Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Start Your Day by Making Decisions

The first step to action is to make a decision.  Decide what you want to do today and follow through with some action.  The opposite of action is indecision, whereby you waffle between projects, not sure what to do, and then you allow worry and doubt to creep in.  Hovering just beneath these, in your subconscious, is the fear that you’re not really going anywhere, that you’re not good enough to achieve the goals that you’ve set out for yourself.  Then you start to doubt your actions (and inactions) even further, and worry even more, and suddenly you’re on this vicious cycle and feel paralyzed with indecisions, and then everything feels daunting, and nothing is getting done and suddenly your whole future seems to be bleak.  Ever feel like that?  Not a good way to start the day.


Napoleon Hill wrote in Think and Grow Rich that “The six basic fears become translated into a state of worry, through indecision.”  But in order to make a decision (especially if you’re already feeling flustered or overwhelmed), you need to take a deep breath, calm yourself down and think a little more clearly by making a prioritized to-do list that you want to accomplish today (ideally do it the evening before so you’re ready to jump into it).  Accept the fact that you’re not going to accomplish everything and there are tons of things you’ve been meaning to get around to this past week (past month), so choose the most important ones for today only, those that ideally will take you close to your goals), and put them on top of your list and then prioritize these.  Then make that first decision by choosing that first item and quickly delve into it. 

For the time being, ignore everything else on that list!  That’s when you start getting into trouble, when your attention and your focus shifts to everything else that you need to do and then suddenly, you’re not working on any of them.  You’ve become the proverbial donkey that can’t decide which haystack to eat and starves to death!  Even the Queen in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, can’t do all six impossible things before breakfast (or lunch as I recentlyblogged about) at the same time.  She has to choose one impossible thing first, and then when that’s complete, choose the number two impossible thing, and steadily work her way through all six. 

No one said this is going to easy, and I bet nothing on your list is truly impossible.  The fact that you put it on your list shows that you think it’s possible since it’s on a “to-do” list, not an “impossible-to-do” list.  Your list may seem merely impossible, because, possibly, you're looking at the whole list!  You have failed to choose only one to start with.  Keep in mind it is impossible to do everything at once!

Also, to control or protect your morning (day) even more, avoid checking your email until after you accomplish at least one thing, or your whole morning can get derailed by someone else’s problem.  Even good news can throw you off your schedule!   Good news and especially bad (especially when it includes more work!) can wait.  Make that decision right now and get going.  If you don’t, then you’re back to square one, and nothing is getting done, and your life is once again falling apart . . . . Not today, though.  Today you’ve already decided that this is going to be your most productive day ever!  
                        -Robert Raymer, Borneo Expat Writer

To put your day in the right frame of mind, ask yourself the following Morning Power Questions, courtesy of Anthony Robbins. 

***Here the link to my website, to MPH online for orders for all three of my books, including my latest, Spirit of Malaysia and for Trois autres Malaisie.
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