Deciding to Decide

April 23, 2014


Marriott Marquis Washington, DC
Touring the Marriott Marquis Washington DC due to open in a few weeks.

There are many things that I learned while growing up in my church. One was what former church presi­dent Spencer W. Kimball termed “deciding to decide.”

For me, I personally decided that I simply wouldn’t do certain things, like be unfaithful, smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs. And I decided it would be the last time I’d have to make a decision about those particular temptations. 

As 19th-century philosopher Thomas Carlyle once said, “A man lives by believing something, not by debating and arguing about many things.” Once you decide to decide, life becomes very simple. You don’t have to think about certain issues or questions again. You simply get on with things and don’t waste time and energy rehashing — debating and arguing — the problems and possibilities.

Deciding to decide and then sticking to those decisions has another benefit. I'm sure I sound old-fashioned, but I think there’s satisfaction to be had in standing firm against the onslaught of temptations that are part and parcel of contemporary life. Saying no consistently can provide a sense of real power in a world that often seems out of control. It also helps you focus on the task at hand, which for me was raising a family and trying to run a business.

Not everyone finds the idea of hard-and-fast choices appealing, but I’ve found it liberating. It can also keep you humble by providing an ongoing reminder that no one’s judgment is so infallible that a few rules aren’t necessary.

Let me know what words of wisdom you live by.  

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

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