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Thinking Big Podcast

Jun 2, 2024

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Welcome back to another power-packed episode of the Thinking Big Podcast. I'm your host, Sean Osborn, and today we're diving into Step Seven of Napoleon Hill's classic, Think and Grow Rich.

This step is all about mastering decision-making and kicking procrastination to the curb. If you missed Steps One through Six, be sure to catch up because each step builds on the last, and trust me, you don't want to miss any of it.

The Crossroads of Decision

Picture this: you're standing at a crossroads. One path leads to success, the other to stagnation. The only thing standing between you and your dreams is a decision. Sounds dramatic, right? But that's exactly what Napoleon Hill emphasizes in Step Seven. He starts with a powerful statement: "Accurate analysis of over 25,000 men and women who had experienced failure disclosed the fact that lack of decision was near the head of the list of the 30 major causes of failure."

The Enemy of Procrastination

Procrastination, the nemesis of decision, is an enemy we must all conquer. Successful people are decisive. They make decisions promptly and change them very slowly, if at all. How often do you find yourself stuck in analysis paralysis, waiting for the perfect moment that never comes? We've all been there, waiting for the stars to align perfectly before we make a move.

Take Henry Ford, for instance. One of his most outstanding qualities was his decisiveness. Despite advice to change the Model T, he stuck with it, and that decision yielded massive success. Sure, he might have been a bit obstinate, but his firmness paid off. It's far better to be decisively obstinate than wishy-washy and ineffective.

Opinions are Cheap

In today's world, we're bombarded with information and opinions from social media, news outlets, and even our close friends and family. Hill warns us against being influenced by the opinions of others, calling them "the cheapest commodity on earth." If you let them dictate your decisions, you'll never succeed.

The Power of Now

Procrastination is the polar opposite of decision. We've all put off tasks, delayed decisions, and waited for the right time. But here's the cold, hard truth: there is no right time. There is only now. When should you start? Now. When should you do it? Now. Not tomorrow. Start now. Do it now. The only time you have is right now.

Hill gives us powerful examples of decisive actions that shaped history, like Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, Socrates choosing to drink poison rather than compromise his beliefs, and the signing of the Declaration of Independence. These were courageous leaps of faith that changed the course of history.

Building the Decision-Making Muscle

Every choice you make shapes your future. The ability to decide quickly and firmly is a muscle you need to build. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. Hill provides timeless advice:

  1. Keep your own counsel: When making decisions, seek facts and information quietly. Be selective about whom you confide in.
  2. Listen more, talk less: People who talk too much often miss opportunities to accumulate useful knowledge.
  3. Commit to your decisions: Once you decide, stick to it. Change your decisions very slowly, if at all.

Practical Tips for Decision Making

Set deadlines for yourself to prevent procrastination. Weigh the pros and cons to make the decision-making process more structured. Trust your gut. Often, our instincts are more reliable than we give ourselves credit for. I'd rather trust my gut, take action, and learn from it if it's wrong than procrastinate and make no decision at all.

In our age of information overload, it's easy to get lost in endless research. At some point, you have to pull the trigger. Or as my dad used to say, "Sean, you need to shit or get off the pot."

Embracing Risk and Learning from Failure

Every significant decision comes with risk. Evaluate them, but don't let them paralyze you. Not every decision will be a home run. Learn from your mistakes and keep moving forward. Build a support system. Surround yourself with a mastermind group that provides valuable feedback and encouragement.

In modern life, courage and decision-making might mean starting that new business, leaving a secure job for a more fulfilling path, or making a lifestyle change for better health. These decisions require guts and courage, but they can lead to extraordinary outcomes.

Be Crystal Clear and Expect Success

Define your goals clearly. Plan strategically by breaking down your goals into actionable steps. Approach your decisions with a success mindset. Expecting positive outcomes increases your chances of achieving them.

Think about your career. Are you in a job because you chose it, or did you just fall into it? Make a definite decision about where you want to be and take actionable steps toward it. Decisiveness can open doors you never thought possible.

Connect with Sean Osborn at Thinking Big Coaching