Solstice Post: Empowering Visionary Leadership Through Being Decisive
Happy Solstice! This time of the year represents peak heat, peak energy and peak action (at least in the northern hemisphere). So in celebration of summer solstice, and all the activity that comes with it, the League brings you an article on the science of being decisive in your actions.
Being decisive in your actions has everything to do with optimizing and excelling in all areas of your life, and forms a cornerstone of visionary leadership. And today, I share all my secrets of being decisive so that you too may change the world, one decision at a time.
Let us first define the experience and behavior of decisiveness:
Decisiveness is the experience of clarity, certainty, and potency, expressed through resolute thought, word and action
Why Be Decisive?
So let’s not assume anything here about decisiveness. All qualities are equally valid; so why is the League focusing so much on this one?
When considering the journey of empowerment, we find that decisiveness is crucial for personal excellence and powerful leadership. Decisiveness means taking action with a quality of total commitment; which creates many benefits:
• Decisive action overcomes paralyzing doubt, over-thinking, fear and a rigid need to do it perfectly
• Decisive action is magnetic and inspiring, creating direction and momentum in its wake
• Decisive action floods the system with new and valuable information that can then be used to make even better decisions
Decisive action is a mark of a fully actualized human and a powerful leader. As you will see below, it doesn’t mean that they know what is best or always get it right. But then again, that’s not the point.
Follow the 10 considerations below to strengthen your decisiveness muscle, taking your creative life action to the next leve.
Making good decisions: The science of being decisive
1. Choose to be decisive
It all starts here: seeing yourself as a decider; someone that chooses and acts with clarity, certainty and potency.
As was mentioned by Lt. Commander Data in the Habit Hacking guide, taking time to visualize yourself possessing and expressing this new habit is a powerful first step, as is allowing yourself to feel the supportive emotions of deservedness and gratitude. This approach encourages your soft-wired sense of identity around decisiveness to empower and evolve.
2. Being decisive does not mean being right
Decisive leaders understand that making decisions and taking action does not equate to being right, entitled or error-free. Very much the opposite: truly balanced decisiveness has a lot to do with what you do after your decisive action–how you take responsibility for and respond to the impact of your decision (more on that in number ten).
3. Develop and trust your intuition
If you take anything away from this article, let it be this one consideration: do whatever you can in your daily life to develop sensitivity to your intuition. It will give you subtle cues of what to do before you can even consciously articulate it. In fact, cutting edge research from Daniel Goleman (author of “Emotional Intelligence”) now shows us why this is scientifically valid:
Lower in the brain, below the limbic areas, lies a neural network called the basal ganglia. This is a very primitive part of the brain, but it does something extraordinarily important for navigating the modern world. As we go through every situation in life, the basal ganglia extracts decision rules: when I did that, that worked well; when I said this, it bombed, and so on. Our accumulated life wisdom is stored in this primitive circuitry. However, when we face a decision, it’s our verbal cortex that generates our thoughts about it. But to more fully access our life experiences on the matter at hand, we need to access further inputs from that subcortical circuitry [where our basal ganglia lies]. While the basal ganglia may have some connection to the verbal areas, it turns out to have very rich connections to our gastrointestinal tract–the gut. So in making [a] decision, a gut sense of it being right or wrong is important information, too.
4. Develop your inner talents, intelligences and resources
When decisions need to be made, leaders often do not have time to call a time-out; they must act. This is where a life dedicated to personal growth pays off; a life spent developing your innate talents and capacities of mind and body.
So make a conscious effort to structure your life around developing all your talents and abilities–you will be thankful in your moment of need. [Access: Power-Up Guides]
5. Learn to quickly observe from radically different perspectives
One of the ancient definitions of wisdom is to see one thing from many sides. Make it a practice to see things from many perspectives: as you watch that bird fly overhead, also see through its eyes and notice what changes about your experience of the world.
By adopting different perspectives, you make yourself available to different kinds of information. And when faced with a daunting challenge, the ability to quickly access and compare multiple screens of information is invaluable.
6. Become expansive
This consideration builds on number five. In the moments leading up to the decision (especially when forced to quickly take action), don’t do what most do: tense the body, hold the breath, start rifling through facts like crazy, and generally entering into a fight-flight-freeze state.
Like James Bond mentions in our Stress and Negativity Transformation guide, the mark of a good secret agent is staying cool-calm-collected under pressure. It can mean the difference between life and death.
Instead of losing your cool, train your body and mind to breathe, relax, heighten your senses, expand your awareness, let a wash of information flood through you, and essentially slow down your subjective experience of time.
Such time manipulation can automatically happen in the ‘oh shit!’ moments; the real-life Superhero learns to activate this ability on command.
7. When you are unclear, gain clarity by acting decisively
I mentioned this phenomenon in the intro, but as it can seem so counter-intuitive, I wanted to touch on it a bit more deeply.
When looking at a challenging moment, often what really fudges up the situation at hand is not decisive action, but rather paralysis: we don’t know which way is better, so we go neither way. The danger of decision paralysis is that in this moment we have effectively stopped learning; we have cut ourselves off from the system’s feedback mechanism of delivering new information to us.
When you have gathered information, explored risks and possibilities but are still not sure, act!
8. Surround yourself with high functioning people (Superheroes), and draw from them
A good hero knows to keep good company; this is partly because when we are getting challenged and stretched by a situation, we need to be able to find support fast.
As a part of your overall (Super)hero’s journey, I highly recommend you begin to gather a select group of fellow do-gooders to help you in your moments of need. I call this group your Hero’s Council, but it also goes by the more common name appellation of a ‘Mastermind’.
9. Know the true underlying intentions for your action
When you understand the source of your actions, you will be able to align with decisiveness more quickly and naturally. For either you will discover that the sources of your actions is petty, fearful, and reactive and thus you can decisively break from that line of action, OR you will discover that you are moving from a place of good-will, love, creativity and integrity and thus you can trust your decisiveness enough to take the next step.
10. Take responsibility for your impact
As was mentioned at the beginning of the article, learning to stay with the impact of your decisiveness is the true mark of a visionary leader. Doing so takes the unmanageable burden of ‘getting it right’ off your shoulders. Whew!
Instead, we get very good at acting, and then responding to the impact of our actions. This is the real secret to meaningful decisive action.
Now it’s your turn!
My challenge to you is to take three decisive actions every day for the next five days. Feel free to start small: ‘What do I want to drink? JUICE!’ Be quick-draw about it, simply to break the ice and build this muscle.
Let us know how it goes, and what you learned about your unique version of decisiveness.
Eka, aka SuperSpark
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