Monthly Archives: July 2013

Picking a Better Path

Progress as a decision maker: Chip and Dan Heath advocate for using a process to make life’s significant choices.

Cathedral of Saint John the Divine

In life, we spend most of our days on autopilot, going through our usual routines. We may make only a handful of conscious, considered choices every day. But while these decisions don’t occupy much of our time, they have a disproportionate influence on our lives.
– Chip and Dan Heath [1]

There is something quite remarkable about the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (please see Always Seeking Resistance), located in Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. This Gothic cathedral is one of the largest churches in the world, but the truly notable part for me is that the original plan was to create a grand Romanesque, Byzantine cathedral and not Gothic. Almost two decades of building had been done before the decision to change to a Gothic architecture was implemented, which required the amalgamation of the past construction that was already completed in the Romanesque and Byzantine design. [2]

Chip and Dan Heath describe in their new book, Decisive – How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work, a process for making the types of decisions that have a major impact in a person’s life. In order to highlight the importance of these types of decisions, they borrow the analogy of driving, pointing out that “…in our cars, we may spend 95% of our time going straight, but it’s the turns that determine where we end up.” [1]  Having gone through various twists and turns since construction began over a century ago, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine’s journey is still not yet complete since this beautiful building stands unfinished to this day. [2]

Jason Freeman is the founder of Work of Start.

1. Chip and Dan Heath. Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work (New York: Crown Business/Crown Publishing Group/Random House, Inc., 2013), 28.
2. Acquired from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine website –