“Decision is a sharp knife that cuts clean and straight. Indecision is a dull one that hacks and tears and leaves ragged edges behind” (Jan McKeithen).
WE’D PROBABLY BE SHOCKED IF WE COULD SEE HOW MUCH OF OUR LIVES WE WASTE EITHER PROCRASTINATING DECISIONS THAT NEED TO BE MADE OR UNDOING DECISIONS THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN MADE. Rather than getting good traction and moving ahead, we spin our wheels. We fret. We delay. We divert our own attention. We do everything in the world except the one thing that would make a difference: decide. Our indecision “hacks and tears and leaves ragged edges behind” — sometimes tragically so.
There is simply no way to dodge this truth: building a quality character requires decisiveness. And Charles Millhuff was correct, I believe, in identifying the three main areas where our decisions determine the kind of lives that we create: “Many of life’s circumstances are created by three basic choices: the disciplines you choose to keep, the people you choose to be with, and the laws you choose to obey.” So write it down and remember it. You determine your character (and consequently, your quality of life) by this: the disciplines you choose to keep, the people you choose to be with, and the laws you choose to obey.
Someone has said that one of the most exhausting things in the world is the continual hanging on of an unmade decision. All of us are familiar with the burst of energy that comes from finally making a decision we’ve been running away from. Can we imagine what life would be like if we were to go ahead and make all of the decisions that are presently draining our energy and debilitating us?
When a decision is ready to be made, the best thing to do is go ahead and make it. In other words, when our conscience has clearly indicated what course of action we should pursue, we should pursue it. There may be times when the thing that holds us back is laziness, but more often it is fear (which comes, of course, in many different varieties). On the very brink of doing something that would be good to do, we hesitate. And as a result, much that could have graced our lives and that of others is lost. Let’s do better than that. Let’s decide.
“Half the failures in life arise from pulling in one’s horse as he is leaping” (Julius Charles Hare).