A Critical Doer attacks problems and creates opportunities from the inside out
Last year I wrote a post called “Fit to Do” where we discussed how fit bodies and fit organizations have a greater capacity for achievement. As I finished a good workout yesterday morning, I realized there was another huge benefit of physical fitness That I needed to share with you.
After the workout, I felt maybe even stronger than usual the sense of calm and focus that follows physical exertion. In that moment, a couple of decisions I needed to make seemed so crystal clear. I made my decisions, and they turned out to be very good ones.
Whatever we spend our time doing, we want that time spent doing the right things…the things that matter and produce a tangible benefit rather than activity for the sake of activity. We can’t lose sight that decisions are the wellspring of meaningful action. Good decisions are always the starting point of meaningful action…that kind that fulfills lives and profits organizations.
Here are some things to consider in how you can use fitness to improve your decision making skills:
- Timing is everything. As much as you can, plan for decision making in closer proximity to your workout so you can benefit from the sense of calm and assurance you gained through your fitness regimen. If you exercise in the morning, plan your decision meetings in the morning and you’ll see an increase in the quality of your decisions. Additionally, when you’re calm time doesn’t seem to move as quickly and you feel less rushed to make decisions…and decisions made prematurely rarely turn out well.
- Tolerance. When you’re calm and self-assured, you’re generally more tolerant when it comes to divergent ideas or discerning mistakes made by well-intended and thoughtful actions versus the more serious ones driven by negligence or incompetence. Tolerance increases the scope of your decision space and broadens the playing field of thoughtful consideration.
- Confidence. It’s a myth that we can always know our decisions are correct, but it is doable to have a very high degree of assurance that the way we made a decision is correct. The structure of physical fitness reinforces that habits of mind that allow you to trust in yourself. That trust will be evident to those around you and in turn they will act more decisively.
Your challenge is to not take for granted the mental benefits that accompany the physical benefits of exercise and fitness. We want to be “fit to do” and we gain the most benefit from that when we’re “fit to decide.” It’s what a Critical Doer would…do!
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