Life is a cycle of choices and their consequences, we are expected to make choices from the moment we wake up to the moment we retire at night. The choices can range from small insignificant choices such as whether to shower warm or cold water, what to wear, which route to take, what to have for breakfast and so on. We are constantly making decisions whether consciously or unconsciously.
Decisiveness is defined as being “characterized by firmness and decision.” Being decisive means that you have the ability to decide. From the strength of a decision you then have the ability to act. Leadership requires that you are able to make key decisions effectively. Decisiveness then simply means being the leader of your own life. Decisiveness is both a skill you can build and an internal state you can summon when you need it.
Decisiveness does not mean being stubborn, arrogant or hasty. Decisiveness is simply the ability to decide with speed and clarity. In any situation the ability to decide is crucial. Whether it is with an emergency room doctor or the high school graduate debating what to do with her life, without clear decisions there can be no action and no results. Inside your skull sits the most powerful processing unit in the known universe but without decision it goes unused.
Being decisive is simply the most rational way to take on any problem. You observe the information you have available and then you decide what would be the most successful course of action. If it is possible to get more information, you decide how to get it. If you can’t get more data, you simply decide with the facts available.
Successful people are decisive and they try far more things than other people do. According to the Law of Probabilities, if you try far more different ways to be successful, the odds are that you will eventually find the right way for you at the right time. When you become decisive and action oriented, you shift your entire life into high gear. You get far more done in a day than other people. You move ahead far faster than the people around you.
The ability to make firm decisions quickly is a skill that can be practiced. You can start by simply timing how long it takes you to make decisions. Minor decisions, such as what movie to see or restaurant to go to, should be made in thirty seconds to a minute. Once you get used to making decisions rapidly you will start to realize that clear, firm decision making often results in better decisions then ones where you stew around with the same information over and over again. Running in circles, indecision is usually procrastination not problem solving.
Don’t look for certainty in the world before deciding to act. Don’t wait for others to make decisions for you. Operate from an internal source of strength and plan the right course of action. Be decisive and choose for yourself.