I decided to write a short post about my opinions regarding decisiveness. The decision happened almost instinctively yesterday morning while I scanned my daily calendar.
It’s not that I’m a famously decisive person by nature. I can dither and hem and haw along with much of the rest of humanity. I might spend a couple of days considering what brand of shirt to buy or even if I should or should not buy a shirt. You’d think I’m considering the option of taking a vacation to the Moon. On the other hand, if pressed to make an emergency decision regarding my safety, I’m Johnny on the Spot and take action immediately. Perhaps adrenalin has something to do with this. Looming threats require firm, immediate decisions.
The quality of decisiveness is something I’ve been working to improve upon, because being decisive makes life more dynamic. Those times I’ve been called upon to make an important decision have been passionate ones. They seemed to be trials of integrity and purpose. There are times in life when we have to step in and take charge of situations because nobody else is willing to do so.
Impulsiveness should not be confused with decisiveness. Impulsiveness happens when reason is short-circuited by simple desire. For example, should I eat some of that yummy ice cream? Yes. Meanwhile, decisiveness is the precise ability to make up one’s mind confidently within a reasonably prompt time-frame. Decisiveness is determination fueled by resolute action and taking command. Decisions are definite and unambiguous. The decisive person takes ownership of her or his decisions and actions regardless of outcome. There is no buck-passing.
“Luck favours the bold. Leaders must fearlessly exploit the secret of decisiveness. Act boldly at critical moments.”–16th century politician, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, one of the “Great Unifiers” of Japan.
The decisive person is not a minion nor a puppet controlled by others or by chaotic circumstance. There is a blending of foresight, harmony, empathy, respectfulness, along with clarity of thought and reason. A little bit of courage and determination are thrown in to spice up each scenario.
Promptness without compulsivity is key. Research has shown that the percentage of error regarding long, drawn-out vacillating is about the same as prompt decision-making. The main difference is that dithering does not inspire confidence, but decisiveness does. That confidence is felt by others as well as oneself.
The point of today’s pondering is to remind ourselves that we become stronger, more effective people when we make decisions. Whether those decisions turn out to be right or wrong, we take unwavering responsibility for them. This quality is worth developing.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes Turkish writer and philosopher, Mehmet Murat Ildan. “It always seems like the Universe behaves reluctant to intercept those who determinedly travel to their destinations! It is as if the universe favours the decisive people.”