You Have to Decide to Take Action if You’re Going to Accomplish Anything
Last week I wrote about life being one continuous choice after another. This topic has been front and center in my thinking since then. It’s been the focus of multiple conversations as well.
Thinking about choices led me to think about decisions. Choices and decisions are the same…aren’t they? Let’s think about this.
Choice and decision are simple words. Most people think they know when to use which one…but there’s a subtle difference between a choice and a decision.
If you go into an ice-cream parlor, you have multiple choices. You’re tempted to choose one…wait maybe you want a different one. After going through this selection process, you finally decide on one – this is your decision.
Decision indicates you have reached a conclusion.
Choice comes from the word choose, it refers to the act of accepting, adopting, appointing, favoring, opting for, settling, gleaning or preferring. There are times when you have no choice. You can choose your friends but not your relatives. However, you can choose how you act toward both.
A decision is the end of the selection process, it narrows several options until one is chosen. Decision is the final result of a thought process that begins with choices or opportunities. You decide the school you will send your children to, the bank you will use, the car you will drive and the dealer you will buy it from. Everyday is full of challenges. We’re required to make the decisions, some simple, some hard and some very important.
Most of us want to make wise choices that lead to good decisions.
Writing this, I had an epiphany. As many of you know I’ve often written about my favorite book, Andy Andrews’, The Traveler’s Gift. I think I now know what it is that makes this book my favorite.
It’s the awareness of the freedom that comes from understanding that WE HAVE CONTROL over our choices and decisions.
In the book…
Forty-six-year-old David Ponder feels like a total failure. He feels that he has no choice. Once an executive in a Fortune 500 company, he now works a part-time, minimum wage job and struggles to support his family. Then, an even greater crisis hits: his daughter becomes ill, and he can’t afford to get her the medical helps she needs. When his car skids on an icy road, he wonders if he even cares to survive the crash.
But an extraordinary experience awaits David Ponder. He finds himself traveling back in time, meeting leaders and heroes at crucial moments in their lives—from Abraham Lincoln to Anne Frank. By the time his journey is over, he has received seven secrets for success—and a second chance.
The subtitle of this book is…
Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success
The key is DECISIONS. Here they are:
- The Responsible Decision
- The Guided Decision
- The Active Decision
- The Certain Decision
- The Joyful Decision
- The Compassionate Decision
- The Persistent Decision
In the book, David Ponder finds himself in the crow’s nest of a ship with Christopher Columbus. An excerpt from the Certain Decision.
A wise man once said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Knowing this to be true, I am taking my first step today. For too long my feet have been tentative, shuffling left and right, more backward than forward as my heart gauged the direction of the wind. The power to control direction belongs to me. Today I will begin to exercise that power.
I have a decided heart. I am passionate about my vision for the future. I will awaken every morning with an excitement about the new day and its opportunity for growth and change. My thoughts and actions will work in a forward motion, never sliding into the dark forest of doubt or the muddy quicksand of self-pity.
Yes, I have a dream. It is a great dream, and I will never apologize for it. Neither will I ever let it go, for if I did, my life would be finished. My hopes, my passions, my vision for the future is my very existence. A person without a dream never had a dream come true.
I have a decided heart. I will not wait. I know that the purpose of analysis is to come to a conclusion. I have tested the angles. I have measured the probabilities. And now I have made a decision with my heart. I am not timid. I will move now and not look back. What I put off until tomorrow, I will put off until the next day as well. I do not procrastinate.
We can choose, we can decide…both require action.
Actions are required for accomplishment. This is in your control. Take action today and get your engine of success started.
No one can stop you but you!