The word “decision” comes from the Latin word decidere, which is actually two Latin words that have been combined: de, which means “off” and caedere which means “cut”. So, to make a decision literally means to cut off. It makes total sense to me, then, that decisions can feel very difficult, especially when we see them as so finite. So abrupt.
And yet, I’m a huge fan of just making a decision and then taking action on that decision, even when you don’t know the outcome. And – you can never know the outcome. Action, to me, is a way to gather data. You’re either moving in a direction that feels in alignment with who you are and where you want to go, or you’re not. Either way, you’re no longer stuck waiting for the right decision to magically reveal itself.
In this last year especially, I’ve challenged myself to take bold action on a regular basis. Rather than wasting time overanalyzing what could happen or making assumptions about the future (read: pretending like I could see into a crystal ball, or acting like I was a mind-reader), I’ve moved forward, recalibrated and readjusted as needed. Most of the time, I feel like I’ve hit the mark. But even when I haven’t, the sky hasn’t fallen, and no one has died. As I shared on Andrew Moses’ Everybody Pulls the Tarp podcast, there’s magic in the misses. Readjust and try again. See what didn’t work as a learning opportunity, not a failure.
I recently heard Matthew McConaughey talk about his book Greenlights and he said, “A lot of times it’s not even which decision you make. It’s just make one and go for it. Don’t get caught up on the perfect decision. Just choose one and commit to it. It will reveal if it’s the right one or not…or show ya a new one.”
I firmly believe, when you take any action, you eventually end up where you’re supposed to be. Making no decision and taking no action is actually a decision to remain in the status quo.
Decisions are neutral. There’s no right or wrong. If you made a decision that feels good to you, then great! Keep calm and carry on. If you made a decision that feels misaligned, then great! Now you know to adjust and try again.
Making a decision and acting on it is simply you acting as a researcher or a scientist. You’re gathering data. I’m not saying it’s always kittens and rainbows, but it’s information that you didn’t have before, which can help move you forward. The alternative: no decision, no new information, and little-to-no movement.
So friends – get in there. Play the game. Make the damn decision already and celebrate! Or, pivot and then celebrate! You’ll end up where you’re supposed to be, no matter what.