Determination: the Invisible Element in Decision-Making

There are many factors that are characterized by different people as the most important things in life, and a few of them are love, living in harmony and happiness. Though there exists cross-linkages — like one leads to another, mutual inclusivity among these factors — each one of them exists on its own merit, meaning each one’s presence contributes qualitative value to life. Here, the operative word is presence because whether to have these qualities in life or not is a personal choice, so is a decision. Hence, whether man considers love or happiness or harmony as the most important thing in his life, there is a decision behind it. Without a decision to possess them, they will remain as virtues that have only conceptual value while a decision to own and make them a part of his personality will bring their habitual value to man. So, where do I stand now? I stand where I have to say that the most important thing in life is to decide to have the most important things in life.

The maxims like life is a bunch of decisions, your present is the decisions of your past, your future depends on your present decisions and decisions can make or break your life underscore the important roles decisions play in shaping up man’s future. It is preferred to say decisions rather than decision because a decision is closely followed by a consequential decision in its execution. For example, setting alarm to wake up at, say, 6 a.m. is one decision, but to get up when alarm rings is a consequent yet another decision. Similarly, stopping to while away time is one decision while choosing to invest that time in productive use is another decision though the latter is an aftereffect of the former; calling it a day is a conclusive decision while starting a new life past that decision can be a life-changing decision. Every decision follows another decision, not by default but by conscious choice. So it is not unrealistic to say that man is living by and through decisions taken one after another, with each having an impact on the way his future unfolds before him.

It is interesting to look at how the word: decide is made. If we split decide, we get de and cide. We are used to the terms like pesticide and insecticide which mean that which kills pests and insects respectively. Hence, cide is connected with killing or exterminating. Cide as a combining form, according to Google, is denoting an act of killing. When the term: de is prefixed with a word, it gives the antonym for that word. Activate and deactivate, watering and dewatering, escalate and deescalate are a few illustrative examples in this regard. So the term: de means reversal. Hence, decide is reversal of an act of killing if we strictly go by the binary meaning of the word. That brings me to state that in decide, there is a reversal of a killing. What is that that was dead but made to be reborn when man decides? You can not bring the dead to life unless you are Jesus Christ! So I am talking about an inanimate death and its reversal in decision process.

What man does not achieve if he did not decide is that what gets killed in the pre-decide phase. So the fruits of a decision that should have been taken but was never taken were made to die by the cide part — this state is called dithering or indecision. But this imaginary death before birth is stopped by the “de” factor – the factor of reversal. I will say that ‘de’ stands for determination. Determination reverses the killing of an action — so its consequential fruits — that a decision is intended to achieve. Decisions are preceded by determination. In other words, determination acts as a platform that triggers decision. A mind determined to achieve a certain goal or task gets seasoned to take decisions toward the fructification of that set-goal. That makes determination, the de factor in decide, as an inevitable prerequisite of decision-making because the fuel for such seasoning is provided by determination. What is determination?

One factor that stops man from taking decisions even when he has almost all the inputs needed for the decision-making is fear – the fear of the consequences of an unexpected outcome. That is why we have this cliché: he or she is afraid of taking decisions. This fear has to be taken out in order to have decisions taken, and it is done by determination. Determination is the self-affirmation that you will hold onto perseverance till you accomplish your goals. People who are determined are fearless in their journey toward the goals. The “de factor determination” not only firms up the ground for decision-making by removing the fear but also works as the prompt to visualize the fruits that a decision brings in.

How does one remain determined? Passion is the answer. Passion is the fuel that kindles you from inside, and the energy from that internal kindling runs determination. Where from does this fuel come? After you set a goal, if you visualize the glittering ceremony or moment during which you will be acknowledged and awarded the fruits of your goal whether it is a graduation certificate or an employment intimation or anything of merit, then you will see yourself with a lot of satisfaction and joy. The present value of that future satisfaction of accomplishing a goal is the fuel — passion — that kindles you from inside. And passion is a prerequisite to hold onto determination, the invisible de factor in decision-making.

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