In 2013 I took a class called The Power of Decision.
It changed my life.
It was based on a book The Power of Decision by Dr. Raymond Charles Barker. A Science of Mind leader, Dr. Barker was from New York City and he pulled no punches.
"I will show you that indecision is actually a decision. It is a decision to fail."
What?! Hold on a minute, the book has barely begun and you hit me with this? Can we ease into it a little bit?
And so it went. Powerful, short sentence after powerful short sentence drilling into you the knowledge, and the power, and even the dreadful failures, of your own decision-making.
No whining allowed. No excuses, either.
Dr. Barker gives examples of those who decide and of those who do not and he writes, without shyness or apology, about how he avoids people who just don't take their lives into their own hands.
"I cannot help anyone unless he has made up his mind..."
But, but, but... you're a Reverend, aren't you supposed to be there for everyone? Not when he has decided his time is valuable and he will not waste it. Ouch.
I loved it.
But while the entire book was fabulous what really struck me was his message about children.
"Children are afraid of making mistakes because of their strong emotional need to please their parents."
(And Indecisive adults are still worried about displeasing someone.)
It had never occurred to me before: children are not always taught to be good decision makers.
But how do you do this? How do you teach them to be good at making decisions?
His answer is simple: tell them they are good at making decisions.
So if a child asks: "Where should I put my wet towel?" You could say: "If you were alone in the house, and no one was here to help you, where would you put it?"
And they may say: "On the side of the tub."
And then you have to stop yourself from correcting them because you might really want it hung up on the hook. But maybe that's harder than you thought because they are much shorter than you. And honestly, it was a darn good decision to put it on the side of the tub because the answer was not "on the couch" or "in my bedroom" or "here, you take it".
So yes. Yes. That was a good decision. That would satisfy the requirements of keeping the house safe from a wet towel. Thank you. You make good decisions.
If you keep this up, if you keep telling them they make good decisions, they will bloom right before your eyes into the adults you hope they will be. Ones who make good decisions.