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by Jonathan Bray


One of the most powerful tools in decision making and problem solving also happens to be the easiest to implement. When confronted with a challenge and whose solution does not readily appear, simply pause. Then ask yourself to simply do “the next right thing”. By understanding that most problems can be broken down into smaller manageable solutions, we learn to “divide and conquer”. The pause enables us to listen to our instincts and allows them to guide us to the one advantageous action we can take “right now”.

Stepping back for a moment, let’s examine a key attribute in life: grace. Watch any successful musician, artist, athlete, philosopher, artisan, healer…….the one common thread you see and feel in each of these is grace. As an observer, even though we may be aware that what this individual is doing is not easy, they make it look like it is; they are in a deep flow of energy as they perform, focused on the moment, yet moving effortlessly, with fluidity to the next moment.

At the risk of sounding hubris, from a business perspective, problem solving is an art within its own. Grace in decision making can be reduced to three essential factors: patience, positioning and timing.

If we are not able to create stillness and be present, especially during challenging moments, we are prone to react to a person or event and miss seeing what is truly taking place. Patience is the space we give between words and events. It is the pause, the listening to our instincts which allows us to see “what is”.

If we are not in the right place at the right time, we cannot possibly take advantage of what the challenge has to offer us. Positioning is simply the skill of putting yourself above the turmoil or emotion in order to identify the patterns that are being presented to you; it is paying attention to the details, while comprehending the possible “larger picture” outcomes through action or non-action.

Almost anything is effective if an action is in accord with the time and the place. However, timing means that we must be vigilant and prepared. Even if the timing and the place are right, we can still miss our chance if we are not present, if our actions are inadequate, or if we hamper ourselves with doubts and second thoughts. When we are present and we see that life is presenting us with an opportunity, we must be ready to seize it without hesitation or inhibition. Position is useless without awareness. If we have both, we make few mistakes.

Please look for our upcoming article is titled:”Meditation in Business”

To Our Readers:

How do you create stillness in your mind during challenging conversations, situations or events?

Can you recall a situation in which you chose not to react and later found this non-action reaped significantly positive results?

How do you differentiate between conscious non-action and procrastination or denial?

What do you do for yourself on a daily basis to cultivate patience and clarity?