Tuesday, 30 September 2014

7 Ways of Embracing the Art of Decision Making, Through my Eyes

Greetings my friends and foes alike, I hope that all is well and you have prospered in at least an area in your life that has brought you closer to achieving your goals in life. It has been a while since I last posted an article on this blog.

I have had a rather fulfilling experience for the last eight months that has enabled me to learn great lessons in life. As I advance in age so do my years of experience double up on earth. What is weird though is the rather intersect of possibilities and probabilities of what could happen in a period of time, in the short-term or long-term. Not so long ago, I was considering my next move after a fulfilling year abroad studying for my MSc. As flourishing as it looked, I was hard pressed to resolve and strategize on my next step. In the process of figuring out what to do, as always I was busy searching for possible opportunities in the industry as well as furthering my studies.  All in all, I can say after days of grilling myself I have come to appreciate the process of decision making. I have not done this once, twice but many times, and every time I have had to make a decision I do so with a lot of considerations and inquiries.

Owe unto me, my self-proclaimed perfectionist and optimistic nature have come to terrorize my sober mindedness and placed me into collusion with my heart’s desires so many times that I wonder if I’m a time bomb waiting to explode any time. Occasionally life if not fate-of which I disagree with surrendering your destiny to either- throws to you a few challenges and opportunities alike to test either your determination or resolve to stay the course of your purpose. To my attestation I couldn’t agree more as my resolve, patience and above all focus has been tested a number of times. To borrow from my belief there is no testimony without a test, or success without an exam, or a champion without a race or a winner without a challenge and the list can go on and on. However, what I’m grateful about is that at the end of the tunnel I have seen some light which has acted as my foresight into the future steps.

In a midst of all my ups and downs, experiences and successes I would like to share some of my acquired beliefs when it comes to making decisions in life. From as easy as getting that new pair of shoes, what course to study and even that marriage proposal, you might or will need to think of this.

1.    Never use People Instead use Things,
Looking back to where my journey begun I cannot trace it to a single action but a series of tried and failed actions that made me resilient (some say am stubborn). I have consistently searched for opportunities and sometimes never shy away from expressing my future desires. What this has actually enabled me to be proactive, consistent, and finally be on the driver’s seat when it comes to my future. Though it has not been all smooth I appreciate the fact that I took charge of my destiny and whether I succeed or not I will never blame anyone or regret an ounce. Also, I haven’t been devoid of spectacle as I have rubbed some shoulders the wrong way and even been threatened to some extent but all in all I have humbly acknowledged my mistakes and asked for forgiveness where I overstepped my mandate. Note that, whatever works for you go for it but consider other peoples’ feelings. As much as you want something ever use people to get what you want, instead use things, knowledge, your mind and resources to accomplish your mission. 

2.      Create opportunities don’t give in to fate
Always I have been determined to create as many opportunities as possible so that when it comes to making a choice at least I can have the upper hand of choosing what is aligned with my career not the other way round. Someone said if you don’t work to achieve your dreams someone else will hire you to help them fulfill theirs. Besides that, ensure that you don’t succumb to fate but rather be the force that determines your destiny. If the late Mandela would have let fate take its course then he would have rotten in prison and long forgotten to fate. However, he steadfastly continued to be on the driver’s seat inside the four walled prison and made choices that enabled him overcome the changes to prepare him reach his destination. Fate occurs to the masses that surrender their self-determination to the mean face of their myopic environmental circumstances. I urge you to look beyond what your eyes can see and create deep desires within to overcome your prevailing circumstances and focus on what you are capable of achieving rather than what life dictates to you. For sure, you are the determiner of your destiny.

3.      Engage your brain-THINK!
One of the biggest catastrophes for humans is to have a powerful organ at our disposal but not use it when it is much needed. We possess the most powerful and progressive organ called the brain.  This is what gives us human beings, an upper hand in comparison to other animals. However, in as much as most people go to school for years in the name of acquiring knowledge and skills majority never put it into use. I believe the brain has the greatest ability to enable us to achieve our goals. One Dennis Okari, founder and CEO ONFON media challenged us to set aside at least an hour of our time a week to “THINK”. You would probably ask yourself why? I believe, people who utilize their God given resource- THE BRAIN- which has a wealth of knowledge and information, whether stored as data (in it raw form) or processed information, will always be ahead of the game. From the great Isaac Newton, Eistein to the likes of Bill Gates, Richard Branson and the likes, thinking is paramount, second to breathing or eating. Therefore, I beseech you to always engage your brain and make good use of the information, knowledge and experience that is stored in it to navigate to your destiny

4.      Always endeavor to dream whilst awake, not asleep.
While most people dream when asleep I enjoy dreaming when fully awake, no not daydreaming. I am an advocate and believer of dreaming while fully awake and not dead asleep in the middle of nowhere. Have you ever wondered why most people don’t remember what they dreamt about minutes after waking up from a dream? There can only be one reason, because the dreams meant nothing to them, unless it was from a higher being. Thus, my premise that if you have to dream make sure you do that while you are wide awake, that way you will remember your dreams and work out on a strategy to achieve your dreams as fast as possible. I always purpose to dream while am awake not asleep.

5.      Seek wise counsel, and then decide
One thing that is weird about me is the ability to exhaust all avenues of possibilities or/and get as much information as possible when making my decisions. My inquisitiveness is a bit stretched to the extent of before answering questions I always seek clarification as to what exactly is required. I have been faced with a catch 22 situation before as to very critical stages on deciding on the next move. Once I remember I had a good job offer with my dream firm as well as a great opportunity to further my studies abroad. In a midst of the sleepless nights this gave me I sought guidance, opinions and possible answers to my crossroad from friends, family, mentors, acquaintances and strangers alike, people who I met for the first time. Someone would call be naïve but looking back now I am grateful for I got honest and objective advice from my inquisitiveness. Therefore, when faced with a hard decision to make seek as much counsel and information as possible before making that big step. However, it will be up to you to analyze, critic and chose what to adopt when making that decision. You should never blame anyone for their advice or opinions which you have willingly sought from them, after all the bark stops with you.

6.      Draw a Boundary Between Selfishness and Selflessness
To some extent I have had to be very selfish when making decisions or choosing what to do. This has been to the extent of letting go people and relationships that have meant a lot to me. However, it is also worth noting I did this to protect or allow them to make decisions that will be of benefit to their future and not tied to mine. As much as to some extent I’m egocentric, I always think of most of the people who have surrounded me. Once, I consciously choose not to allow distractions emanating from family interfere with my focus. It was hard to do it, but I understood well that as human beings we make choices whether good or bad, and these choices have lasting consequences in our lives. What is most important though, are the lessons drawn from such choices that make us who we are today. I am not afraid to be selfish and at the same time be selfless in my life. I will consider what is best for me at the same time what is best for others. If letting someone go, though painfully is best for them or me, then at some point it makes more sense than hanging on to something that will bring more harm than good. Considering all possibilities and outcomes know when to be selfish and selfless in your decisions and don’t ever be afraid to do what is best for you. However, as I earlier alluded never use people to further your selfish ambitions, use things instead.

7.      Don’t be too harsh on yourself, give incubation time to hatch, it adds to the bigger picture
When I decided to pursue further studies instead of taking up the job offer, I was in agreement with myself that it was a long-term decision. I would have to be patient so that I would know if it was the best decision or not after a couple of years to come and never will it generate instant results. Having come to that conclusion, I think am on the right path as I can now connect the dots back which I didn’t have the benefit of doing when I was faced with the dilemma. Therefore, I urge you to give your decisions time to incubate and mature before you can assess and say you were right or wrong. I can’t tell you the exact period but what I know is that time will tell. When it feels right and happy for you know that you are on the right track. As I write this article am still wondering if it was the best decision and know that in as much as many would have had it other ways, where I am today is a true indication of the decisions and choices I have made in the past and continue to make. As the late Steve Jobs put it, we can never connect the dots going forward but more often it will be possible to connect them backwards. Everything we have been through is part of a broader picture, one that you can only see clearly when the painter is done with it. Thus, never be so impatient not to allow time for your decisions to materialize.

Finally, for those who are spiritual or believers of a superior being I will urge you to pray to your god for grace and wisdom to be able to see your decisions materialize as well as continue to consistently male wise decisions even in situations that seem unattainable. As I conclude this humongous article, I urge you all to read it critically, consider what applies to you, take up what best works for you and ignore what does not make sense to you. With that I hope and believe that you will be better placed to make the best decisions that take you closer to achieving your goals and living your purpose on this earth.