In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” In life, we make decisions every day. Some are so habitual that we don’t really even have to make a conscious decision, we just do it. Others require a little more thought, but we usually follow through based on our better judgment. The most important decisions make us consider all factors involved and then we struggle with our final choice. It’s like mental tug-of-war. As President Roosevelt pointed out, the worst thing that you can do at that point of uncertainty is to do nothing.
When faced with a tough decision, have you ever said “I’ll have to think about it?” I know I have on several occasions. However for many people, the “thinking about it” process drags out and becomes the “I’m avoiding making a decision” phase. It’s smart to weigh your options, ask the advice of colleagues and consider alternatives; however, simply not making a challenging decision is irresponsible. It’s not just going to go away. It will still be there when you wake up every morning and will hang over you like a dark cloud until you take action.
What’s worse is that the failure to make a decision is progressive or should I say regressive. After the “I’m avoiding making a decision” phase, you start to ease the stress of the decision by making excuses. I‘ve heard every excuse in the book. It’s really amazing what someone will say just to avoid making a decision. The worst is when the excuse is a complete lie. Not only has the action moved from an excuse to lying, but remember the words that we speak often come true so be careful what you say to get out of simply making a decision.
Instead of engaging in all that foolishness and wasting everyone’s time, look at the decision as an opportunity. You have been given the power to make a significant change in the world by the choice that you make. Now, I’m not going tell you that that choice will be right 100% of the time, but how will you ever know if you don’t step out in faith and take that risk. Every hard decision takes courage.
On September 19, 1999, twenty year old Jaqueline Saburido and four friends were on their way home from a birthday party when an SUV driven by a drunk driver slammed into their car. Within minutes, the car caught fire and Jacqui was pinned in the front seat. She suffered burns over 60% of her body and her chances of surviving were slim. Jacqui lived, but her injuries were devastating.
She had to live without her hair, ears, nose and above all – due to severe burnings, her fingers had to be amputated. Her left eyelid was removed and most of her vision is gone. Jacqui has had more than fifty operations since the crash and has many more to go. It would have been easy for Jacqui to give up at any point, but she made the courageous decision to keep living her life. Jacqui continues to tell her story worldwide and speaks out against drunk driving in national campaigns.
What if she had made the decision to give up? It would have been so easy for Jacqui to lock herself away from the world forever and use every excuse available not to continue her fight. No one would have blamed her if she did. During an interview, Jacqui said “If you want to do something, never give up. You need to keep going. Continue to live. Whatever happens in your life, you need to keep going and be happy.” Through her courageous decision to keep going, Jacqui has touched the lives of millions of people worldwide but more importantly, she has saved the lives of hundreds, possibly thousands as an advocate against drunk driving.