ADD comes from “Assess Decide Do” and it’s a life management framework, initially described in this introductory post. As opposed to the regular productivity approaches, a life management framework focuses on a higher level integration and rejects the task checking approach as the only metric for measuring productivity performance.
In ADD, each individual can have only 3 main stages or can act in 3 main realms: the Assess realm, the Decide realm and the Do realm. Those stages are cumulative, in the sense that an imbalance in an early stage, like the Assess stage, can create negative consequences in the following stages. A balanced, constant flow between those 3 stages is the main metric of a fulfilling life management.
If you came here directly you may want to check out first the Assess realm post.
Today will talk about the Decide realm.
What Is It?
The Decide realm is the place in which you intent to change your reality. You get in, put up the intention to modify your reality, and then you get out of it. You move immediately in the Do realm. The Decide realm nature is disruptive and powerful. It really challenges your current reality and it does this with a lot of force. It’s a hit and run approach. And it’s supposed to be like this.
As opposed to the Assess realm, where you can spend hours, days, weeks or months, the Decide realm is a very short one. You don’t live long in the Decide realm. Or, if you do, you have an ADD imbalance. And that would be the so called someday syndrome, a situation in which you allegedly took a decision, but never follow it. You remain stuck in this decision realm for ever.
The Decision Is In You
How do you know you actually took a decision and you’re not still in the Assess realm? How do you know it’s time to make a decision in the first place? How do you make that decision?
For many of us, decision seems to be driven by outside factors. We have to go to the job, we have to move out of the house for the errands, we have to pay our mortgage. We make these decisions in response to outside factors. Once the decision took, we move. Go to the job, to the grocery shop, we pay the bills. In fact, the decision is never driven by outside factors, it’s an internal process.
We take a decision after we can’t assess the facts anymore. If there’s nothing more to assess about our mortgage payment we make a decision: pay it. Or don’t pay it, of course. If we can’t assess anything more about the job, we go there, we immerse in the task. If it’s nothing more to add about our grocery shopping list, we go shopping. Or don’t and give room to other events in our life.
Decision Is A Reality Killer
Each decision you take will kill your current reality and will force you to replace it with another one, by going into the Do realm. You can recognize a decision by its level of reality destruction. If the decision will not change something in your reality, it’s not a decision, it’s still an assessment. If the decision will dramatically change your reality, you know it’s time to move on and create that reality.
For example, if you decide to go to your job, that will dramatically change your current environment: you’ll be in a different room, talking with different people and doing something different from what you’re doing now. If you’re going to the grocery shop, you’ll alter your reality by bringing in some more items. If you pay your mortgage, your reality will be modified also: you’ll have fewer money and you’ll be closer to completely pay your house.
So, the simplest and most accurate sign for recognizing a decision is its capacity of changing reality. If it’s not projecting a new reality, different from your current one, you’re not actually making a decision, you’re playing with your mind.
Choosing Your Personal Path
Taking the right decision is an art, so it’s living in the Assess realm, so it’s doing things in the Do realm. Identifying the best decision you can take at a certain point in your life it’s a key factor in your life management framework. In fact, your personal growth and evolution are dictated by your decision, not by your assessment, nor by doing. It’s what you decide that creates your reality, doing it is just an effect, not a cause.
You’re taking at least one decision each minute. You drive your focus and create your next reality all the time. Sadly, most of the time you’re doing it on auto-pilot. Without assessing. You’re just following old habits or established patterns. You’re living by reflex, not by miracle. Each decision you take is really a small miracle, because it reveals your creative powers. With each decision you actually modify your universe and create your desired world.
The core of your existence is in the Decision realm. The power of your self transformation is there, in the decision you take, in the realities your project for yourself, in the future you already see and embrace. So, instead of going to a job, assess more and see if that job really fits you. Instead of going to the grocery shop see if you can do something more interesting with your time. Instead of paying your mortgage see if you can pay it all in one leap.
Maybe the answer to all these will be: ok, I’ve assessed it and I can’t do anything about it right now. I’ll go to that job, I’ll go shopping and then I’ll pay my bill. But if you do this assessment constantly, something will change. Your decision will be influenced. Maybe after a while you’ll understand that your job is not fulfilling. Is something you’d like to change. And with this everything will change.
What you’ve just done is to broke an old, petrified flow in the Assess-Decide-Do pattern and create a new one. This is how life changes.
Small Decisions Or Big Decisions?
The power of a life management framework resides in its flexibility, in its power to adapt and adjust. You can apply this pattern to all processes, from your lifetime destiny and fulfillment to your day to day activities. As long as you correctly identify each stage in which you are acting, you have the power to rewrite those patterns.
There are no small or big decisions. Each decision is important and each decision has the power to change your world.
Maybe this post was a little bit on the emotional, not-so-factual, side, but I did it on purpose: I wanted to emphasize the importance of the decision realm as the core of your potential. ADD is just a framework and it supports any implementation you like, so I’ll be writing in the near future about specific usages of it, like ADD for relationships, ADD for career or ADD for a healthy lifestyle, so expect a more practical and day to day approach of the decision process in those posts.
Until then, be sure to create your reality carefully. 🙂
21 thoughts on “Assess Decide Do stages – Decide”
Dragos, I have to admit this was a difficult article for me to get my mind around. Perhaps I’m just too tired tonight 🙂
I agree with you (and Jonathan) on the idea that our decisions change our reality. In fact our decisions totally shape our reality within the framework of our circumstances.
.-= Stephen – Rat Race Trap´s last blog ..Stop Being the Victim =-.
Well, I do appreciate the fact you’re stopping by, that you can be sure of.
You already followed your decision to read this post and leave a few words. As far as I can see, you’ve done exactly what you decided. Which is great. 🙂
Dragos, I really appreciate this article. Decisions that we follow through on have the potential to change any aspect of our life. Many people have never figured out that the life they are living today is the result of the decisions they either made, or neglected to make, in the past. There is also a lot of confusion about what actually qualifies as a decision.
Two points that really caught my attention. That decisions are an internal process, and that your personal growth and evolution are dictated by your decisions. To be in control of the direction of our life, we must fully appreciate the power of decision, and be willing to take absolute responsibility for the decisions we make. Excellent article!
.-= Jonathan – Advanced Life Skills´s last blog ..Gas Station Wisdom From a Modern Day Sage =-.
I love how you point each time on things I’ve barely touched and made them shinier. Yes, we are the result of our past decisions, and each present decision will shape our future.
Thanks for the nice words. 🙂
I think that I am like most people who can assess and decide fairly easily but have a hard time with the doing part.
It’s like when you know what you have to do, but are just unwilling, scared, or too lazy to do it.
I’m working on it though 😉 It helps reading posts like yours to keep me inspired.
.-= JMom´s last blog ..The Best is Yet to Be =-.
Allow me to think you’re not having a hard time with the “doing” part, but with the “decision” or “assessment” part. And from what I see, it’s the “decision” part which causes you trouble. I think you’re not really making decisions, you’re still in assessment. A true decision will have to completely change you reality.
But don’t worry, I think we’ve all been there. As a matter of fact, I’m still there from time to time, but I know I’ll get out of it the moment I’ll actually start doing something.
If I were to rate myself at each, scale of 1 to 10 …
Assessing I would give myself 11. I’m constantly assessing and re-assessing in my head. I’m overkill at assessment. Maybe that means I should give myself an 8 or 9 because of that. But to make the point, I give 11.
Deciding I give myself about a 6. I waver a lot, even after making a decision to move forward. My wife can’t stand it because I sometimes change my mind at last minute when she was expecting something else.
Do-ing, I would rate myself at around 7 or 8. I’m fairly good at just jumping in and doing what needs to be done, even when my decision making wasn’t that solid. However I have a problem with procrastinating and being plain old lazy, which kills me in the ‘Do’ department!
.-= Eric D. Greene (artist)´s last blog ..Ladybug drawing in oil pastels =-.
Seems like you’re an observer. Having hard time in the “decision” realm, but doing better in the “doing” realm usually means you just like to see things and browse them. Once you decided, you don’t have much trouble getting along with it. I’ve been there before, it’s quite a comfortable mindset.
Here we go !
your ’emotional, not-so-factual’ post;
I understand and feel what you’re saying. And my answer to your question about the assessment of the time to make a decision are your own words: “Each decision you take will kill your current reality and will force you to replace it with another one, by going into the Do realm.” It puts the pieces of the puzzle in the right places- I simply do not make decisions as I avoid being forced to do anything. Time to taka a plunge 🙂 Thanks a lot for your fantastic post
Maybe it’s better to start by doing something you like first? Things we like, although they’re killing the current reality, they usually create a better one. 🙂
To paraphrase Ed Schein, I tend to make a decision when the fear of staying put outweighs the fear of changing 🙂
.-= Reasonable Robinson´s last blog ..Iranian Election – Images of a Dalek Nation =-.
Fear is certainly one of the biggest motivators, I agree. I really don’t know if it’s the most valuable, though. As long as it works for you, don’t break it 🙂
Your’e right! And my paraphrase was wrong 🙂 I should have said ‘anxiety over’. (It was from an Harvard Business Review article by Diane Cotou). I guess I was trying to explain that usually its my ‘inhibting reasons’ for not moving forward (invariably constructed through generalisations, distortions and deletions) that need to be overcome regardless of any apparent benefit.
.-= Reasonable Robinson´s last blog ..She Should Have Had ‘Gullible’ Tatooed On Her Forehead =-.
Isn’t this an unfortunate choice of acronym. ADD=Attention Deficit Disorder.
I don’t know about that. As I said, Attention Deficit Disorder affected people could benefit from Assess Decide Do framework. I won’t change it just because there is something that can be shortened the same way 🙂 Thanks for the input, though.
Auto Pilot sounds very familiar to me. Experienced it more when I was working at my previous job.
I even once experienced what some may call a blackout. I am not sure but I was driving and suddenly realized I had driven about 16 miles and didn’t have any memory of those 16 miles. It was alarming to me, sorta felt like a spaceship could have picked my car up and place it at the traffic light where I came to/woke up.
I actually had to pull the car over and compose myself.
I know often while driving. I used the time to create my plan of attack on the next client. Even that started at times before the last appointment was over.
So can, I identify with this completely.
Life is much more simple now.
Terrific post – this is a wonderful series you are writing here.
.-= Bunnygotblog´s last blog ..A Great Woman: Rita Levi-Montalcini =-.
When you mentioned your blackout experience I immediately thought at the movie Click with Adam Sandler. Being on auto pilot is awful, and it’s even more awful after you wake up and realize that.
I have seen the movie but not the connection until now.I suppose if at the time I had a significant other and family maybe.
You are soooooooooooooo Bad! I never have told anyone of this experience before and look what I have done! 😉
It is very easy to try to process too much without recognizing it. Maybe others can identify. I was successful but at a personal high price. I lived and breathed work like an addiction.
Well, the movie has a happy end, after all.
As you said, you’ve been successful by paying a very high price. I suppose now you’re being successful at a much lower price on the personal life, and this is what “Click” teach us, right? 😉