Originally published 9-22-13
What happens when you make good decisions?
What happens when you make amazing decisions? Amazing things.
Obvious? Yes. Easy? No.
About a year and a half ago I heard, “Amazing can’t go everywhere average goes.” Right away, the words appealed to my competitive nature. “Huh? Amazing can’t go everywhere average goes.” The words ran across my brain like a screen saver in slow motion. “Amazing -- can’t -- go -- everywhere –average -- goes.”
I wrote it down and posted it on my dashboard, office wall and computer. Post-its abound! I looked at it over and over and over, until it sank in.
I’d ask myself, “Do you want to make amazing choices or average choices?” That’s easy, amazing of course! I presumed that amazing choices would beget amazing results and average choices beget average results. I added this new tool to my tool kit and I was off. I trained myself to question, “Is this decision amazing or average?”
As a result, in part because I am almost obsessed with constantly improving, (A rose is growing or dying, right?), for the last year and half, my ability to make amazing decisions is on the up! I used to rate a 2.5 out of 5 stars, now I think my decisions are a solid 4 stars!
It was around 11pm on a Sunday, B.G. (before Guapo), and the ink had just finished drying on my computer Post-it when a text came through on my phone. It was from a guy named, T for Trouble. The subtext of the text was, “I’ve been drinking all day! Let’s hang out!” My first thought was, “Sweet! He does like me!” My second thought was, “He can’t like me that much, and he’s got to be drunk to call.” My third thought was, “Would saying yes be an amazing decision?” I knew that saying yes to hanging out with him would be an average decision at best and I’d get, you guessed it, average results. I knew I’d end up regretting it, the way I always end up regretting eating 3 slices of vanilla cake. The amazing decision would be to say, “No thanks.” While preparing for a more boring of a Sunday night, I reluctantly said “No.” My good decision making muscle was weak, but I knew it would get stronger.
A few months later I was well into my amazing vs. average decision making when I found out that someone in my circle had been lying to straight to my face. I was shocked and confused and really hurt. “How could she?!” I was so taken back that this person had lied to me for so long, I just wanted answers. ALL I wanted to do was call her and confront her, but I never did. Gnashing my teeth to powder I knew the average decision would be to confront her about it. The amazing decision would be to be thankful for the good parts of our friendship and walk away. I chose amazing but it wasn’t easy! I still think about it from time to time and continue to choose amazing. Sometimes, you have to make the amazing decision over and over! I’ve still never brought it up and as a bonus I sincerely wish her well.
My good decision making muscle was finally starting to get into the groove when I decided to pack my bag and go the pool this July. As I walked up to the entryway I could see that the line was long and winding and moving at a glacial pace. Sweat was dripping from my eyebrows. I tasted like salt. I could see the blue pool was within 100 yards, but it was going to take 100 minutes to get there. I was boiling both in temperature and attitude. Every time I looked at the attendant, he was pre-occupied with his cell phone. I wanted to give him a piece of my mind. HALT! An average decision would be to fly off the handle, “If this jerk clerk would just stop texting and learn some math I could enjoy the pool!” An amazing decision would be to take a deep breath, be thankful for the neighborhood pool and move on. I wiped the sweat off my untamed eyebrows and took a step forward. “Next please.”
I have found that even if it takes all your strength to make an amazing decision, you will reap the benefits. It’s like the universe says, “Okay, Julie’s got that level covered; let’s promote her to the next one!” There are privileges that come with good judgment and good decision making skills.
We are confronted with hundreds of choices a day. Don’t react out of habit. Make an effort to rescript your thoughts. Before you make a move, ask yourself if it’s an amazing move or an average move? Will your choice getting closer to the person you want to be? If the answer is yes, then proceed. If the answer is no, stop. Your ability to make amazing choices is a muscle; you have to work on making it stronger. In order to grow, in order to find what’s at the end of the rainbow, you have to make amazing decisions even when it’s not convenient.
Know that you deserve the life you want and you are the only person capable of making it happen. Craft the life that you want, one amazing decision at a time.