Decision Making

Our decisions regarding what we want to accomplish is strongly influenced by what we believe we can accomplish and what we are ready to commit our energies to seriously pursue. Our decisions are successful, when they fulfill all the essential conditions.

There are four types of decisions:

  1. Decisions that are directly fulfilled.
  2. Decisions that are difficult to begin acting upon, but are ultimately accomplished.
  3. Decisions that get off to a good start, but ultimately fail to achieve.
  4. Decisions that are a failure from start to finish.

These four situations can be graphically represented by the four quadrants below:

Quadrant I: This quadrant applies to instances in which all the essential requirements for fulfillment of the decision are met. These requirements consist of external conditions as well as inner psychological conditions. If you decide to climb Mt. Everest, learning the essential skills of mountain-climbing is an external requirement. Having the inner courage, fortitude and determination to face the challenge and persevere are internal requirements. Where both inner and outer conditions are fulfilled, success is assured and it will come readily.

Quadrant II: This quadrant applies to instances in which all the essential inner requirements are met, but the outer requirements are lacking. Such decisions get off to a slow start, encounter many obstacles on the way, but ultimately end in success. This is in consonance with the teaching of The Secret that psychological conditions are of paramount importance, not external realities. When you choose a goal for which you are not outwardly prepared and qualified, it takes time for the inner aspiration to bring about the necessary conditions.

Quadrant III: This quadrant applies to instances in which all the essential external requirements are met, but the inner requirements are lacking. Such decisions usually get off to a good start, but ultimately end in failure. A person with sufficient knowledge, skill and experience in mountain-climbing, connections with people who organize treks and sufficient funds to outfit themselves properly may find it relatively easy to commence preparations for the conquest of Mt. Everest. But if they do not also fulfill the inner conditions - if they lack the emotional fortitude, the self-confidence, the faith in other people, the patience to wait for suitable conditions, etc. - their enterprise is likely to stall even in the formative stage and even the attempt may never be made.

Quadrant IV: This quadrant applies to instances in which both the essential inner and outer requirements are lacking. There are situations where neither the outer nor the inner is ready. It is like the longing of one for a house who is intimidated inwardly by that suggestion and outwardly can never complete all the requirements.

When The Secret says that anyone can achieve anything, it only means that wherever a person's decision falls in the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th quadrants, following the methodology of The Secret will enable the person to move into the first quadrant, where failure is unknown. Mental concentration on the goal, releasing one's emotional energy to achieve it, attuning oneself to the external environment, feeling cheerful, having faith and expressing gratitude are powerful methods for advancing from any of the lower quadrants by moving inwardly to make life respond.

Decisions make life respond

Periodically we have a vision of that which we would like to accomplish, come about, or become. Just because we think it so doesn't make it so; for a thought, even a powerful one, in and of itself does not accomplish. If I want to take my company in a new direction, it may be a very worthy thing, but it doesn't make it happen. However, when there is the will for it to occur, then accomplishment is more readily made possible. If I am now determined to see the business move in that new direction, then accomplishment is more likely to occur. This is of course just common sense.

The mental vision of a thing and the vital will to make it happen in combination represent our aspiration and intention. When we carry out our aspiration through a determined, persevering effort, then accomplishment is all but inevitable. When I make the effort to physically carry out my decision to take my firm in a new direction, I tend to rapidly move towards its achievement. Again, this only seems logical.

This is, in essence, the process by which all accomplishment occurs: it is the process of creation. Vision, intention, and physical effort carried out through skilled action lead to creation and achievement in life. It is not only the process by which an individual accomplishes, but is also the process by which all achievement occurs in life -- be it a business, an organization, or any other collective or entity. It is even the method by which the universe came into being from a Divine Source.

Having said this, I would like to suggest that it is possible to accomplish without actually initiating physical action! It can happen merely by making a decision. That is, the intensity of a decision to accomplish a goal can be so great that it can literally attract sudden good fortune! This is because making a decision is an exercise of will, a psychological effort, a form of inner action.

In Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, Mr. Bennet, the father of five daughters, finds himself in a terrible predicament. His youngest daughter Lydia has run off with a scoundrel, threatening to scandalize and therefore ruin his family. After anguishing over the matter, he realizes that it has been his past neglect in rearing his children that has led to the current dilemma. As a result, there wells up in him a deep aspiration to change his ways. That in turn leads to his firm decision to deeply involve himself in bringing up his daughters in the future. As a result, life quickly responds in overwhelming fashion. He soon learns that the crisis has most unexpectedly been resolved! The scoundrel has agreed to marry the runaway girl. As if by magic, the ruination of his family is avoided.

How did this happen? In essence, life had responded to his powerful decision by bringing forth a positive response from life. Even though he never got round to physically acting on his decision, the decision itself released energies that moved across space and time, and aligned with related energies and circumstances that were decidedly in his favor. It is an indication of the subtle but powerful relationship that exists between our inner condition and the world around us. If you change your consciousness within, life outside yourself tends to suddenly respond with circumstances that are in your favor. Making a decisive decision can make life respond in this way.

Once you have seen this phenomenon at work even once in your life, it can change your view of reality forever. You begin to understand that you can attract the infinite possibilities of life to your doorstep by making the right inner adjustments of consciousness -- whether the change of a wanting attitude, taking to a necessary action, or, as we saw here, by moving from indecision to decision. The results are a wonder to behold!