DECISIVENESS Decisiveness vs. Procrastination The ability to recognize key factors and finalize difficult decisions. The first step in defining what needs decisive action is putting your life on a priority list. What are the things that are a priority in your life? The problem in establishing this, is that you must be decisive in order to put your list together. A person that procrastinates will not put the list together, thus the priorities in their life are never defined or carried out. Priorities made simple: Life: We must survive. The number one priority is to maintain the best life that you can, so that you can help others. In a plane, the flight attendant will tell you that you must put the oxygen mask on yourself before you put it on your children. This is so you can think clearly enough to make good decisions for the rest of the people that you are responsible for. In order to be decisive on the decisions that you are making that include others, you must make sure that you are physically, mentally, spiritually, and socially capable of making these decisions. In order to do this, you must put as a priority the Spiritual, Physical, Mental, and Social being of yourself, while at the same time not getting the selfabsorbed, “It’s all about me” attitude. NOTE: Don’t sacrifice humility for decisiveness. Character qualities are all together under the same umbrella, as one character having many characteristics. More priorities: 1) Your spiritual, mental, physical and emotional needs. 2) Your family: their needs (which include job, etc.). 3) Your community: their needs. Making difficult decisions about the community when your family is falling apart is out of order. Thus, prioritize your decisions on your family so as to be an example to the community. This affects more people in the long run. Decisiveness is a character quality that can recognize key factors and finalize that difficult decision. The answers to these questions can help determine what these key factors are: 1) Is it wrong or right?(morally, legally, spiritually) 2) Who does it effect? 3) What is the goal of this decision? 4) Do you have all the facts? Some have a fear of making a decision because it may be the wrong one. Winston Churchill stated: “Success is never final; failure is never fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” Nothing can teach you like failure can. Decisions have to be made, and someone has to make them. When we know what is right and just, we must decide to make our decisions based on that truth and not just emotions. It will not always be comfortable, it will not always benefit you at that moment, but it is the right thing to do. If you procrastinate, you may never get the chance to have that moment again. Example This person had a difficult childhood, and less than one year of formal schooling. Failed in business in 1831 Defeated for the legislature in 1832 Again he failed in business in 1833 Elected to the legislature in 1834 His Fiancée died in 1835 He was defeated for speaker in 1838 He was again defeated for elector in 1840 Married to a wife who was a burden to him in 1842 Only one of his sons lived past the age of 18 Defeated for Congress in 1843 Elected to Congress in 1846 Defeated for Congress in 1848 Defeated for Senate in 1855 Defeated for Vice-President in 1856 Defeated for Senate in 1858 But elected President of the United States in 1860 This President was Abraham Lincoln. At any time he could have given up and procrastinated on his decisions to run for office. His discouragement alone from the defeats he endured could have kept him from deciding to go ahead towards his dream. He did not put off until tomorrow what he knew he needed to do today. He ended up being one of the best presidents that ever lived. Procrastination is putting off today what you may be able to do tomorrow. Anybody that brags about what they are going to do later, has more than likely been bragging for a long time about what they were supposed to accomplish today. Most of us sit in meetings talking about what we should be doing, but never making the decisions needed to accomplish it. Deciding to lose weight is a good subject to study. Most of the time that is all it is. There will be more people going on a diet tomorrow than all those that are on them today because they hope, but are not decisive about today. You keep putting it off while you are putting it on. All the kindness and love planned for tomorrow doesn’t do anything for today. Tell people you love them today; make a decision to give roses while the person is alive instead of procrastinating and then having to give them when they’re dead. Employer’s Bulletin. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can order someone else to do today. Some even put off procrastination for as long as they can get away with it. People that just want to sit around and wait for their ship to come in can’t even make the decision to go to the harbor. We call it lazy. The man that lets someone else make a decision for him will more than likely not get the thing he would have decided on himself. Opportunity flies by until you decide. The only thing that you will get by not making decisions, is old. Remember a reputation is built on things that you have done, not things that you want to do. Group: This exercise is to stretch your ability to make decisions fast in emergency cataclysmic events. It’s moving towards the end of the day and you have been at a church function where all these families have been helping to build the church in an open field. Kids and adults alike are there and all helped. Everyone is about to go home when a report comes over the radio of a nuclear attack. It is impossible for all these people to make it home in time and something must be done. Horns go off in the near by cities giving warning that seconds are left until impact. You are the pastor of the church and feel responsible for the safety of the congregation, so you must act fast. There is one bomb shelter on the property that has the food and supplies for ten people for 90 days underground. You must choose who will be in the shelter knowing that whoever is not in the shelter will more than likely die with millions of others. Your list of people that you have to choose from are all friends, and most like family. And you have seconds to choose knowing that the people trust you to make the best decision for them. Now you must dig deep for this character quality that God gave you to help you. Your list is: *Your parents who are over 70 years old. (2 people) *A newly married couple and she is pregnant. (possible 3 people) *A man that has a felony on his record, but just got his life in order. (1) *Your wife who has been sick for several years. (1) *Yourself, who is over 50 and very healthy. (1) *A young Sunday school teacher who has Diabetes. (1) *Three children 5,7,and 9 who came to serve water to the workers. (3) *A visiting neighbor who was the local E.M.T. (1) *The science teacher from the local school who is over 50. (1) *A young troubled youth with a “Mohawk” hair cut and an attitude. (1) *A young man who is a registered sex offender changing his ways. (1) Discuss why you picked your ten. How hard would this be?