The Three Ds

Discern. Distinguish. Decide.

Just three words, but they are such powerful words.

Mastering the true meanings of these words will have a huge impact of anyone’s life.

What do these words mean?


Discernment is both the ability to aware of something and place it in context.

The first part is awareness: you must have some measure of mastery over your neurological and emotional state such that you able to notice things as discrete phenomena.

Once having become of aware of something you must have the consciousness to place it in context, to understand it.

This the first step: noticing and understanding.


The ability to distinguish is the ability to make distinctions.

Understanding what something is in relation to something else.

Something is “this” and not “that,” and knowing which is preferable, in relation to one’s authentic preferences and goals.

Often, we are presented with two (or more) options or possibilities, but one is better for us. This is but one iteration where the ability to make authentic and resourceful distinctions is vital.


To decide is to choose. Choices allow for action.

Yes, making a decision is necessary, but it is not sufficient.

One must take action.

*  *  *

Perhaps there’s a fourth “D?”


One must make a decision and then take action.

One must do.

*  *  *

To recap:

Discernment is the skill of awareness combined with ability to understand phenomena, in a personally relevant way.

Distinguishing is the ability to make distinctions and choose wisely amongst a field of possibilities.

Deciding is choosing. Examining possibilities, weighing personal preference and utility and focusing on one. Just one.

And the fourth D: Doing. Taking action. Learning. Adapting and Acting still.

* * *

All these are skills which can be learned and strengthened. It takes will and commitment.

Anyone can do it.

Anyone who does do it will live an extraordinary life.

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