Key To Success

What do you do when you come across a key to success in a book you're reading? You ponder over it. Since I read many books and come across many keys, I thought it would be fun to share the ideas that arise as I contemplate a key to success. Reading is not just about absorbing information, it's also about contemplating, allowing the ideas to blossom within, and nurturing a seed tossed in the rich soil of the inner garden.

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

I got my Master's degree in psychotherapy more than a decade ago. Since then I've studied the human condition with fascination. Over the years, I've learned a singular lesson: your life does not work when you oppose your soul nature. If you want a magical life, you have to drop your inauthentic transactions with the world. You discover your own power when you spend time alone to figure out what you really love to do.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

How Decisions Shape Your Destiny

The decisions you have made have shaped your destiny. Some have turned out well, some poorly, and the result of all those decisions is who you are today.

Decisions are made when you make a choice and cut yourself off from any other possibility. It is when you choose to move in one direction and not in any other possible direction. It is the cut-off point. It is a commitment to one particular action.

The word "decision" comes from the Latin roots "de" which means "from" and "caedere" which means "cut off." Thus, you cut-off from any other possibility.

Each decision creates a selection of actions which then produce results.

The power of your decisions is what moves your life forward or holds it back from fuller expression. A proactive choice is a momentum-building decision. A reactive choice is an inertia-sustaining decision. Even not deciding and letting conditions control you is a decision.

It is during your moments of proactive decision and the desire to sustain that decision that creates all that is good and worthy in your life.

At any moment, for example, you can decide to pursue higher education, find a better job, discover the love of your life, or improve your health. You can decide on any number of things to upgrade the quality of your life. You can also decide to stick with that choice until you get what you want.

On the other hand, it is during your moments of reactive decision and the desire to not commit to anything that creates all that is frustrating in your life.

You can decide not to do any of the things that can improve your life. You can also decide to start something and not finish it when you meet the first sign of opposition.

Often when we make a positive and proactive decision, we feel discouraged because we do not know how to accomplish our goal.

Yet deciding is what is important. The way will be found. Like the military leader Hannibal who was faced with the decision of whether or not to cross the Alps, you can make the declaration to either find a way or make a way.

Hannibal Barca (247 BC – c. 183 BC] was one of the best known Carthaginian commanders. His most illustrious accomplishment was at the eruption of the Second Punic War, when he marched an army, which included war elephants, from Iberia over the Pyrenees and the Alps into northern Italy. When faced by the formidable Alps, he said, "We will either find a way or make a way."

If you have that same stubborn, willful attitude about your decisions, there is nothing that can stop you from having anything that you want.

Decisions are made for one of two reasons. We either wish to experience more pleasure or we wish to avoid pain.

Proactive decisions, decisions to upgrade any aspect of your life, are a movement toward pleasure. You can imagine the pleasure of having more of what you now lack.

Reactive decisions, decisions to keep putting up with poor conditions, is a movement toward avoiding pain. You can imagine the pain of pushing up against a threatening force. The pain of changing is greater than the pain of staying where you are right now. You prefer the devil that you know over the devil that you don't know.

You are always making decisions. The question is are you making proactive or reactive decisions. The best way to find out is to ask yourself what you are focusing on, what things mean, and how your actions will impede or improve your life.

Your life is a series of decisions, one after another, and it is the wisdom of your choices that determines the quality of your life. If you are not currently enjoying your life, you can decide right now to look for what it is that you desire and decide to upgrade the way you are approaching things.

When you can make decisions to remove pain and increase pleasure, then you will have discovered how the power of your decision can shape your destiny.

Your life will really begin to expand in a positive way when, through experience, you are able to make distinctions between decisions that are proactive or reactive, pleasurable or painful, life-enhancing and life-defeating, and momentum-building or inertia-sustaining.

Resource Box

Saleem Rana is a psychotherapist in Denver, Colorado. If you're up to the challenge and want to create the kind of freedom and lifestyle you truly deserve - starting now - then get his free book from


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