VIEWS FROM THE CATBIRD SEAT
The Value of Making Wise Decisions
by Alvin C. Romer
Are we always in position to make the best decisions when faced with dilemmas? What can we claim as valuable nuggets to be triumphant in our choices? Take one individual for instance as we ponder the title of this essay: Stanley Holmes was a star football player, an academic All-American popular beyond measure, a role model for those seeking to emulate his success, and a wunderkind if you will in the business world. After graduating at the top of his class a multi-million contract was negotiated on his behalf as he would go on to play 10 years with the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. Just before retiring, Stanley met John, a glib and enthusiastic real estate developer with a gift of gab who came across with an engaging smile and Type A personality.
After making the rounds socially, John introduced Stanley to the Jet Set — a coterie of his friends that shared common bonds and lived the fast life. More than once Stan found himself in uncharted waters among people he truly didn’t know. They exposed him to a lifestyle that was unbecoming to what he was used to. One day John coerced Stan to agree to a unique and magnificent deal that would set him up for life — all he would have to do was to introduce more of his friends in the ‘deal’ that called for each member to put up a predetermined amount that would subsequently fuel the wherewithal for more collateral as long as the friends Stan brought in told someone else that told someone else, etc. A corporation was formed, and Stan thought that the decision he made was the one for him.
Meanwhile John, sitting at the top of a now escalating pinnacle, was getting financial rewarded as the monies were controlled exclusively by him and doled out moderately, if at all. This worked as long as John had ample alibis and excuses to justify not making payments to his cohorts on time. After awhile he disappeared with as much as 10.5 million dollars of the corporation’s money! Yes, you’ve heard of scenarios just like this, right?! Could Stan have made a better decision? At what point should he have used discernible options, deductive reasoning, a little logic and plain ole common sense?
You get the picture — he could have valued the option to look deeper at what was on the surface for intrinsic value. The first mistake Stan made was throwing caution to the wind and accepting without apprehension something that appeared to be a good fit, and not praying for direction. People will cross your path more often than not with a winning smile, a fast-talking track that would make you believe that they are what’s happening, bar none. I’m firmly aware that God has given each of us talents that are nothing more than gifts for this temporary stay on earth. Thus, we have no control over what talents we are born with or without. We also have no control over Divine intervention and what God has willed…but we do have choices as to how hard we work, and what faith initiatives we should adhere to in making success out of our lives. The gist of this essay and the most powerful factor affecting our daily living is our ability to make wise decisions. Stan didn’t and it cost him dearly.
What are the lessons learned in this story? People in general and young folk specifically should make it a habit to heed wise counsel in this piece. What is God saying to YOU as it relates to Stan’s choice? Did God come into play when decisions were made? People usually do not include anything Spiritual in seeking a sure calling. Life is a revolving wheel with spikes surrounding a fulcrum with various stages of growth. I’m a firm believer that we are where we are in our lives and our careers because of the decisions we have made, or perhaps the choices we didn’t make. The different choices we make are influential with dividends. Those decisions range from choosing the right college, what career field to work in, familial decisions, where to invest our time or our money — all of it takes us down a different path. Decision-making is a skill that can be learned and enhanced. With this in mind, let’s think about application.
To apply value to choices is to know thyself and be in position to think clearly. And this is an area where I feel young folk falter. In order to make a wise decision, you need to know as much about yourself as possible. Knowing yourself is the foundation of a wise decision, and is vital when taking the first decision making step. All of the effort and technique you employ will be wasted if thinking through the decision isn’t done properly. A critical thinker observes his own thinking process and monitors himself for faulty logic, and this includes keeping your head to the sky.
We tend to make things worse when we take for granted or assume that things are not what hey are due to what we see on the surface. There is nothing wrong with assumptions and, in fact, they provide a useful service in that they give us a clearer path through unnecessary thinking. We assume that we will awake in the morning, that the sun will continue to rise and prior to 911 that we are safe from attack. But, in thinking through a decision it is important to become aware of our assumptions and to determine if they are accurate after talking to God.
In closing, decisions and how they are made can make or break you. The value of making wise decisions ultimately falls on the shoulders of assured and logical foresight with objectives to think clearly through the best solution. Moreover, having a sense of discernment will undoubtedly key your paths to open doors for viability and value in your lives. The important point to understand is that a decision and it’s outcome are separate, distinct and without trial and error. Your goal should be to make the best decision possible under the circumstances, allow the Spirit to guide you and be released from the aftermath of an unpleasant outcome. Stan definitely could have used this!
Don’t blame yourself if the outcome isn’t what you wanted or expected — you don’t have control. You can always make another decision to correct the situation if you go awry. It is interesting to observe that despite the clear distinction between decisions and outcomes, the better part of valor is recognizing your shortcomings by getting out of the box but staying in His will. This is a saying coined by my Pastor and it works! Here’s hoping that other Stanley Holmes’ will heed the information therein and be blessed because of it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Avin C. Romer hails rom Miami, but the African-American Diaspora is his stage. He brings a passion for books and a lifelong enthusiasm in promoting African-American readership and the adherence to family literary. Alvin is a freelance writer, and a Research Analyst. You can find Alvin online a TheRomerReview.com and his blog, VERBATIM!