My latest and faviouritest book is Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. I have the audio version and am on my third listen. Which is no small feat as it’s a monstrous book.
The book is crazy famous and has been used by countless athletes, actors, CEOs, entrepreneurs, coaches etc…
For those who don’t know, Psycho Cybernetics is the father of self help books. Its topics include self image, emotional state, action quota, decision making, success mechanisms, happiness, visualisation and I don’t even know what else. It is literally like 5 books in one. Each time I have listened to it, it has been like whole book of new information.
It is one of those books that will resonate with you differently depending on where in life you are. This is why I think so many people go through it multiple times. It’s like reading a different book the next time around.
One of the topics that stuck with me this time around was the topic of decision making. I wrote here how important decisions are and how much of a dramatic impact they can have on your life.
Maxwell Maltz goes into decision making in great detail. Here are some of the takeaways:
Making a decision
Making a decision is incredibly important. While you should use the information you have to assess the pros and cons of a decision you should not dwell on it too long. Decisiveness is one of the strongest traits of any leader and is a key hiring characteristic for management in the corporate world. Being able to quickly come to a decision, act on it and have others follow you creates motion instead of stagnation. Motion is the breeding ground for innovation, creativeness, success and happiness. Stagnation is the breading ground of doubt, lethargy, boredom and depression.
If you are thinking about doing something, decide if you are going to do it or not, then act on your decision.
Locking away the Decision
This brings me to the next point. Locking away a decision. Once you have made a decision, you need to lock it away in the ‘lock box’ as so famously quoted by US Vice President Al Gore. There is no use worrying or stressing over whether or not you made a correct decision after you have made that decision. Once the decision is made, you should completely detach yourself from the outcome of the decision and just work on taking action. All analysis and concern should be done before the decision is made, not after.
If you spend time thinking about whether or not the decision was the correct one is that going to help you achieve your goal?
Worrying and stressing about the ‘correctness’ of your decision is a stupid waste of time, energy and emotional state.
Making the Correct Decision
In his lectures to business leaders, Maltz quotes a few cogent remarks from his attendees:
“Dr. Maltz, the truth is that there are few inherently right decisions or wrong decisions. Instead, we make decisions, then make them right. That’s what leadership is all about.”
“You can always correct a poor decision, but if you do nothing, you can never get the time back.”
As stated above, worrying about whether your decision was the right one or not is not only stupid, but it increases the chances that the decision will end up as the wrong one.
If you decide to start a project, but spend all your days worrying if it will be successful or not instead of working hard to create the output necessary to complete the project, you are creating the result of a poor decision.
Whereas if you had decided you are going to start a project and work five hours a day for the next two weeks on it and not worry whether or not it will be successful, you are creating the results of a completed project which has a higher chance of being the correct decision.
You can significantly alter the outcome of your decision helping to determine its success factor.
Moral of the story
If you’re thinking about doing something, decide and move on. If it turns out you made the wrong decision, make a new decision and move on. Don’t stay in a state of limbo and don’t worry about if you are making the correct decision. Worst case scenario you fail. Who gives a fuck! NEXT.