Make This Year’s Decisions Stick with This Simple Secret
I’m glad, because I personally witnessed Mark’s effectiveness on the job at the same Dilbert-sized company for two years. During our time together, he flourished while I struggled (the experience taught me, among other things, that competence is a function of fit between the person and an organization, not something inborn and unchangeable—but that’s another post for another time).
Since then, Mark’s worked all over the world: Japan, Singapore, Egypt, London, Holland, the U.K., and Italy. Mark’s no armchair guru; he’s successfully accomplished hundreds of difficult projects, while effectively managing and mentoring difficult people—both superstars and underperformers.
But what really knocks me out is his unshakable good cheer and humor. I’ve never met anyone who maintains such consistently high spirits amid situations that would crush the life from ordinary employees.
Now Mark has a couple of books out. The first one, called Time to Get Started, carried an intriguing paragraph entitled “Power of a Committed Decision.” Here’s my synopsis:
There is nothing more powerful in the world than a committed decision. Many people think they are making decisions, but unless there is a powerful commitment behind those decisions, they are not decisions, but preferences. Add the commitment to ensure your decisions are real decisions—not preferences.
“I always understood the power of a committed decision,” says Mark, “mostly because I’ve seen so many uncommitted decisions in corporate life! But three years ago, the true power of a committed decision became visible to me with my personal ‘committed decision’ to create a unique daily thought for my Web site.
“Now, creating a unique thought for each day would definitely take commitment, and I also knew I would need the motivation to start and the discipline to keep it up. What I needed were the two ingredients of a committed decision: 1) a “Why” to generate motivation, and 2) a ‘No Alternative’ to create the discipline to follow through.
“The ‘Why?’ was built by viewing the sum of my daily thoughts (over many years) as my legacy—something I can leave behind when I leave this world. This made the “Why” a powerful reason to act. Second, I needed the discipline to make sure I would do it on a daily basis and not miss a single day. This is where “No Alternative” became important. I began to make the daily thoughts more visible by sending an e-mail of the past week’s material to people who found it interesting to read. This way, I had “No Alternative” but to keep it up—or disappoint readers.”
So, if like me, you sometimes find yourself wondering why your decisions, well … don’t actually decide anything, give Mark’s advice a try. And make this year’s decisions stick.
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