You cannot make progress without making decisions.

You cannot make progress without making decisions. – Jim Rohn

What does that mean?
This is another Twitter-friendly short quote. The full quote is as follows : “It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions.

How do you move forward in life? By making decisions. What to wear, what to eat, what to do, when to do it. All are decisions. It is part of what we are and how things happen as humans.

Yes, we may be tribal, and follow leaders up to a point, but we are not (usually) herd animals, where one makes a decision and all follow blindly. Decisions, that is how life moves forward. So get off the fence and do something already!

Why is making a decision important?
From, decide is defined as “To settle conclusively all contention or uncertainty about”. The word decision has the same latin root (dcdereto cut off) as does scissors and incision. To decide is to cut off the other possibilities and to move forward in the chosen direction.

You probably have known someone who seems incapable of making a decision. They are always deferring to others, saying things like “I don’t know, what do YOU want to do?” How far are they going to go in life with that attitude?

You probably also know some Type-A people, who are make decisions quickly and seem to always know what they want. These people tend to get things done, and they seem to go fairly far in life.

There is a middle ground between the two, but one must be careful to neither make rash decisions, nor to spend forever thinking, considering, debating and investigating (or any other weasel-words for procrastinating or fence-sitting).

Where can I apply this in my life?
When I have something I need to do, I start by giving myself a deadline. How long the deadline extends into the future will depend on what your are deciding. How much information do you need to gather, and what is the time pressure? It would be nice to take a few weeks to look at a house and come to a decision, but it may well be sold to someone else in the mean time.

As an example, I had been dating my (now) wife for over a year when I gave myself a deadline of six months to either propose to her or cut her loose to find someone else. About three months later, I made my decision to ask her. Then it was a matter of allowing her to select an appropriate stone (she is a diamond connoisseur) and keeping her thinking that nothing was happening. A little clandestine work with the jeweler, and everything was ready. On Valentines Day, I asked the question.

What decisions are you putting off? There are tons of quotes about indecision and how life is passing you by as you procrastinate, but this quote is about making the decision. So grab some paper and write down a couple of decisions you are putting off. They could be big ones (like a proposal of marriage) or little ones (what article of clothing should be my next purchase) and anything in-between (what color to paint the room, what show to watch tonight, etc).

For each item on your list, take a moment and try to figure out why you have not yet made your decision. Please don’t go with the first thing that comes to mind (without giving it some thought first), as that is often an excuse rather than a reason. This should take just a few minutes, so go ahead and do it now. Really, I’ll still be here when you get back.

Do you see any pattern to your reasons? For me, the main pattern had to do with a lack of information resulting in lack of confidence in selecting any particular option. The way to resolve this sticking point was to put a deadline on myself and get busy on research. Once that is done, it should be much easier for me to come to a decision.

You will need to look at your reasons for delaying decisions and come up with your own methods to resolve these issues. Since this is an open field problem, there is little I can do to help, other than to urge you to be honest with yourself and to put sincere effort into this. If you have a question, feel free to leave a comment and I will do the best I can to provide assistance.

Our decisions define us, they shape us and guide us into our future. Similarly, our lack of decisions define us, shape us and guide us into our future. Making decisions requires discipline and repetition before you get better at it. Keep at it, and keep growing. Your future awaits your decision.

From: Twitter, @motivatquotes
confirmed at :
Photo by JuditK

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3 Responses to You cannot make progress without making decisions.

  1. Shirley Abt 11 September 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    Very well written article. It will be valuable to everyone who utilizes it, including myself. Keep up the good work – for sure i will check out more posts.


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    […] We also have more important decisions to make in our lives. The decision is usually preceded by at least some analysis and thought (at least mine are, I understand there are less Anal-Retentive personality types out there). Even not making a choice is a choice in itself, right? You can’t sit on a fence forever! […]

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    […] Make some decisions now, and understand that things will change as time goes by. Don’t wait, do something now, start improving and start becoming the person you need to become to be truly […]

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