The Power of Deciding By Jim Stovall

Jim StovallI believe and have often said that we are all one quality decision away from anything we want. A quality decision is a certain state of mind. It is not the process of deciding to try, attempt, or pursue something until it becomes difficult.

A quality decision means that you have firmly set your course. You are no longer flexible on your mission; however, you may be flexible on your method.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Once you make a decision, the world conspires to make it happen.”

As a blind person myself, I became frustrated with the inability to access movies and television over 20 years ago. I made a quality decision to do something about this issue for myself and the 13 million blind and visually impaired Americans and their families as well as millions more around the world. With some very talented colleagues, I launched and built the Narrative Television Network.

Initially, it was our plan to provide companion audio cassettes that would describe the visual elements of a TV show or movie. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that the best quality audio cassettes in 1988 had enough tape stretch problems so that, by the end of an hour program, the audio tape could be as much as a minute ahead or behind. If I had been committed to this method of achieving my mission, it would have been the end of our venture; however, next we began producing VHS tape, followed by delivering our accessible programming via analog broadcast tape, and today we provide special sound tracks to visually impaired people around the world via a number of digital platforms.

I remain committed to the goal of providing accessible entertainment and educational programming for blind and visually impaired children and adults; however, I am quite certain that in the coming years we will deliver our programming through newly-developing technologies as well as technological breakthroughs that have yet to have been even considered.

As you consider your goals and dreams, it is important to move them from the state of a wish to the state of a decision. A wish is something that would be nice if all the stars aligned, and it happened. For example, most people would agree that winning the lottery would be nice, if it happened. On the other hand, a decision is a firm state of resolve that closes the door marked “What am I going to do?” and opens a new door marked “How am I going to do it?”

If you will remain committed to your course and open to all possible ways to reach your goal, success is simply a matter of time.

As you go through your day today, find a worthy goal or project and make a quality decision.

Today’s the day!
Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached by e-mail at or by visiting

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