• Bob Prentice

'D' IS FOR DECISION-MAKING

This week's blog post is the seventh in a series, spelling out the word ATTITUDE. Starting with the letter 'A' is for AMBITION, we added a 'T' for TEAMWORK and another 'T' for TENACITY, followed by the letter 'I' which stands for IMPROVEMENT, and the third 'T' for TRUST. Last week, we touched on the topic of 'U' is for UNDERSTANDING, and today we will discuss DECISION-MAKING. Remember to check back next week to see what the last letter in ATTITUDE represents.


Not too long ago I made the comment to my wife that I probably make at least a thousand decisions a month, and it's a given that not every single one of them is going to work out the way I thought it would. I'll bet most of you make that many–give or take a few–decisions a month, too.


Because decision-making can be difficult, it's easy to fall into the habit of not deciding at all (which is still making a decision anyway) or making hasty decisions just to get it over with. However, I have decided that I want to have a right attitude about making decisions, so I use a tool that I learned from the writings of Benjamin Franklin. Franklin knew the importance of gathering all the facts before making a decision, so he would take a piece of paper and draw a cross on it. On one side he would write "Reasons in Favor" and on the other side he would write "Reasons to Hesitate", thus weighing the pros and cons of the issue to see which side came out heavier.


The reason this method works so well is that it gets those random thoughts whipping through your brain, down on paper in black and white, and helps you to see things from an entirely different perspective. It's much easier to make good decisions when you can see things clearly in front of you.


Another thing I recommend when faced with a decision to make is to listen to what your gut (or intuition) is telling you to do. My daughter always says, "If you don't have a peace about it, that means wait." She's right. If you feel pressured about making a decision right now, or you just don't feel right about something, your decision may have to be "No" or at least "No, for now."


Also, keep in mind that it isn't enough to make a decision. You must take action on your decisions. There's a little riddle that goes like this: There were three frogs on a log and one decided to jump. How many remained on the log? The answer–three (Just because the one decided to jump didn't mean he did it.)


So, to recap: Gather all the facts so you can weigh the pros and cons; listen to your gut feelings; make what you believe to be the best decision you can make and then act on it. Will you still make mistakes? Sure you're only human. But you can't help but make plenty of good decisions, and you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you did your best.

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