How to harness the power of decisions: learning from Anthony Robbins

In his book on "Awaken the Giant Within", Anthony Robbins talks about harnessing the power of decisions. He insists that we must make decisions. Once the decisions are taken and we start acting on them, we would have changed the course of our life for the better. The six 'quick keys" that he calls them, are discussed in some detail in this article.


Anthony Robbins, in his book on "Awaken the Giant Within" lists the six "quick keys that will enable us to harness the power of decisions (pages 48 to 51). These are a) Remember the true power of making decisions b) A true commitment is a true decision c) Make decisions often d) Learn from your decisions e) Stay committed to your decisions, with flexibility and e) Enjoy making decisions.

The author quotes Hellen Keller and this quote is really interesting: "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing". This is the moment of truth. All decisions are adventures. However, we need to be aware of the decisions that we make, and the implications that we have on our family members. This is all the more important in India, where the social security systems are totally inadequate or not there at all. Let us look at each of the six "quick keys" and then extrapolate them in the light of real-world experiences.

Remember the true power of making decisions

"It is a tool you can use at any moment to change your entire life. The minute you make a new decision, you set in motion a new cause, effect, direction, and determination for your life".

Most rags to riches stories of many a film director can be traced to the one decision that they made. One example - to hang out in Chennai, undergo all the ordeals and then make it big one day, after years of sweating it out and bearing all the insults that are inevitable. One such Tamil director who is today a good actor and director, with tremendous commitment to social change through his movies, is Mr. Samudrakanni. Through his film "Sattai", he had created a sensation. He had talked about how the education system needs to be reformed to really create the best of citizens of India, with a secular outlook, broke all records. This film also won him fame and today he is counted as one of the best directors.

At the corporate level, the founder of the Tata group, Jamsedji Tata, who started his group at Jamshedpur, had a dream to build temples, churches, and mosques in the township and also plant thousands of trees. Today, Jamshedpur is one city that is synonymous with the towering presence of the Tatas. It is this group that provides direct and indirect employment to over an estimated fifty lakh people in India.

That momentous decision of the founder of Tata sons to create wealth for others and also contribute to meaningful social causes is today the exact tradition that the Tatas follow religiously. Mr.Narayanamurthy of Infosys Technologies is on record of having had to take a tough decision: the other co-founders were skeptical about its survival, he offered to buy out every other person's share. That worked and the others stayed with him. Today, it is a globally competitive organization and Mr. Narayanamurthy enjoys a demi-God status within the IT industry.

A true commitment is a true decision

Take the two examples of Janshedji Tata and Mr. Narayanamurthy to be committed to the cause of making their companies work for the really long term and with a missionary zeal to satisfy all shareholders. There are many who have sold Infosys shares when the shares reached their peak and conducted the marriage of their daughters. The organization has given equity stock options to drivers and cooks, demonstrating its commitment to satisfy all employees.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) work done by the Tatas and Infosys Technologies has impacted positively, the lives of millions of downtrodden people and the marginalized. The decisions to do this sort of service to society has made such a big difference. TVS Motors has a separate wing that creates opportunities for millions who need such income-earning opportunities. Its CSR work is commendable.

Make decisions often

Look at Google. It has consistently made every effort to reach out to millions of new customers with its numerous innovations. For example, its app called Google pay is so effective that it has given a good competition to the likes of Paytm. Net banking becomes so simple with Google pay. The innovations that Google has made in so many languages has made it a darling of the masses worldwide.

Every single decision made in a good sequence can lift the spirit of the nation from one stage to another. Take the globalization decisions that were so bold. Each of them was taken by the likes of the late Mr. P.V. Narasimha Rao, and Dr. Manmohan Singh and later Mr. P.Chidambaram. It was these wise men who opened up so many markets. Consider the private sector presence in the cell phone industry and telecom. If we had only stuck to BSNL, we would have been at least three decades behind the world in terms of telecom technology. Such bold decisions make the lives of millions of people far better. Take hundreds of thousands of people who sell and service cell phones today. All this self-employment would not have been possible if all the bold decisions were not made.

It is a proven fact that perfect competition brings down prices. If there is perfect competition, the monopolies are prevented and prices crash. This is exactly what has happened in the cell phone industry, the domestic textiles industry, the IT sector, banking, car industry and what have you. Everywhere, there is terrific competition and if the customer service is not good, customers will simply ditch the company and go for another service or product manufacturer. Such is the power of several thousands of decisions made.

Learn from your decisions

There are two ambitious industrialists. Both had something common in them -- they wanted to do everything big, borrowed money left, right and center and had huge debts. While one was shrewd to retrace his steps and manage his debts quite well, by coming out of several businesses that did not bring him profits, the other made one unwise decision after the other and had to desperately sell every possible business to just avoid going to jail. The first industrialist is Kishore Biyani of the Future Retail group. The second is Anil Ambani who is still struggling to stay alive and repay his debts. He has come under the radar screen of the Supreme Court. His rich brother, Mukesh Ambani bailed him out, but it still remains to be seen if he will learn from all his big mistakes.

Life is always a learning process. If we had a horrible time in a job with one company, we should be careful not to do the same mistake once more. Such is the power of decisions and we need to take such decisions to simply stay relevant and meaningful in life. After all, we all have families to support and every decision should also take care of their interests.

Stay committed to your decisions, with flexibility

Once the right decisions are made, it becomes essential to be committed to a decision. However, the ramifications of the decision made would be subject to some flexibility in accommodating alternate routes to prosperity and profitability. The decision of the big players like Amazon to involve the local Kirana traders in strengthening their supply chain efficiencies is a case in point. These decisions are the typical ones where the element of flexibility is involved.

Today, with the COVID-19 scare taking a heavy toll on human survival, many youths are committed to decisions involving self-employment. It is gratifying to note that most of them have the flexibility of reaching out to lakhs of customers in their homes and even groceries are now reaching the households to escape the problem of having to shut down the big shops. In many places, even the Kirana traders are allowed to function only for a few hours. There is flexibility all over. Soon, even electronic goods may be sold door-to-door.

Enjoy making decisions

All of us make decisions. We also enjoy making decisions. The only thing is that we should be able to enjoy taking only the right decisions. When we take into consideration all the "what if" scenarios before taking any decision, we will have made only the right decisions in most cases. The most enjoyable decisions are ones that we take, such as the person whom we want to marry, the money that we want to save, the money that we enjoy spending at some point in time, the enjoyment we have when we purchase the luxurious goods and so on. The key is to enjoy making decisions. Over a period of time, we will get used to the process.


Harnessing the power of decisions, with conceptual inputs from Anthony Robbings, has been explained with the help of some real-world examples, in the aforesaid paragraphs. When we make decisions on the lines suggested by the author, we are sure to make a good difference to our lives.

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Author: Umesh11 Apr 2020 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 7

Whether it is an individual, business unit or organisation, decision making is always a vital issue and is of immense importance as the future profitability and progress is dependent on that particular strategic decision taken consciously. Businessmen know this fact and ponder over in details before making a decision. If they feel they are not enough knowledgeable and intelligent to take a decision they would hire the higher brains and pay for it. Nowadays highly qualified management experts are available for a fee or salary and hiring them makes a business sense.

Anyway, what makes a person or business unit to take a good decision is the point that has to be known by us before taking a crucial decision. Generally, people who have an in-depth knowledge of a product and its market can take a better decision. We have seen dynamic changes happening often and this is one biggest challenge for the business units before making a decision. If there is a considerable delay in the execution of a project then we lose the big opportunity and by the time we enter the market the demand has already slackened.

At individual level also many pros and cons and situations are to be understood and analysed before we take a personal decision whether it is changing our job or leaving a company or starting on our own etc. Decision making is always a difficult exercise but has to handled wisely.

Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao26 Apr 2020 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 7

A very good article from the author and he explained the importance of decision making in a very informative way. A stitch in time saves nine. In the same way, a decision in time will give us many victories. If we make a delayed decision, the chances of losing will be more. A correct decision on time is the way for success.

In these days of competition in all businesses, the top people should be able to take a decision in such a way that their business will progress. Before taking a decision, the decision-makers will consider all the facts and figures on hand and also consult the people who are supposed to be having good knowledge in that field.

Some people will make a decision and start to implement. But in between, they will be changing their mind and they will not stick to a decision they have taken. In many such cases such people will end up with failures and the organisation will suffer. I have seen many companies where the CEO will take all decisions and never allow others to have a say. Even though his decisions are giving negative results, they continue their way and finally, the organisation will collapse.

Some people will never take any decision and they will simply sit on the issue. This is very dangerous. Taking the wrong decision on time is better than not taking any decision. People who have a good knowledge of the subject and who are well aware of all the facts and figures can definitely make a better decision,

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