Winning Words

When difficult times create easy decisions

Column by Michael Norton
Posted 3/18/20

People make new decisions based on new information. And sometimes, what we think are difficult decisions to make as we face a trying or challenging time, become much easier to make when we receive …

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Winning Words

When difficult times create easy decisions

Posted

People make new decisions based on new information. And sometimes, what we think are difficult decisions to make as we face a trying or challenging time, become much easier to make when we receive the right information and new data.

For the past few weeks, individuals, businesses of all sizes, organizations and schools have all wrestled with difficult decisions. Do I travel? Do I go to work? Do we restrict our people from coming to work? Do we place a ban on company travel? Do we cancel events and conferences? Do we not attend those events or conferences?

Those are all behavior-based decisions. Should we or shouldn’t we do or attend something? Just within the past two weeks many were still trying to minimize the outbreak or impact of the coronavirus. While some closings and events were canceled and people had no choice or decision to make about going somewhere or doing something like showing up to work or attending class, others still pressed on and went to concerts, conferences, work, and other events and gatherings where many people were together. They still made the decision to shake hands, give hugs, and live and work as they always did.

And these behavior-based decisions were sometimes made because people believed they had to do what they needed to do in order to survive and provide for their families. These were difficult decisions for many people, and they were difficult decisions made in the face of a difficult situation.

Then there was new information. Those behavior-based decisions were replaced with belief-based and knowledge-based decisions. The spread of the virus became a pandemic. The stock market went into a free fall. This all became very real for those who chose not to believe. Those of us who moved forward with our daily behaviors and work patterns now found ourselves making much easier decisions. It’s time to stay home, it’s time to keep a safe distance, it’s time to wash our hands more than we have ever washed them before. It’s time to let make better decisions for ourselves, our neighbors, and our businesses.

Here’s another belief-based decision we can make. It may seem harder for some and easier for others. We need to make the decision to maintain our mind, our body, and our spirit. In this difficult time, we need to make the easy decision to stay positive in every aspect of our lives. Our behavior-based decisions will now look and sound like this: I can work remotely and still be productive; I can use more virtual technology and not get on airplanes for a little while; I can keep learning and complete my classes online if I need to; and I can probably survive emotionally without giving out handshakes and hugs for a while.

Staying positive in a seemingly negative situation is a decision. And to do that we need to make sure that we are making new decisions based on new information and making certain that the information is coming from a reliable source. And there are other things we can do like choosing to do more reading of books we have been meaning to read; listening to uplifting and positive podcasts; spending time in prayer, meditation, or silence; eating healthier; maintaining some level of exercise at home even if we can’t go to the gym.

As we sit here today, there are restrictions and conditions we are forced to live with. And many of those restrictions and conditions were difficult decisions made by government agencies. They were made to try and protect us to the best of their ability. Even if it means economic hardships for a while. And for us it comes down to the decision we will make, and how we choose to handle this and respond to it.

So how about you? Are you making new decisions based on new information? Are you making the decision to take care of your mind, body, and spirit during this difficult time? I would love to hear your story at mnorton@tramazing.com, and when we realize that difficult situations could create easier decisions that keep more of us all healthy, it really will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is the grateful CEO of Tramazing.com, a personal and professional coach, and a consultant, trainer, encourager and motivator to businesses of all sizes.

Michael Norton

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