It seems as if the moment you begin calling yourself a man you are bombarded with decisions to make. Once you truly become a man, you realize that today’s decisions produce your future life status. Each day we examine our lives and the millions of little decisions that have created it. Stop that. Constant scrutiny of hundreds of possible outcomes for every decision you make will drive you insane. It will certainly destroy your confidence and lead you to social ineptitude.
Give proper recognition to the importance of good decision-making. Your life is truly the sum of the decisions you make. However, it is most important to recognize that life is not as difficult as we often make it. All things basically come down to one basic decision between two choices. Of course there are many outcomes, but you cannot see the future. The only thing you are able to truly analyze is the present. The present consists of only two choices: yes or no.
That’s it. You must simply decide between action or inaction. Despite how convoluted the decision-making process can become, everything truly is just a yes or no question.
Take some time to talk with and analyze men you know from a generation or two ahead of you. When you hang out at the barbershop, family reunion, golf course, local bar etc., begin to really listen as older men recount their lives. I guarantee you’ll find that one point is consistent with men of all types, races, and backgrounds. As men grow old enough to look back on their lives, any pain they have does not come from the things at which they failed, but the things they never tried. Instead of making a decision to act or not, they let themselves get tangled in a web of “what-ifs” and never made a concrete yes/no decision. They failed to clearly define for themselves why they wouldn’t attempt something and left that desire decaying in their spirit.
It’s a fact that time constantly moves forward and not in reverse. Each new day allows an opportunity for a fresh start, but never a repeat. That is why regret is the worst feeling you can ever have to deal with. You can fix mistakes, but regrets for the chances you never took cannot be eliminated. At best, you can attempt to tattoo over the scar of regret with new interests and endeavors.
Most guys have an idea of failure that is quite a fallacy. We associate failure with loss. You cannot fail at anything without attempting it. In your attempt you will always gain some degree of knowledge and experience. How can leaving a situation with more knowledge and experience be considered a loss? Amazingly, it takes most of us 20+ years to realize our Little League coach was right. His “as long as you tried” speech after losses was really wise advice. There is no failure in trying. Regret is the only true failure.
The opportunities in your life are not separate, unique occurrences. Every action you take, and opportunity you pursue connects you to the next. If you fail to be a decisive, proactive individual you will find that life has “passed you by.” Each yes or no decision prepares you for or promotes you to the next opportunity in your life. It is important to be thoughtful about your decisions, but do not let yourself become a victim of paralysis by analysis. Like regret, stagnation is worse than failure.
As time steadily moves forward, you have got to be honest with yourself and decide if you WILL attempt your dream or WHY it’s not what you really want. Don’t allow yourself to float in the purgatory of indecisiveness. If today you are a 22 year-old who wants to be a film director, in 10 years you will be 32 years old NO MATTER WHAT. It is incumbent upon you as the man in charge of your existence to decide if you’ll be a 32 year-old filmmaker, attempted filmmaker, or decidedly moved to something different. Don’t let yourself be that same guy who wants to make films, just 10 years older.
Time waits for no one. Man up and start making honest yes or no decisions about your life so the years will progress and not just pass.