Ever heard someone who said: “Oh, I will quit on Monday! That’s it, I truly had enough on this junk! Let the weekend go buy and then I will quit” or “From January I will change, I will go on a diet and get myself down at the gym” or “That’s it, from tomorrow I will stop drinking at night”?
Seriously, think about all the people who made these kinds of statements and see if you can recall any of them who actually acted on that statement. Chances are that if you have caught anybody saying anything similar to the above, none of what was said has ever come to reality. The person who said “Oh, I would so like to lose some weight” whilst eating a pizza, is still overweight and the person who said that cigarettes will no longer control his life whilst blowing the smoke out, still coughs in the morning whilst looking for the lighter.
This is down to one simple but very significant fact: none of the above statements constitute a decision; none of them is structured as a decision nor is it meant as one. They are simply verbalization of preferences, verbalization of what these people would like to have happen in their lives, they would like life to just give them those things but they are not willing to do anything about it.
A true decision is always, with no exception, accompanied by an action; immediately. That means that one must do the most that one can do the moment the decision has been made. This concept represents the most effective way to start, and consequently complete, anything in life and it indeed seems very simple. In some ways in fact, it is so simple although, maybe because of its simplicity, many people fail to apply it and thus fail to reach their goals; whether that is quitting smoking, losing weight, getting a new job, making money etcetera.
The power of decisions is responsible for the success of people like Thomas Edison who decided that “every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward” and, straight away, carried on seeking the right way. Edison decided that he will keep on trying until he found the right way and he did carry on until he did. Henry Ford who decided that he wanted an 8 cylinder engine mounted in one piece and invested time and money persuading his employees, who declared the project to be impossible, to find a way. Ford decided that he wanted such engine and took action right away. Silvester Stallone decided that he would have been Rocky and even when the 2000 agencies he went to refused him 3 times each, he still persisted. His wife left him, he had no money to eat, he had to sell his dog because he was no longer able to look after him and still, when the one of the agencies he went to, decided to offer him $60,000.00 for the script as long as he gave up on the desire of wanting to play Rocky, he refused and walked away with nothing. He refused and he persisted until the agency accepted with the condition that Stallone would have only received nominal pay and a cut of the profits because they did not believe that a guy who, at least to them, did not look good, did not sound good and simply did not have the right presence to be an actor, could drive Rocky to be a successful movie. They were right: Rocky was not a good movie; Rocky turned out to be a legacy!
Of course, persistence, drive, motivation, ambition, vision and desire all played key roles in the monumental achievements of Edison, Ford and Stallone and others like them, but it all started from a true decision; a decision to accept nothing less, nothing different from the dream they have carefully designed, not even the smallest compromise.
All these amazing outcomes above were once ideas, like the ones that many of us have, like the ones that remain in one’s mind and eventually become regrets. Unless we take these ideas and turn them into Decisions; and the one and only way known to turn ideas into Decisions is to take action; not tomorrow, not in one hour but right now. This is, symbolically as well as practically, the equivalent of giving a big wheel the first push; it makes the second spin almost inevitably, the third one becomes easy and then it is harder to stop than it would be to let it go.
Sometimes we need to take shoe makers slogans to the letter; what’s Nike’s slogan?
“A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.” – Anthony Robbins