Deb Sofield

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You don’t need more time, you just need to decide

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“You don’t need more time, you just need to decide” – Seth Godin

I don’t know about you, but I always need more time – a few more hours in my day. I know we all have the same 24 hours, but, for some reason, I lose a few and end up running late or behind schedule much more than I like. And that’s a problem, since I have no patience for those who are chronically late. It’s my pet peeve, and yet I do it also.

I saw this statement online the other day from Seth Godin, and, in my opinion, Seth has really been a great voice in the business world for common sense ideas and strategies for success. Well, Seth Godin says this, “you don’t need more time, you just need to decide”.

Don’t you hate it when the obvious is stated? Because he’s right– you know you don’t need more time, you just need to decide.

The problem for so many of us is that we hate to make a decision, and we do that because we think that another opportunity might somehow, very possibly, maybe one day come up that might be better, so we think, “Why close a door, when something else might happen,” and although that sounds good, rarely does it work out that way, and, if it does (by some amazing feat), well, that’s a long time coming and you know it.

I would venture a guess that little to nothing else big comes along while you are waiting, and then you’ve missed the opportunity that was right there before you–in your grasp, in your sight, in your hands waiting to be dealt with. The quote is right, most of us just need to make a decision today and deal with the options later, if they come at all.

As much as I’d like to focus on the issue of time today, I’m going to set that aside and talk about the idea of making a decision, and why that is so important for your success in your personal life and your professional life.

Years ago I coined the phrase that leadership is about making a decision and sticking with it, and the reason I came up with that is that it has happened one too many times when I am at a conference and they don’t start on time, because we are standing around waiting for another speaker to show up, the coffee to be delivered or the handouts to be printed, which ultimately blows the schedule off course, all because the leadership of the event was not strong enough to make a decision to start on time.

Admittedly, there is nothing that chips me off more than people who will not make a decision to make something happen; I hear the excuses all the time.

They say, “I need more time to think about it.”  Really, some of you have been thinking about it for years, and you still haven’t made a decision; or I often hear that people can’t get to it right now, because they are so busy doing other “important things” that keep piling up in front the hard decision they need to make, so they don’t make the time to get it done; or my all-time favorite excuse is that they need to pray about it some more. Let’s just be honest–some of you keep praying because you’re not getting the answer you want, so let me remind you, dear friend, that if it’s out of His will, it’s not going to change, no matter how much time you take praying for something that is not right for you. Friend, you don’t need more time, you just need to decide to trust that all things work together for good.

Another problem with not making a decision and waiting around is you never know what you’ve lost in the interim, at a conference, if you’re not careful, the audience will leave or wander off to other events that are more well run and on time. And that is so unfair to the speakers who have worked hard to create an amazing presentation that now needs to be cut short to make up for the organization’s disorganization that has pushed back the schedule and now has everything running late.

For a job that could provide a great opportunity while you’re still thinking about it, taking more time than necessary to fully vet your opportunity (because you didn’t put much forethought into your future plans and where you wanted to go) means that now you’re pushed to the wall to make a decision fast. And while you’re hoping for a better offer, more money or a different title, someone else will fill the space, take your job and move into what would have been your new corner office, because they made a decision to move when the opportunity presented itself.

In your personal life, some of you are running out of time with making life-changing decisions for your health. You keep gaining weight and you’re becoming depressed about your size or how bad you feel physically, emotionally or mentally; or you’re not taking your medicine, because you’re being lazy about being disciplined to take it on a regular basis; or not eating your vegetables and drinking enough water, because 5 Guys Burgers and Fries are a whole lot better tasting than foods that are good for your body.

And for some, you need to make a decision today to honor your spouse or your kids. Time will not wait for you to say the words they need to hear–I love you, I’m sorry, I’ll make this right, we’ll do this together, I value your opinion, you mean the world to me, you make me proud to be your father or mother. Trust me, kids need to hear your words of affirmation more than they let on, and I can pretty much guarantee your life will improve, if you would say kind and loving words to your spouse. Come on, make the decision to speak up, because you don’t need more time to do the right thing, say the right thing and be the right kind of person, you just need to decide to do it.

I love the power of the words – you just need to decide. Some of you need to decide on some issues that you’ve put on the back burner, hoping by some miracle that it will solve itself. Come on, you know that is not going to happen. You have to make a decision, and then stick with it, if it is what is right for you or your family.

You need to pull out that issue that is weighing heavy upon you, and make a list of the pros and cons. Some listening today need to slow down, sit down, and get down to work on answering the question of what will we gain or what will we lose, if we go in this direction. And I strongly encourage you to find a way to involve those who your decision will affect. I know you’re the parent, boss; leader, but, by bringing the team along, they will stand firm with you when the winds of adversity blow.

I know that we all think we need more time, and sometimes we do, but make sure you ask yourself, why? Why do you need more time, when you’re pretty sure you know what the outcome will be? Why are you prolonging the pain, if you know how to end the suffering? Why are you not making plans now to get things done that have been waiting for you to make a decision?

Besides the fear of failure, which 9 times out of 10 is not true or fatal; besides the personal issue of indecision, which at this age is ridiculous that you can’t make a decision; besides the work it will take, let’s think about why you are not making the decisions you need to be making.

Yes – that was the sound of silence on the radio, because there is no good reason. You just need to decide. Stop being lazy–no one is going to do this for you. You need to step up and get going, because time is wasting.

And let me give you my final reason you need to get going, because you will never be this age again–you won’t have the strength tomorrow you have today. Life happens, and, when you pick up the pieces, you are going to wish that you had started earlier, back when you had the time, the strength, and the energy.

Friend, you don’t need more time–you just need to decide. And I think this weekend would be a great time to do just that. Come on, let’s get started.

Deb Sofield

Deb Sofield is a Keynote Speaker, Author of the book, Speak without Fear – Rock Star Presentation Skills to get People to Hear What You Say and Encouragement For Your Life ~ Tough Love Memos to Help You Fight Your Battles and Change the World, Radio Talk Show Host in the Salem Network, Podcaster and President of her own Executive Speech Coaching Co., which trains women and men for success in speaking, crisis communications, presentation skills, media and message development in the U.S. and abroad.

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