There is a distinct line separating accountable and non-accountable behavior. Above the line means you recognize and understand your emotions so to manage your behavior in a way that creates positive habits. Below the line means you are ruled by your emotions and often make excuses or blame others.
Above the line actions and thinking create self-awareness. This allows a person to actively choose what he/she “says” and “does,” how they manage their reactions to situations and people.
Below the line actions and thinking create ignorance. This causes a person to play victim and avoid accountability for that which they do control.
We all go the below the line from time to time. In doing so you become hyper-focused on what we cannot do versus what we can do. We only see the obstacles, not the available options we have to achieve the results we want. The key is not staying stuck here.
“It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do.” ― Elbert Hubbard
This brings me to “the power behind decisions.”
Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the book Decisive, believe that a normal decision process has four steps: (1) We encounter a choice. (2) We analyze our options. (3) We make a choice. (4) We live with it and make changes as necessary.
Seems simple, however there are competing forces that afflict each stage: (1) We encounter a choice but narrow mindedness makes us miss better options. (2) We analyze our options but *confirmation bias has us gather self-serving information. (3) We make a choice but our emotions often lead us to make the wrong one. (4) We live with it but become so overconfident that we refuse to make changes even in the face of failure.
Be strong in your decision making process. Deactivate narrow-mindedness and widen your options. Counteract confirmation bias by testing your assumptions against opposing views. Create distance from your emotions by taking time to think on things. Lastly, prepare to change course when/where necessary.
Starting planning for 2015 TODAY! After all, the future of tomorrow will grow from the seeds we plant today.