…all of which can be developed with focus and attention and built over time.
The final element of the ABCD is Decision-making. We tend to think of decision-making is simple: it can just be ‘done’ can’t it? Just decide on something and you are nearly there.
Let’s explore that idea a little more.
What if you wanted to lose some weight, start eating healthily, do more exercising, saying ‘no’ more often, or going to bed earlier. What about meeting up with friends you have lost touch with?
Surely it is easy just to decide to make that call?
How about being more organised with money? Or what about that book you’ve been talking about. Surely you just decide to start writing it?
What about drinking less: why not decide to stop having alcohol during the week. But then you have those little temptations:
‘...coming for a drink Tuesday, After the 5-a-side?’?‘ ...Sarah’s leaving drinks on Wednesday night at the pub?’? ‘ ...had an awful Monday, shall we open some wine…?’?
It is as if the universe / our friends / circumstances conspire to undermine our DECISION not to drink in the week.
“Oh well”, you say “it was only a decision. I can decide to overrule it just this once Not a big deal… It is my own decision, not a law. I am an adult. “
All of these conversations are the ones we have with ourselves. They allow us to justify un-deciding our decisions; undermining our good intentions and colluding with us to the extent that we fail.
Let me tell you a bit about making decisions.
In 2001 I stopped drinking.
After a couple of ill-remembered nights out and general grumpiness when having to get up in the middle of the night for our second baby, I realized that my mood shifted even with only a couple of beers drunk while on the sofa . I could see my wife’s opinion of me went down at the same time.
We had a long walk and a talk and I decided to stop drinking. Not cut down or reduce it – STOP! So I did. I stopped completely. Not even a toast at a wedding or something to give me “dutch courage”. Nothing.
Then we moved to the South Lake District in the UK – a beautiful place with great scenery, rain, walks, pubs, micro-breweries and a vibrant social life.
After about 9 months living here I decided I could have the odd pint or two of craft beer or Guinness and still be fine.
In March 2005 I decided I would have the odd drink; with friends at the pub now and again. By December of that year it became a bit more frequent: beers at home now and again had become more often.
That Christmas we had friends over for a meal and few drinks and I ended the evening asleep on the floor in the front room surrounded by embarrassed people and friends who made their excuses and left earlier than expected.
When I woke up with a huge hangover on 30th December 2005 I realized that I could not just take the odd drink now and again: alcohol is not my friend. It does not help my clarity of thought. I could not do the workshops I do with 150+ school students and it certainly does not make me ‘more fun’.
I DECIDED drinking didn’t suit me.
I DECIDED to stop drinking booze.
I DECIDED to reclaim my life.
I am not looking for praise or medals but I DO want to highlight the power of making and sticking to decisions.
When we consciously decide on something rather than being glib or throwaway with our thoughts we are much more able to achieve changes and positive steps towards our goals.
Since i have stopped drinking:
I have been self-employed successfully since 2006.?
I have not lost days of my life to hangovers.?
I lived through my forties without a single drop of alcohol.?
I have been a role model for my two daughters.?
I have never had to get a cab home from the pub / restaurants / parties.?
I have never had to get my family to cover up for my indiscretions?
I remember everything that happens on nights out.?
And finally, I am so proud of myself for being able to say “ I DECIDED to stop drinking, so I do not drink now”, and then watch people try and deal with that level of weirdness!
So, in conclusion, even with all the positive ATTITUDE in the world, the BELIEF in yourself and your team’s abilities, the CONFIDENCE to start or change something, nothing will happen in your life consistently unless you DECIDE to make something happen and take the decision so seriously that your behaviour changes.
What do you need to decide to do today to enrich your life and develop your success skill?