William Downie On Managing Stress And The Keys To Effective Decision Making

William Downie

William Downie grew up with both parents and an older brother and sister in a typical, small midwestern town. He attended public elementary schools until he went on to a smaller, well-respected private middle and high school in the larger nearby city. There he played tennis and swam, but also enjoyed skateboarding and playing drums in a band with friends.

William Downie went on to attend Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Statistics, graduating Cum Laude with University Honors. He joined the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and still has lasting friendships from that experience.

Following his undergraduate studies, William Downie received his Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree from Indiana University School of Dentistry, graduating with Highest Distinction Honors, tied for first in his class.

From there, he went on to practice dentistry for a little over eight years, first in his father’s practice, then in his own practice. Ultimately, dentistry was not meant to be his path in life. However, he certainly gained valuable experiences and knowledge from those years.

It turns out his path in life has led him to a passion for working in the mental health field.

Being of service to others and making a positive impact on how people view themselves and the world around them is what drives William Downie today. A spiritual door of recovery has opened in his life, bringing out his true altruistic and empathetic personality. This is the result of living a sober lifestyle based on the 12-step principles.

He is a firm believer that his higher power has and continues to give him amazing things in his life so that he can strive to be of maximal service to others. He’s always willing to tell his own story so that others may be the best versions of themselves that they can be.

William Downie practices progress, not perfection, as well as the principles of honesty, willingness, and openness in all his affairs. He utilizes both his past experiences and the strength and hope that he has acquired from being active in recovery to add value and positivity to all aspects of this life.

He believes in taking care of himself and enjoys playing recreational beach volleyball and running. He’s currently training for a marathon that he will be completing with his sister in February of 2022. He is very involved in service commitments that he participates in as a result of being highly active in 12-Step programs.  He is a loving son, brother, and “Uncle Will” to his niece and nephew.

Being in recovery, he has connected with the spiritual aspects of life. He leans on a higher power of his understanding to help guide him down his path, doing the next right thing and humbly reminding him to always have acceptance and to be grateful for the second chance at life that he has been given.

We recently spoke to William Downie to hear his insights on how he manages his stress and his plans for the future.

What does the future hold for you?

In the future, my goals include getting certified as an LMHC (licensed mental health counselor) and focusing my life’s work on being of service to others. Being in recovery is what has guided me toward these goals.  I plan on continuing to be a very active member of my 12-step support group moving forward, taking advice from my sponsor and offering advice whenever possible.

The best gifts in life come from giving altruistically and selflessly; financial results like income earned from a career are a bonus. In the past, I focused too much on the outcomes of my actions, and I lacked a spiritual drive. Now that I come from a more mature, spiritually driven place, I can focus my efforts on best helping and being of service to others.

I put my best foot forward, not worrying as much about a specific outcome. I’m not so much in the results business anymore – that is work for my higher power to attend to!

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive?

Talking to my 12-step sponsor daily is a very effective habit to aid in maximizing my productivity. In the past, I never truly took to heart recommendations from people that I trusted. This led to me having to redo a lot of things because I was “shooting from the hip” in too many situations where I would have benefited from listening to some guidance.

These days, if I’m making a decision that carries any weight, I run the ideas off my sponsor. This includes both personal and professional situations. From being in recovery and working a 12-step program, I have found bouncing ideas off someone I trust can help me get intelligent and productive guidance on how to continue my momentum forward in personal and professional matters.

What are some of the keys to effective decision-making?

One of the keys to effective decision-making is always objectively viewing the decision-making process from a distance. I ask myself if the decision makes the most sense for the interested parties involved and for the greater benefit of the organization or company, not just what is easier for me to accomplish at the moment.

I can usually always fall back on the rule of thumb, “Hard decision, easy life; easy decision, hard life.”

What criteria do you use to decide what to do yourself and what to delegate to others?

The main criteria that I use to decide what to do myself or what to delegate to others is, “Is the task at hand the best use of my productive effort and maximal value I can add?” or “Can I spend my time in more productive measures that will better facilitate the success of organization or company as a whole?”

Small things do matter. Sometimes completing the seemingly most simple, basic job is the only option in order to lead by example so others can see the correct way to complete a task.

When everyone works together to follow that model and keeps their side of the street clean, positive outcomes usually tend to follow. I like to think about the example I once heard that Disney World encourages all employees to act as their own janitor. Together, all employees collectively create the spiritual principle of accountability that makes Disney World such an amazing resort.

How do you manage the stress of all the things you are not able to complete?

These days, I embrace the truth that I am a human being with limitations. I have learned to embrace that my higher power has made me exactly as I am and loves me for me. With that being said, as much as I would like to be able to complete all tasks that I have planned out for any given day, I am humbly reminded that I am a human being and I many times misjudge how much time and energy I will be able to provide certain tasks.

The important thing is that I put my best effort into all the tasks that I take on. It’s okay if I can’t do it all right now, and it doesn’t have to be done perfectly.

I am thankful for the higher power of my understanding that reminds me daily that doing my best is good enough for today. With this state of mind, I do not stress about the things I am not able to complete.

Of the stress I do have, I have found that a long conversation with my 12-step sponsor and a spiritually cleansing run get me back to center and able to stay in the moment.