BLUF – Maintaining control over the decisions we make takes awareness and discipline. By honing your skills of focus, meaning, and action, you can sharpen the control over yourself and learn how know to approach decisions every day.
I’ve enjoyed developing the habit of watching TED Talks to expose my mind to thoughts and opinions of others, and I came across a fairly famous speech from Tony Robbins titled “Why We Do What We Do” from 2007. Within the speech, Tony mentions 3 Decisions of Destiny (7:56 mark) that was a really remarkable moment for me, so I decided to share my interpretation of this great perspective on how to approach daily decision points in our lives. Developing the self-awareness to run through these three quick questions can help provide clarity and shape your overall decision.
What am you going to focus on? Our minds tend to move toward future projections of what could happen, as opposed to staying present in the moment and narrowing your decision criteria. Often the fear of anticipated failure or loss will lean you towards emotional actions of self-preservation. I tend to think self-preservation is inherent human nature, but the ability to prioritize others above yourself can often lead to even more meaningful and positive energies in life. By focusing on the present and the actions you have the ability to take right now, you give yourself the opportunity to zoom in on what’s important and avoid your ego clouding your judgement. Focus can turn into emotion, but you need to be able to maintain control over mind to recognize when you are focusing on the event objectively or your reaction to the event.
What does it mean? Just like a river (except for frozen rivers here in Alaska), life is ever flowing and is in constant change. Seeking permanency in life is a dangerous path to take, mainly because there are factors in life that are outside of our control yet will influence us. When you encounter what you think obstacles in life, they are really just decisions points for you to act on. You may immediately think, “Is this event the end of my happiness?” Instead, challenge yourself to remember that each moment you have is temporary a scene in a much bigger act. The act of “road rage” comes to mind as something that may seem like a huge deal in the moment, but really means nothing. A person cutting you off shouldn’t mean the rest of your day is ruined or that you running late to a meeting is the end of the world. Yell in your car if you must, but once the unnecessary negative energy is out of your system, make sure it stays out.
What are you going to do? This is probably the most important decision of the three, because you have the opportunity to place your thoughts and energy into action after contemplating the first two questions. This is also the hardest decision to make, because you must have the courage to follow through on your thoughts. I came across the following quote and felt it can help assist that last push to action: “Integrity is the only path you will never get lost on.” If you feel that something bad is happening to you and you have the opportunity to take action, stop complaining and take it. If don’t have an opportunity, stop complaining and move on. Either way, the meaning of each moment in your life is a small section in the river of your life.