The legendary Jocko Willink says that Discipline Equals Freedom. I take this to mean that accepting and embracing discipline and structure in your life will take away the need for willpower as well as paralysis by analysis and procrastination.
In recent days, I’ve been feeling good and I think it’s down to making decisions, quick decisions and good decisions about things big and small.
Deciding yesterday in a Waterloo pub that I’d book us in for lunch in 25 minutes in St. John and Uber it there was pretty good. (Angelique seemed to like the decisiveness)
And today, we took inspiration from my sister and decided to sell our flat and buy a bigger one. It’s a decision we’ve put off and off, but having made it in 5 minutes of discussion in the car on the way to dim sum with my Dad, was decisive for sure.
Of course, it’s nothing like an Obama-sized decision but for me, someone is probably quite indecisive (although I wouldn’t like to call myself that, who would?!), making decisions quickly has been liberating.
If you’re not decisive, you’re probably weighing up all your options before making a decision.
But, paradoxically and counter-intuitively, umming and ahhing is the wrong thing to do.
Think about an easy decision, one where the options are just so obviously imbalanced, where one is great and the other is bad. In that case, you just pick the great one in no time at all.
But where the options are more balanced like on a wine list or menu, then you might um and ah, taking your time over the decision and weighing up the lost pleasures of the option you pass over. In cases where the options are finely balanced, then there’s not much to choose between the options and you should just plump for one. Don’t waste time and mental energy faffing over the decision.
Where the decisions are much bigger like should you move house, change careers, end a relationship, move countries, the pros and cons feel so complex that you don’t make any decision at all. Hopefully, the decision gets made for you or you happen to end up with the right outcome just by having not made any decision at all.
That’s pretty shit though isn’t it? Passively bumbling through, feeling paralysed by the options. No wonder you don’t feel liberated most of the time. Like me, you’re not captaining the ship. That ship is the most important ship of all: you.
What’s exhilarating about making a decision is that you are saying to yourself that YOU are in control. YOU are committing to this course of action. That there’s nothing more to be said.
Decisiveness equals freedom.