
  2. Take a look at the video by one of the more popular lecturers at Harvard, Prof. Michael Sandel who is taking a module on the Moral Side of Murder. Remember to pause the video after he asks the first set of questions and make it a point to make ‘your DECISION’ to the question he asks. Also ensure you are clear why you made that decision.  Then continue the video till he asks the second set of questions based on a scenario he describes. Again pause the video and make a decision based on the question.  Perhaps a different facet of ‘decision making’ will emerge and challenge you. Click here to view the video http://tinyurl.com/yey37oe

 This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you. Thomas Jefferson

Many of us spend a lot of time pondering over the future and going around in circles confused and fearful about our fate. We shy away from finding out answers to some fundamental questions like

  • Who am I and how do I hope to shape my future?
  • What do I want to do with my life?
  • What are those values and qualities I cherish?
  • What are the fears that torment me?
  • Who are the people I can depend upon?
  • What are my yardsticks for success?
  • How do I go about achieving success?

Obviously there are no easy answers that will emerge in a jiffy but if we dismiss these questions as impossible to answer, the questions would keep lurking n our mind and torment us thereby impeding our productivity, happiness and peace of mind.

The answers to all the questions seem hidden, obscure and / or elusive but in reality they are merely packaged within the individual personality that you are. If you want to discover it, you would need to see yourself as a package doing the rounds in a game of ‘passing the parcel’ where a dimension of you is subtly revealed when you are vulnerable, exploited, hurt, abused or manhandled like the parcel, by those you interact and deal with. When every layer of the parcel is peeled out and you delve deeper and deeper, suddenly the parcel opens up to throw up a surprise gift ‘YOU”

The practical way out to discover yourself now is to unravel the real you and that can be done when you Act with Purpose, Ponder with Insight and Accept the reality with Grace.

Act with purpose : While our formative years were by and large guided and molded by parents, elders and teachers, our dependence on them will reduce as the years go by and we grow up to be mature individuals. Hopefully we would have accepted sane advice and guidance and focused on our values, education, manners, career choice etc. when we begin to furrow our own path our upbringing should discipline us make choices with positive purpose. The learning both formal and informal, our intelligence, our experience, the feedback we receive, the risks we take, the options we avoid are all partly subconscious but largely a purposeful goal driven activity. In effect we never idle away our time or waste our resources but act with purpose to achieve our goals.

Ponder with Insight: Of and on we do tend to look back and wonder about the twists and turns in our life and occasionally we would lament and rue some mistakes and lost opportunities and also be pleased about those right moves we made. Often we will keep analyzing the present, keep attempting to improve up on the existing and make efforts to learn, improve, adjust and adapt to the changes that we experience, perceive or imagine.  We would simultaneous also look ahead and with the wisdom of past experience, the knowledge of the current trends and the applying our commonsense and foresight, ponder with insight and plan for the present and future. Without realizing we would have discovered some key competencies, some harsh realities and the real facts about ourselves.

Accept the reality with Grace: Where we fail is in accepting the reality of our personality. We would need to enthusiastically accept our strengths, our abilities, our talents and our potential and leverage them to raise the bar of personal excellence. Tougher still is the challenge of accepting the reality of our limitations, our weakness, our insipid temperament and our irrational fears which curb our risk taking,  restrict our horizons and expose our inadequacies.  Once we learn to accept the reality of our personality with grace we would have discovered the secret of how to find happiness within ourselves.

Begin to be now what you will be hereafter.  William James

Try this:

How would you rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 (1 being very poor and 10 being excellent) your abilities on. Now ask your spouse or sibling or close associate to do a similar rating for you. Compare the results.

  • Managing your time
  • Taking decisions
  • Interacting with people
  • Handling crisis
  • Being creative

Download the attached file Human Emotions  and from the list of emotions list out 5 Positive Emotions and 5 Negative Emotions that are typical of you. Now for emotion that you have listed give a suitable example from your life to make sure the emotion has been experienced by you. Next take a print of the file and show it to the following people and ask them to outline those emotions which in their view are applicable to you. You may make some revealing realities about yourself from the replies of others.

  • A family member (preferably a sibling)
  • A close friend
  • A colleague
  • An old school chum
  • A new acquaintance (they have to judge your emotions based on your interactions)

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

Read Full Post »