10/04/2013 11:16 am ET Updated Dec 04, 2013

Four Steps to Creating Your Defining Moment

When the Global Spa & Wellness Summit meets October 5-7 in New Delhi, delegates from over 40 countries will join together to shape the future of wellness around the globe-and will set in motion new initiatives that have the potential to bring more wellness to a world undergoing a health care crisis.

Under the Summit's theme of "A Defining Moment," attendees will receive an intense education on where spa/wellness has been, where it is today and where it is headed. Then they will be called to use that education, and their own experience, to make decisions that can create defining moments for millions, both professionally and personally.

But how will delegates make these vital decisions-and are there tools that can help us all make better decisions and create our own defining moments?

I'd like to show you how to do this with a simple Four Step process, which is adapted from a decision making process -- called Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) that I've taught to tens of thousands of doctors and has become the standard by which medical decisions are made.

As the author of one of the early textbooks on EBM, I've also had the pleasure of speaking at two previous Summits about how this framework, together with brain science and mindfulness, can provide a scientific foundation for the spa and wellness industry. I also helped launch, which provides summaries of key scientific research on the various wellness-related modalities the industry offers.

In the spirit of the theme for this year's Summit, I'd like to share with you a defining moment we recently had in our family and how you can also use the framework of EBM to make big life decisions and create your own Defining Moments.

My oldest son, Zach, reached a defining moment, and I wanted to help him deepen his ability to make good decisions in his life. Zach was about to enter his 13th year, which, in the Jewish tradition, is the age of transition between being a boy and becoming a man. As part of his rite of passage, we decided to write a book together about learning how to make better decisions.

After working together for a year, the culmination of this project is The Big Decision, written for parents to read with their children, teachers with their students and for healers and leaders. It is a story and framework that has adapted the Four Steps of EBM to inspire and empower big decisions that set you up to create defining moments in your life.

Whether you are faced with decisions in business or where you work, or if you're facing daunting decisions in your personal life, here are the Four Steps that can help you to confidently make better decisions:

1) First, Frame key questions around important decisions in your life. Ask yourself:

  • What are all of my choices?
  • What are the possible outcomes and which ones are most desired?
  • What are my most important values and goals?
  • How can I best serve my stakeholders or my family and friends?
  • Which decision is most aligned with my values, goals, desired outcomes and greatest capacity to serve?

2) Next take some time to Find more inspired answers to your questions by learning how to calm your mind, so you can think more clearly and create the optimal brain conditions so the answers to your questions can find you. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Find a quiet place where you won't be disturbed and try this brief mindfulness practice. Close your eyes, let your mind go without trying to actively think or modify your thoughts. Focus on your breathing, noticing where you sense this most strongly (such as the air moving at the rim of your nostrils) and breathe in for a count of five, and out for a count of five, with a relaxed or "soft belly" (allowing your belly to expand as you breathe in and recede as you breathe out).
  • Go outside for a walk or light jog.
  • Take a warm shower or a relaxing bath.
  • Take some time to do yoga or enjoy a relaxing massage.
  • As you find greater stillness and enter a more relaxed but alert state, simply repeat in your mind your inspired questions and notice your thoughts. Make a mental or written note of what answers arise in your mind.

3) Evaluate your answers and decision by reflecting:

  • Does this feel "right" more than just feel "good?"
  • Is this good for others and for me?
  • Do the rewards outweigh the risks?
  • What is the best decision over the long-term?

4) Apply your decision by taking meaningful and purposeful action to create defining moments in your life. If your decision is daunting, this step also supports you to find the courage and willpower to take action. For example, the following tips can help you to follow through on a challenging decision:

  • Rehearse in your mind what you want to say or do in advance (and practice breathing with a "soft belly" if you notice yourself feeling stressed).
  • Make sure you are well rested, hydrated and nourished before you take action.
  • Set a date and consider who you'd like to ask for support in taking action.
  • Now just do it (breathe and draw on what you've rehearsed) to create your defining moment.

I sincerely hope that these Four Steps will help you Frame inspired questions and Find, Evaluate and Apply your answers to create defining moments in your life and the lives of those you serve.

To your health, wellness and your defining moments!

This blog post is part of a series produced by The Global Spa and Wellness Summit, in conjunction with Global Spa and Wellness Summit 2013 on October 5- 7 in New Delhi, India. For more information about The Global Spa and Wellness Summit, click here.