One of the most important decisions you can make to ensure your long-term happiness is to decide to use whatever life gives you in the moment. The truth of the matter is that there’s nothing you can’t accomplish if:
1) You clearly decide what it is that you’re absolutely committed to achieving,
2) You are willing to take massive action,
3) You notice what’s working or not, and
4) You continue to change your approach until you achieve what you want, using whatever life gives you along the way.
There is one impediment to really utilizing the power of decision. That is that we must overcome our fears of making the wrong decisions.
Without a doubt, you will make wrong decisions in your life. You’re going to screw up! I know I certainly haven’t made all the right decisions along the way. Far from it. But I didn’t expect to. Nor will I always make the right decisions in the future.
I have determined that no matter what decisions I make, I’ll be flexible, look at the consequences, learn from them, and use those lessons to make better decisions in the future. Remember: Success truly is the result of good judgment. Good judgment is the result of experience, and experience is often the result of bad judgment!
Those seemingly bad or painful experiences are sometimes the most important. When people succeed, they tend to party; when they fail, they tend to ponder, and they begin to make new distinctions that will enhance the quality of their lives.
We must commit to learning from our mistakes, rather than beating ourselves up, or we’re destined to make the same mistakes again in the future.
There will be times when you’re on the river solo and you’ll have to make some important decisions on your own. The good news is that if you’re willing to learn from your experience, then even times you might think were difficult become great because they provide valuable information – key distinctions–that you will use to make better decisions in the future. In fact, any extremely successful person you meet will tell you – if they’re honest with you – that the reason they’re more successful is that they’ve made more poor decisions than you have.
People in my seminars often ask me, “How long do you think it will take for me to really master this particular skill?” And my immediate response is, “How long do you want it to take?” If you take action ten times a day (and have the proportionate “learning experiences”) while other people act on a new skill once a month, you’ll have ten months of experience in a day, you will soon master the skill, and will, ironically, probably be considered “talented and lucky”.
I became an excellent public speaker because, rather than once a week, I booked myself to speak three times a day to anyone who would listen. While others in my organization had forty-eight speaking engagements a year, I would have a similar number within two weeks. Within a month, I’d have two years of experience. And within a year, I’d have a decade’s worth of growth.
My associates talked about how “lucky” I was to have been born with such an “innate” talent. I tried to tell them what I’m telling you now: mastery takes as long as you want it to take. By the way, were all of my speeches great? Far from it! But I did make sure that I learned from every experience and that I somehow improved until very soon I could enter a room of any size and be able to reach people from virtually all walks of life.
No matter how prepared you are, there’s one thing that I can absolutely guarantee: if you’re on the river of life, it’s likely you’re going to hit a few rocks. That’s not being negative; that’s being accurate. The key is that when you do run aground, instead of beating yourself up for being such a “failure,” remember that there are no failures in life. There are only results.
If you didn’t get the results you wanted, learn from this experience so that you have references about how to make better decisions in the future.
Excerpt from Anthony Robbins’ book "Awaken the Giant Within"
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