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Why Taking Timely Decisions is Important For Achieving Success


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Life is short and hence we should plan our activities with great care by taking timely decisions so as to achieve high productivity in whichever field we may operate. We humans aspire for success in all our endeavors but only a small percentage of people manage to achieve success in spite of our strenuous efforts. If we analyze the reasons for the same it will not be apparent to us immediately since we always work with the assumption that our activities will result in success but when they do not produce such anticipated success we feel frustrated.

Since most of the time we work with our preconceived thoughts and decisions about success we lose our ability to analyze our actions systematically to arrive at the proper diagnosis of our failure. Instead of trying to find the reason for our failure after finishing with our activities it will be better to plan before hand to achieve success in our activities. Several experts have suggested many techniques including taking timely decisions to achieve success in our activities.

I will elaborate my approach to the problem with a mathematical logic on it as follows:

If A and B are 2 numbers, then they can be compared in 3 ways only.

They are :

  1. A is less than B, that is A < B
  2. A is equal to B, that is A = B
  3. A is greater than B, that is A > B
Out of these 3 comparisons, only one will be true for any 2 numbers under consideration.

Say if A = 4 and B = 10, then only the first condition above holds true.

That is A < B, since 4 is less than 10.

Everyone has to work to make a living. We work in some firm or do our own business to earn our income.

Work may be any kind of activity : sales, production, consultancy, teaching and so on, which means making efforts.

If A represents our efforts (in any field of our activity) and B represents the result of our efforts, then the above 3 comparisons tell us the following:

1) A < B : Obviously the best position to be in, since we get the expected results with less efforts. This is the most desirable situation.

2) A = B : This represents a no-profit-no-loss position. That is, we get the same results as our efforts. This is worse than the first condition above, but at least it is better than nothing.

3) A > B : This represents the worst condition of the lot. That is, the result of our efforts is less than our expectations or to put it in another way, to get our desired results, we have to put in more efforts than normal. Not a desirable position to be in.

If we consider our professional life, the results of our efforts are predominantly in monetary terms most of the times, but at some other times, the results may be in other terms also - such as the respect we expect to receive from others; our co-workers, customers, suppliers and our other such professional contacts. We may classify these as emotional results.

Most of the time, we may feel that we are perpetually in the third condition, namely A > B, that is, we are putting in far greater efforts to get the monetary benefits and/or emotional results we are expecting.

For example an experienced salesman putting in great efforts and achieving satisfactory results for the company he works for by procuring repeat orders with full payments from his customers may feel that in spite of his great achievements his boss prefers his less successful colleagues in terms of increments in salaries, bonuses and promotions.

This may or may not be the actual fact in the records of the company, but he may feel this way.

Hence in reality, we are in one of the above 3 situations at one time or the other.

In other words, we are not in the same condition always.

Some times, our plans work out as per our expectations (A = B),

while at some other times they work out better (A < B) or worse (A > B) than expected.

Successful people will be in the first condition (A < B),

average people will be in the second condition (A = B) and

the failures will be in the third condition (A > B) most of the times.


Every one possesses certain set of skills and a certain set of assets all the time. The only problem is that they keep varying from time to time.

While successful people use their assets skillfully so that their efforts (A) to results (B) equation shows A < B most of the times, average people and failures are unable to do so.

This is due to the fact that successful people do this by seeing that they get the maximum productivity from their various assets by putting in the minimum efforts. So the question to be addressed is what or how should the efforts be directed to see that we become successful also, that is in our case also A becomes less than B, that is, A < B most of the times.

Ask the most successful students how they manage to score high marks in exams after exams.

They will tell us that they analyze the question papers thoroughly to come to the correct decisions to attempt the most difficult questions first and only after completing such difficult questions one after the other, they come to the easier questions which they solve in no time at all with the result that they complete even the most difficult test papers very quickly and satisfactorily as compared to their less successful class mates, who are puzzled by their inability to complete the question paper in the allotted time.

Here the successful students achieve high productivity with respect to their asset - time.

That is, the duration of the test, whether it is of 2 hours or 3 hours, while the less successful students are way behind in completing the question papers when the final bell goes. Their failures are due to the fact that they solve the easier questions first and come to the difficult questions later on. But when they find that it takes more time than they had anticipated to solve the difficult questions they panic, with the result that they are unable to complete the papers satisfactorily.

The same technique is being applied by most of the successful business persons. Their planning, management and the ability to come to the right decisions quickly bring them success in the shortest possible time. Their challenges are far more severe as compared to the students. They have to achieve high productivity by using several assets like time, money, human resources, plant and machinery and other tangible and intangible assets simultaneously.

But they will take up a new assignment or a new business only after considering whether they are capable of solving the most difficult problem they may encounter in the new set up. If they are not sure about it they may drop the plan altogether or postpone it for the future.

But less successful business persons in their excitement in starting a new assignment or a new business will plunge in immediately carrying out all the regular chores they are accustomed to do in their running businesses, but after finishing a few minor operations successfully, they may get stuck up with some major problems which they might not have anticipated earlier or might have thought off with the idea of crossing the bridge when I arrive at it mind set.

In other words they act first and think about taking proper decisions afterwards. The result? Failure with loss of time, money and other assets. Hence it becomes very essential to acquire the ability to take appropriate and timely decisions by working out the most difficult parts of the problem at the beginning itself.

S. Balaraman is a free lance writer. He runs a website on rain forests.


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