How to Make Things Happen?

The secret to getting things done isn’t careful planning or taking lots of time.


In fact, it’s quite the opposite.


Case in point: I heard a surprising story that completely changed the way I think about decisions.


It was about one of General Norman Schwarzkopf’s mentors, who was faced with a serious military decision in regards to the politics of the war that had to be made.


There were two possible choices, both of which his predecessors had been “studying” for the previous 10 years.


When presented with both options, it took him just 30 seconds to decide, even though he didn’t understand most of the information he was given.


“This has been a decision that no one’s been willing to make for 10 years.

The best minds have been on it and they can’t decide, so you know what? We need to pick one and do it.

…If I’m wrong we’ll find out quicker, and if I’m right the job will be done.” 


The reason I love this story is that it proves, it’s not the decision-making process itself that takes time. It’s how we go about it.


Trying to make a decision using the same techniques and tools you would use to accomplish a complex task is like trying to pick up a fly with chopsticks.


You’re not going to get very far, no matter how much time you spend on the task.


If you want to make decisions quickly, do what the General did:



To summarise, here are some hints on how you may proceed:


Step 1: Get rid of all the information. Be willing to not take in any new data until you have an answer. You can always read more if you need it.


Step 2: Put yourself in a position where you are forced to move forward. If there’s too much wiggle room, you will keep putting off your decision. Create hard deadlines for yourself instead.


Step 3: Now that you have forced yourself into a position where you must act, ask yourself, “What would I do if I could not fail?”


 When we remove all of the excess information and put ourselves into a position where we can only succeed, we free up our minds and give them space to solve problems creatively.


This is one of the essential frameworks that research currently shows.


It is essential that you move forward instead of staying stuck.


But even now, you may face different decision problems.


The same old “What-ifs”… “What if this doesn’t work…”


So, you might be on the fence about whether or not to decide on a strategy to “Make it happen” today.


I conclude by quoting J. R. Rim: ‘ It’s not about making the right choice. It is about making a choice and making it right’.


The Periscope

Posted by on Oct 10 2022. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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