From drifting to thriving | The transformation of decision-making
I spend a lot of time thinking about how we can help our clients be more effective and achieve bigger and better results in their lives. I have always found it interesting how some people find decision-making effortless, and for others it’s a real struggle.
I had coffee with a friend Simon Bowen recently and he shared a thinking model with me that really was a BGO – (blinding glimpse of the obvious). I love BGO’s because they are a moment of clarity when all the dots join up and something I have been working on becomes simple.
I’m hoping these ideas may give you food for thought.
The clients we work with tend to be super effective people. They’re intentional, they take action and they make progress (that’s why our work is so much fun).
Sometimes at the beginning of a relationship, there’s some repair work to be done. This is true for many reasons, but all our clients are coachable, so over time they all become very effective decision-makers and set themselves on a path to success and prosperity.
When we think about the idea of being coachable, what I mean is that we are open to new ideas, and we’re not stuck in the past, or lost in the future.
What I have discovered is that how we think about our past, our present, and our future determines our effectiveness and our enjoyment.
We all know someone who spends all their time looking to the past. Fretting about lost opportunities and disappointments. It really must be exhausting for them.
If our past represents our hindsight, our present represents our insight; then the future must represent our foresight. Where and how we spend our thinking time really affects the outcomes we get.
Ineffective decision-makers (drifters) spend too much time thinking about the past. Researchers suggest that this group spends up to 30% of their time looking back with regret and blame, while the time they spend thinking about the future is focused on anxiety and hope.
For the drifters, the time they do spend in the present is spent in avoidance. Avoiding the regrets of the past and fretting about the anxieties of the future.
Effective decision-makers have much bigger futures because there are so many possibilities open to them. They are intentional, they consider their options, make decisions and take action. A great life is found in focusing on how to get the right things done, and always moving towards a better, bigger future.
None of this model is to say effective decision-makers don’t have upsets. The difference is that rather than dwelling on them, they focus on learning the lessons available.
So effective decision makers spend very little time in the past. They only go there to learn, and to reflect on past achievements.
They also spend very little time in the future, their sole reason for looking into the future is to dream and plan – to think about what needs to happen next. There’s very little anxiety attached to this time – there’s an expectation that good things will happen.
A massive 80% of their focus is in the present, but unlike the drifters, they are focused on getting things done and moving forward – each step in the direction of a bigger, more satisfying future.
It strikes me that this knowledge goes right to the core of how we help clients. Creating a clear vision for the future provides greater certainty and armed with this knowledge clients don’t need to worry about the future anymore. Drifting is turned into deliberate planning and action.
We also provide pathway certainty – a clear step-by-step plan of what needs to be done and when, ensure that decisions move from ad hoc or random, to robust.
Your true prosperity – whatever it means to you – is our biggest concern.