Many people don't really understand the gift they have been given in their ability to be decisive. According to the dictionary, decisiveness means 'having the power or quality of settling a dispute, question, doubt, contest, event, etc.' How individuals use this power of decisiveness will strongly influence the quality of life that they experience.
Not long ago, I really began to understand how my decisions affect my life. My husband and I were going through a difficult time when he lost his job due to his company merging with another organization. I could have been optimistic about the situation, looking at it as a chance for him to get a better job. However, instead of looking at it in this manner, I experienced the situation as me being a helpless victim of life who was suffering some cruel injustice that I did not deserve.
I complained about my circumstances to anyone who would listen. "Why was my life getting harder?" "Why were problems that I thought I had successfully overcome once again resurfacing?" I believed that life was totally unfair. I was having a great big pity party and I wasn't even having any fun. (Even peak performance experts sometimes forget the things they teach others and find themselves in the depths of despair.) Finally, as I sat in an advanced success class, the instructor must have gotten tired of hearing me complain and she bluntly told me that my life could be easier if I decided that it would be. I felt like I had been struck between the eyes with 2 by 4. I was more than slightly insulted by that comment and my first reaction was to get my things together at break time and go home.
However, the following morning a funny thing happened. As I thought about my teacher's comments, I decided that she was absolutely right. I decided to believe that my life would be easy and flowing with harmony, peace, joy and abundance. My pity party was over and I finally began to experience joy again. Actually, I began to get downright excited about all of the wonderful prospects in my life.
Why did I have such a tough time initially? It was because I believed that I had to react negatively to what was going on in my life, not realizing that by doing so, I was really deciding the course of my future. I thought that I should be disappointed, frustrated and scared because things were not going the way I thought they should. However, I now understand that my unconscious decision to respond to the situation negatively guaranteed that I would experience more of the same. I did not understand that I could make a firm decision to perceive the events in my life in a different way.
MAKE A DIFFERENT DECISION
Many of us think we have no choice as to how to respond to life. But we absolutely do. Every response that we have is, in reality, a decision and the Law of Cause and Effect will make sure that we experience more of that decision in the future. The Law of Cause and Effect states that whatever we focus on (good or bad), we will attract into our lives. Don't be fooled by its seeming simplicity. This is an extremely powerful law that has a major impact on our lives.
I have decided to interpret everything that happens in my life as something positive and as evidence that greater good is coming into my life. Some people may think I am crazy and not being realistic. I don't care. When I interpret things the way any 'normal' person would (which means negatively), it prevents me from moving forward, it causes me to doubt myself, and I feel pessimistic about my future. I've had enough experience to know that when my thoughts are focused on the problems in my life, my mind is directing the Law of Cause and Effect to bring more of the same types of negative experiences into my life. Well, I am having none of that anymore, thank you very much.
When I interpret things in a positive way, it makes me feel good and then my mind is focused on good and the Law of Cause and Effect will bring more good into my life . It sounds like a better plan to me. Besides, most of the time when we interpret a situation in a negative way, we are usually not being realistic, we blow things out of proportion, and we make them worse than they really are. If I am not going to be realistic about a situation anyway, I might as well do it so it empowers me. And that is exactly what I have decided to do.
WHAT DECISIONS ARE YOU MAKING?
The problem with decisiveness is that most of us do not really understand the extent to which we can make decisions in our lives. We may think we can make decisions about some things but not others. But that is not true. We can absolutely decide how we are going to experience life ? whether it will be a struggle or a joy. Sometimes we are so enmeshed in our unconscious negative choices that it takes enormous self-discipline to tell ourselves, "No. I have decided to experience this situation differently. I am not going to allow my thoughts to go back to places that I don't want." The Law of Cause and Effect will always cooperate with our choice and bring us whatever we decide.
Most of us are very strong in the decisions we make in some areas of our lives, but we don't assert our power in our thoughts. Think about a food that you really hate, something that you would not eat under any circumstances. If I put it in front of you and asked you to eat it, you would probably say, "No way. I am not eating that. Never in a million years." No problem making a firm decision in that situation. Well, why not assert that same firmness when it comes to negative thinking? When a negative thought comes to you, pretend it is that despised food being offered to you and say "No way. I am not allowing any of that into my mind." The law will respond to your decision and that thought will not find its way in.
THE PRACTICAL SIDE OF DECISIVENESS
Being decisive in how you will experience life is really very practical. A number of years ago, I was teaching a course in an urban area in New Jersey in a section that is infested with drug pushers, addicts, and others who are operating at the lowest levels of life. One night as I was getting ready to park my car, I heard a big commotion. When I turned to see what was happening, I saw a woman holding a knife with a ten-inch blade. She was menacingly close to some guy and she was yelling about how she was going to stab him with it. To say that I experienced a little fear is an understatement. My first thought was to stay in the car because if she noticed me, I might become sliced meat. Then I decided that I was not about to let my thoughts go in that direction. I also decided to know that everywhere I go peace, harmony, and security surround me. Immediately afterward, someone took the knife away from the woman and all was calm. The following night when I arrived to teach another class, the neighborhood was calm, peaceful and serene. As I walked into the place where the classes were held, one of the students told me that there had just been a big fight between some guys right in front of the building. It ended just before I arrived. I decided to experience peace and harmony wherever I go and the Law of Cause and Effect responded.
The Bible says, "You shall decide upon a thing and it shall be done unto you." We decide and the Law of Cause and Effect responds. Look at those areas of your life that are not working and make a different decision about them. You have an incredible power to live the life of your choosing. Just remember that the quality of our lives is truly whatever we decide.
Della Menechella is a speaker, author, and trainer who helps organizations achieve greater success by improving the performance of their people. She is a contributing author to Thriving in the Midst of Change and the author of the videotape The Twelve Commandments of Goal Setting. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscribe to free Peak Performance Pointers e-zine - send blank e-mail to email@example.com.