Absolute Decision

I believe that most of the limitations we encounter in our life don’t exist out there in the world, but in between our ears. Our mind creates most of the limitations for us. Conversely, it can be our greatest source of power. When you understand your own mind and know how to use it, you have the most powerful force in the world.

Problems aren’t distinct from you. They don’t exist out there. The universe is neutral. Reality is interpreted through your own mind. Most of the work in solving truly difficult problems is in removing the obstacles in your mind, not in the world. When you have fully removed your mental barriers, physical ones seem insignificant.

Have you ever had a time when you were faced with a very difficult problem? Maybe this was debt. Poor health. Loneliness and disconnect from others in the world. At times it may have seemed like these problems were impossible to overcome.

But now I want you to look back. Did you honestly do everything you could to fix the problem? Were you able to confidently create a plan and execute it to the fullest of your abilities? For most people the answer to both those questions is no.

Why didn’t you? The answer is rather simple. Because the barriers in the world aren’t your biggest challenge. The barriers in your head are. When these barriers are overcome, the barriers in the world seem to melt away. Impossible challenges suddenly form a clear path to solution. Even those situations that cannot be change can be transformed so you can accept and be happy with them.

Life is constantly testing you. Are you committed? Are all your mental resources focused completely towards success? When continuous problems arise in your life and challenges seem insurmountable, it can be very difficult to continue. Look with depth into the problem and you may very well find that this is just a test from the universe, and the problem only existed in your head.

Whenever you encounter one of these tests from the universe, your first step is to make an absolute decision. So few people ever make a real decision in their entire lives. A decision free of doubt and uneasiness. A decision where the entirety of the mind is committed to it.

When you try to make an absolute decision, do you feel uneasy? This unease is the first symptom of your own psychological barriers that keep you from succeeding. When you find yourself unable to make a firm, unshakable decision this shows the true barrier that stops you. Fear.

Fear is healthy. Most of the time it keeps us functioning normally within society. Psychopaths often feel little or no anxiety. Fear keeps us from doing things that might otherwise cause us pain. I would feel fear if someone pointed a gun at my head. This is a natural, instinctive reaction towards any dire threat. If I didn’t have this fear I might get shot.

Some fear is irrational fears of the moment, such as public speaking or heights. These phobias can produce intense feelings in situations that logically are completely safe. This is not the kind of fear I am referring to. This kind of fear can be tackled with a combination of desensitization and will as I outlined in this article.

No. The kind of fear I am referring to is the fears that plague your ability to use all of your power. These fears gain there strength from being unknown. Once you can uncover them, you can disarm them. These fears are closer to doubts or uncertainties.

These fears sit with you day in day out. They often don’t paralyze you like public speaking might and generally your heart won’t pound or your palms sweat. They just lie there, clawing at the back of your mind. They suck your power away.

If you are failing to start up your business to where you want it to be, these doubts could be one of the major forces holding you back from doing your best. Maybe your doubts are that your service isn’t valuable? Maybe the fear is what would happen if you were truly successful? Maybe the fear is that you might end up poor?

When you start uncovering these fears you start to realize that some of them are ridiculous. Others are legitimate. Like a boogeyman in your closet, these fears lose all there power when you turn the lights on. Go through them systematically and reveal them.

Your legitimate fears you will just have to accept as a possible consequence. If going broke is a possible consequence of running your business you will just have to accept that if your really want to run your business. When you decide to accept something as a potential consequence, it stops draining resources away from your mind.

Acceptance of a fear turns it into something else, a consequence. If going out and meeting people might mean rejection, humiliation or embarrassment, then those become consequences not fears. If you accept that as a cost you must pay, you can move forward with your decision.

When you’ve thrust these boogeymen out of your closet and tallied it up, the benefits of pursuing your goal usually far outweigh the consequences. Starting a business might mean going broke, but it can also mean autonomy and financial freedom. Meeting people might mean rejection but it could also mean love and acceptance.

Keep doing this process of uncovering fears until you can make an absolute decision. One where there is no uncertainty at all in your mind that you are going to put every single piece of resource you have into taking action.

When you’ve created an absolute decision, something wonderful happens. No longer do you feel worried or uncertain about taking action. You simply understand the costs and benefits. You will take action.

When I first moved to University several months ago, I made an absolute decision in my own mind to create a strong group of friends and take advantage of new opportunities. My decision was so strong and so vivid that it compelled me. I removed any of my fears and doubts and accepted them as consequences.

It was amazing how fast and easy the process was after that point. In several days I met hundreds of new people. Making the decision was truly the hardest part. Actually carrying out that decision was much easier.

Many times you will still fail after making an absolute decision because you didn’t plan your approach correctly. But when you have committed yourself, that no longer matters and you simply rework your plan and try again. Planning and review are complementary processes necessary to take action, but they are only minor details compared with the underlying decision.

  • Craig Harper

    Awesome Post Scott!

    Anais Nin was spot on when she made the observation.

    “We don’t see things as they are; we see things as we are.”

    Have you ever helped a friend through a relationship crisis and been absolutely stunned and amazed when you got around to chatting to their significant other to get their interpretation of events?

    It’s like, “are you guys talking about the same thing?”

    How can two people in the one relationship or situation, talking about the same issues, have such a completely different take on things and both ‘know’ they’re right? This happens in marriages, workplaces, friendships and a range of situations, every second of every day, in every corner of the globe.

    It’s called perspective; how WE personally see things.

    Our reality.

    To my amazement and disappointment, I discovered a few years ago that not everyone lives on planet Craig.

    Obviously a big loss for humanity.

    Sadly, I had to learn to listen to others; not easy for an only child.

    Our personal opinion would be all we needed….if we were the only one in the relationship. Fortunately or unfortunately (again, it’s a perspective thing) most of us interact with a range of people in a range of situations and circumstances, for a range of reasons, trying to create a range of outcomes, everyday.

    Here’s what I’ve learned in twenty five years of communicating for a living:

    1. I need to listen more than I speak.
    2. I need to talk with people, not at them.
    3. In order for me to be able to genuinely connect with people, I need to know how they see the world (or at least try).
    4. I will learn more about someone by watching than I will by listening to them
    (93% of communication is non-verbal).
    5. Many people will tell me what they think I want to hear.
    6. I can’t impose my values, beliefs or opinions on people.
    7. I can have the best motives and intentions… and still hurt and offend people.

    Keep up the great work Scott!

    Craig Harper

  • Scott Young


    Great comment, you’ve practically appended another blog entry to the comment form. Good advice on communication and relationships.


  • Helgi

    Hello Scott,

    I’ve recently started reading your blog, and must say I’m really impressed so far. Look forward to reading more from you.

    But anyway, this post reminded me of a quotation (a poem?) by Goethe on the power of committing to a decision:

    “Until one is committed,
    there is hesitancy.
    the chance to draw back,
    always ineffectiveness
    concerning all acts of initiative (and creation).

    There is one elemental truth,
    the ignorance of which kills countless ideas
    and splendid plans –
    that the moment one definitely commits oneself,
    then Providence moves all.

    All sorts of things occur to help one
    that would never otherwise have occurred.

    A whole stream of events
    issue from the decision,
    raising in one’s favor
    all manner of incidents
    and meetings and material assistance
    which no one could have dreamed
    would come his or her way.

    Whatever you can do or dream you can,
    begin it.
    Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
    Begin it now.”

    – Goethe

  • Scott Young


    That’s also a favorite quote of mine. I’ve heard a few debates about whether Goethe is actually the one to be credited for that remark, but it is still insightful.