Seven Words to Change Your Life: Are You Ready to Make a Decision?
Kimberly Anne Evans spent her life using food as a friend, confidant and comforter. She estimates now that she ate about 9,000 calories a day. When she was 39 years old, her weight was 347 pounds, and she knew that she was slowly killing herself with food. Then a friend loaned her a DVD of The Phantom of the Opera.” She was moved by the Phantom’s status as an outcast, craving human contact and love.
“Gerard Butler’s portrayal of the Phantom changed my life,” she said on the Today Show. “His talent woke me up from my food coma. From that moment on, my soul was alive.”
Kimberly had never dieted before, but in the two years that followed, Kimberly completely changed her eating and exercise habits. Today, she weighs 136 pounds, and is living a full life at last.
What made the difference for Kimberly? Are there subliminal messages embedded in the DVD version of the Phantom? Does Gerard Butler have some magical power over food-addicted women? Are the tones and harmonies of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s music so rich that a person loses all interested in the satisfaction of food?
It’s as simple as this: Kimberly made a decision.
In this series of blogs, I’m telling you about the Seven Words To Change Your Life, and today’s word is “Decision.” This is a powerful word, because it signifies a change in the direction you’re headed, and even, in a very real sense, who you are. If you’re defined at all by your purpose, you redefine yourself by setting on a course of action. A decision can literally change your life.
Making a decision can be frightening because you can’t be sure of the outcome. But failing to make a decision is a decision in itself, and can often lead to the worst possible outcome. So accept that you can’t know everything, and then consider the following steps to make the best possible decision:
- Gather good information. You can’t know everything, but get all the reliable information that you can.
- Have an endpoint to gathering information. At some point you have to take what you know and simply go with it.
- Ask yourself what options you actually have. If you remember, last week we talked about how there are often more choices than you realize. In decision making, make sure that you see all the options as well before embarking on a course of action.
- Explore the alternatives: Go there, touch it, try it. If you’re considering relocating, visit the possible new location and allow enough time to really get a sense of it. If you’re considering changing vendors, hire the new vendor for a small job on a temporary basis to get a sense of how they work.
- Be prepared to make revisions and corrections. You don’t know all the information, but more information may come after you’ve made your decision. Accept course corrections as part of the journey, instead of assuming that you somehow failed or made the wrong decision initially.
- If you learn later that another decision might have given you a better outcome, don’t allow yourself to feel like a failure. Learn what you can from the experience and move on.
Once you’ve made your decision, you, like Kimberly, can change your life and move forward on your journey toward success as you define it without constantly second guessing yourself. As Kimberly said, “You know it’s going to take a long time, but you’re so happy throughout it . . . the happiness is there through the whole thing.”
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