How 'Making a Decision' Could be the Key to Success in your Business and Life

making a decision

I love finding nuggets of wisdom in unexpected places. Of course, I read a lot of personal development, therapy and psychology books, but I always enjoy discovering something profound in a novel.

Recently, I finished reading Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of The Vanities. It was a great read (although somewhat long winded and with an unsatisfying ending). The story focuses on New York in the late 1980s and the clash of worlds as the life of a Wall Street investment banker becomes intertwined with people living in the Bronx and the justice system.

One of the characters is an old multi-millionaire who made his money in the aeroplane industry. While dining with a journalist, he offers his thoughts on how he became successful,

"He had ordered a bottle of wine and was becoming increasingly expansive about the peaks and valleys of his career. Valleys, yes; oh, he had had to overcome many disappointments. The main thing was to be decisive. Decisive men made great decisions not because they were smarter than other people, necessarily, but because they made MORE decisions, and by the law of averages some of them would be great."

The idea that success could be attributed to making more decisions was something new to me. However, upon deeper analysis, it makes a lot of sense.

A lot of people are afraid of making decisions. In fact, part of the lure of The System and the reason why so many people exchange a life of adventure and love for comfort and security is that when following The System's Path, you don't have to make many decisions. The System will do it all for you. Just follow the rules, turn up to work, do what your boss tells you and you won't have to make too many difficult decisions. However, what happens if you break from The System's Path?

There are no rules to follow and, as a result, you end up making a lot of decisions. This can be both scary and difficult. On a daily basis, you have to make decisions that will affect whether you'll be able to continue supporting yourself and doing the thing you love.

Facing this kind of pressure will either make or break you. However, if you can cross that boundary and become comfortable with being decisive, then as the multi-millionaire says, the law of averages will ensure that some of them are good ones.

So, could one of the secrets to success simply be to make more decisions? And, if that's the case, how can you increase the amount of decisions you currently make in your life? If you find yourself living mainly on autopilot, going through the motions during the day and watching TV at night then how big a difference could you make by committing to make two extra decisions a day?

Surely, it would make you more conscious and aware of your ability to shape the direction of your life.

Give it a try. Don't procrastinate on something you're unsure about. Instead, make a quick decision and move forward. And if that doesn't work out, then make another decision and see what happens after that.

As a result of doing this you'll gain feedback on your decisions and soon you'll be able to differentiate between a wise and foolish one. When you reach this level, your decisions will improve and you'll be able to guide yourself to your chosen destination.

It all comes down to a simple equation - more decisions = greater knowledge!


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