A few days ago I spoke to a young entrepreneur who was wrestling with a very tough decision regarding the future of their business. Interestingly, the company was doing very well but changes needed to be made to enable a different career path and healthier family life. They decided to sell the business. As we discussed the big decision they had just made, I encouraged them to pause to write down the reasons why they made the decision and keep this document for future reference. Why is this practice of “preserving clarity” so important? It provides…
Strength in Adversity: Big choices come with big consequences…some of them make life easier, but most of them present new challenges and difficulties. As you work through them, it’s easy to get mired in the “daily grind” and become discouraged (i.e. clarity doesn’t last). Referencing the list helps you persevere, by reminding you of “the why” and enabling you to rise above the clouds, restoring your view of the real purpose and original motivation.
Direction for Implementation: Big choices don’t “just happen” once you make them. They require careful planning and execution to achieve the desired outcome. To make sure you’re really getting this outcome, frequently refer back to the list to make sure your plans and execution stay aligned and are not compromised by the powerful under-toe of “going with the flow.”
Trigger for Change: A big change you make today is likely to be modified, or even completely changed, as you go through seasons of life or phases of organizational maturity (remember, a healthy life is about change). Having a detailed list of the reasons for your decision will help you know if (and when) the reasons are no longer valid and trigger you to make the next change (= decision) to achieve your purpose.
So, if you’ve just made a big decision, are anticipating one, or are living with the consequences of one, take advantage of that “moment of clarity” to write down exactly the reasons why you made it. While it might seem obvious to you now, having it available in writing will pay rich dividends in your ability to persevere, stay focused and make the right future decisions.
Can you give examples where reminding yourself of the reason for a decision helped you in one of the above areas? Thanks for sharing your experience to make it come alive.
Picture: Robert Couse-Baker via Compfight