Why Teaching Kids How To Make Quick Decisions is Important to their Happiness and not Just Their Future Success

I just made a quick decision.

Throw your hands up in the air, wave ‘em like you just don’t care.

Yes, I’m celebrating. Why? I never learned how to make quick decisions. Instead, I’m a natural analyzer and a worrier.

Oops, I need to rewrite that.

I was a natural analyzer and a natural worrier. I am turning over a new leaf and words have power. So let me use my words here with the utmost care.

For some, maybe making decisions is super simple. Easy, in fact, and if that’s you, well, you suc-I mean, rock!

Good on you.

I wasn’t like that, naturally, and I have seen more and more students completely unable to make decisions in their everyday life.

Adults, too.

This is a problem.

Life is nothing but a series of choices or decisions.

And we have to take responsibility for making them and even for not making them.

Here’s an example of not making a quick decision and what it cost me.

Last year, I got in a funk.

I’d sold my tutoring business, followed a childhood dream to a small island where I planned to write, renovate a 100+-year-old cottage and work on my online work (including classes, courses and tutoring).

Well, it was glorious and wonderful and a dream come true.

And then it wasn’t.

Things with my contractor fell apart.

I waited more than eight months for said contractor who was “clearing up his busy schedule” even as he took on job after job around the island. The island’s not the big… I see you, boo!

I lived in a construction zone for nearly a year before making a decision to actively find someone new and to take responsibility.

But my indecision and lack of ability to make a decision, let alone a quick one, didn’t end there. Nope.

I felt lost in what to write and I spent time debating everything.

Fiction. Non-fiction. Ghostwriting. Collaboration. With whom? On what topics?

I waited for inspiration before I wrote a word, a sentence and guess what? I didn’t end up writing much.

For the life of me, I couldn’t make a decision.

For the life of me, I was looking outside myself for answers.

To coaches, to friends, to my Frenchman, to people who simply weren’t even qualified to have their opinion considered, yet they’d give it.

And it would spin in my head.

And spin.

And spin.

And, yep, spin.

Sometimes it’s simply about doing something.

Making a decision and taking a step.

Even if wrong, a decision is better than not deciding.

And the word wrong is even wrong as no decision is quote-end-quote wrong. A decision is just that - a decision. It simply is. We either give it an interpretation tom deem it right or wrong. Or heaven forbid, do nothing out of fear that we’ll make the wrong choice!

We learn that decisions are wrong in school and by well-meaning friends or family as we grow up.

And guess what? They were wrong about their being a wrong decision!

Anyone wanna say oxymoron? Love that word!

With action comes clarity.

And boy, do I understand that line. In fact, I’ve lived it in the past, yet how easy it was to forget.

Here’s what I mean.

Back in 2009, I had an idea for a program to help people who wanted to tutor start a 5 or 6-figure tutoring business on a part-time schedule and on a shoestring budget.

I launched that program in June of 2012, after taking massive action in the span of ten days.

Why did I wait more than three years to get that program out?

I listened to others, not myself.

I heard a coach when she said she hated my brand.

I worried about how to do x, y and z instead of just doing something.

I focused on perfection instead of progress.

And ended up with nothing.

Until I finally made a decision that the time is now.

And when I decided the time is now, when I made a quick decision to put my program out there and took just the first step, then the next and the next to make it happen - it did.

In fact, I created, launched and sold the program to 25 awesome people all in 10 days.

How’s that for making a decision?

Finally!

We aren’t taught to do this in school. Decide.

We are taught to ask for permission.

We are conditioned that there is always more to learn before we do anything.

And yes, while there is always more to learn, that should never hold one back from taking action. From doing. From living.

Teaching this method of learn before you do is actually harmful.

Who was I waiting around for to give me permission to launch my program The Center 4 Learning Tutoring Business In a Box course?

The internet police?

A board of online educational judges?

No and no.

There was no one.

But as a “good” student, I was so very conditioned to wait for approval, to learn more and more still because I couldn’t possibly have enough knowledge yet to take action, that I forgot to live.

In 2012, imagine for a moment that this program profited more than $100K.

So, you could say I lost that same revenue in 2009, 2010, 2011…. That’s $300,000. Without any growth factored in. And if you do well and four years later are still rocking, well... .

Imagine if I told you that in 2013, the revenue doubled. $200K.

Imagine if I told you that in 2015, that revenue tripled. $600K.

Imagine if I told you that my inability to make quick decisions has cost me more than $1 million dollars in potential earnings in just one revenue stream - the above-mentioned course.

The numbers are right there, friend, and they stop at 2015.

I use this as an example simply because sometimes dollars hit home.

What has indecision cost you? In dollars? In time? In opportunity? In relationships?

I’d encourage you to look at your own life and your ability to make quick decisions.

When do you rock this?

When do you actually make decisions?

When do you hesitate?

Have you hit pause on something in your life currently because you can’t make a decision?

Whose permission are you waiting for?

What is it costing you?

Seriously, whip out a journal and write some answers to these Qs down. Just for you. Or jot a note in the comments below if you want to share.

What we do, we teach our children. Not to mention they’re learning this way of being in school.

Those who succeed, and success is not just about money, are able to make quick decisions.

It’s a skill set.

And, in my opinion, it’s more important that the Pythagorean Theorem - which I actually understood, kind of!

Now share what you think in the comments below. Remember the best conversations happen on Facebook and in the dialogue we create with each other.

So here’s your homework:

Share a time

  • when you made a quick decision and how it impacted your life.

  • when you failed to make a decision at all and what it ended up costing you.

The key here is not to feel bad about our lack of decisions in the past, but to acknowledge, become aware and create a new way of being.

That way of being, for me, and for those I teach, includes learning the importance of making quick decisions.

Feel an AMEN in your soul about this topic, hit the heart and like this post below.

And if you want to read up on the funk I was in that I mentioned above, because well, maybe you can relate, there are two posts you might find interesting and helpful:

What I Learned Taking A Year End Inventory Of Me and
What Losing Myself Looked Like (a two part series)

Education Lady | Jill Stevens

Educator. Writer. Life Long Learner. Jill has a passion to help the next generation and improve learning across the board. She’s here to change the world, one mind at a time. Right now she does that through words with purpose and by training up remarkable, rockstar tutors.