Very often we make decisions without even thinking about the context in which we are making them. This can lead to some bad consequences. Are things going well? Are they going badly? Are you under a lot of stress? Remember there is good stress and bad stress. And bad stress is called “distress.”
When making decisions, especially the major ones we need to step back and understand where we are at.
Decisions When Things Aren’t Going Well
For the self-employed business owner, entrepreneur, solo professional, corporate executive or corporate manager decisions are made very often when things aren’t going well on a particular day. As a personal business coach I have observed how many times my clients and even myself have made major decisions on a day when things aren’t going well.
Small business success and growth are about the business owner’s ability to make good decisions. And to be successful whether you are starting your own business or running a small business requires that you make many good decisions.
What happens is that the decisions are made more to look for relief in the emotional valley instead of waiting for the clarity that comes from being on the mountaintop. Why does this happen? Because it takes a lot of effort to get to the mountaintop and when we are in the valley we won’t put in the energy necessary for good decisions .
And as John Maxwell says, “…when you’re experiencing the darkness of the valley, it’s always tempting to make changes that you hope will relieve the discomfort.”
Decisions from the Mountaintop
Maxwell goes on to say the time to make decisions is when you are at the top of the proverbial mountain. Here’s why:
- You can see your situation more clearly
- You are moving to something, not just from something.
- You leave those around you in a better position.
- You decide using positive data, not negative
- You are more likely to move from peak to peak instead of valley to valley.
Decisions-When to Make Them
When you’re in the valley, the most important thing you can do is persevere. If you keep fighting, as Maxwell says in his book, The Difference Maker, “you will get a second wind.” It is said that only when runners are exhausted enough to reach that place do they find out what they can truly accomplish.
If you keep persevering while you are in the valley, not only will you likely make it to higher ground where you can make better decisions, but you will also have developed character which will serve you well throughout life.
Therefore, use the clarity of mountaintop moments to make major decisions.