Business mogul Simon Sinek once said, "There is no decision that we can make that doesn't come with some sort of balance or sacrifice." Keeping that in mind, are you ready to have your mind (at least slightly) blown?
Guess how many decisions you will make before turning it in tonight? You ain't even ready — 35,000! I know it sounds like I'm totally exaggerating (click here to see that I'm not), but when you really think about it, that kind of makes sense.
You had to decide to get out of bed, then decide which room you were going to go into first (usually it's the bathroom, right?). You had to decide what you were going to wear, eat for breakfast and route you were going to take to work. You then had to decide whether or not you were going to cuss out your annoying co-worker and also decide if you were going to procrastinate on that project your boss assigned you. The list goes on and on.
When you really think about how many things require that a decision be made, suddenly 35,000 seems a little on the small side.
Now here's some food for thought. How much weight do you put into the decisions that you make? Do you really believe what Actress Helen Mirren once said, "You write your life story by the choices you make"? Do you apply the wisdom of motivational speaker Mario Teguh when he warns, "Never make a decision when you are upset, sad, jealous or in love"? Is your decision-making motto something along the lines of "Openness, respect, integrity — these are principles that need to underpin pretty much every other decision that you make"? (Justin Trudeau, the current Prime Minister of Canada said that.)
One could say that their entire destiny hinges on the decisions that they make. Keeping that in mind, if you have a really big one coming up and time is not really on your side when it comes to making it, here are five tips to help you make one you can feel good (and sure) about.
Revisit Your Values.
We all have values. But if someone asked you to define what a value system is, what would you say? If it's always some sort of an abstract definition, here's a way to simplify it. Values are simply what you believe and how you choose to live your life based on those beliefs. Your values should be the foundation that determines what (and who) you prioritize in your life. It should also help you to figure out what you want your future to look like.
Say that you value your family. If you're offered a job that will give you more money but will also require you to work twice as much as you do now, if you make a decision based on your value system, you'll probably pass on that gig. What it would cost your family dynamic isn't worth the bump in pay.
So yes, when making a decision, the first thing to consider is what your values are and what choice will affirm vs. compromise them.
Figure Out What You Would Tell Someone Else.
Most of us are experts at giving others good advice. But somehow, when it comes to our own selves, we struggle. Why is that? Because when it comes to us, we're biased. We're also more emotional about our own issues than other people's stuff.
Don't believe me? Think about the last time you gave advice to a girlfriend about a man in her life who was puttin' it down and also not treating her right simultaneously. Now think about the last man who did you the same way. Did you take the advice that you gave ole' girl? If so, how long did it take you to actually follow through?
Some of the best insight is what we would offer the people we care about. When trying to make a decision, think about what you would tell a family member or friend if they were in that same situation. Then try and do what you just advised.
Think About Your Life a Year from Now.Giphy
If you make a decision based on a temptation, one of the main problems with that is you're probably only focused on the now. Eat that extra slice of cake now. Have sex with that fine man now. Spend money you don't have to buy an outfit you don't really need now. But if all you do is focus on the here and now, you could look up in six months or a year later and realize that giving in to your temptations resulted in your life being a total mess.
A good decision-maker doesn't only care about how a choice affects the present. They do their best to consider how it will impact their future too.
Remember That Indecision IS Decision.
A Jewish philosopher by the name of Maimonides once said, "The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision." I've wasted a lot of time not believing these pearls of wisdom, not so much when it comes to the choices I've made, but as it relates to allowing people in my life to be stagnant when it came to making decisions that directly affected me.
Nothing good comes from procrastinating. Nothing good comes from indecision either. All they do is encourage you to totally disrespect your time. And time? That's one thing you can never get back.
When you've got a decision to make…make it.
Jeff Jahn, the CEO of the software company DynamiX offers up some good food for thought about the patterns related to our decisions:
"Most of what we face each day is similar to other scenarios we have already experienced. By understanding this, it's possible to quickly map a range of previous experiences and their outcomes. Leverage those to arrive at the most viable decision for this case. Over time, as you continue making decisions, their speed and quality will improve."
I really like this because it's a reminder that we should only do what we've done before if that choice worked for our greater good in times past. Otherwise, we probably need to step out of the box a bit.
How far out? That depends. What does your gut instinct tell you?
How much can you trust it? Quite a bit. Not only is your gut shaped by your past choices but also the wisdom you've gained from that. If you add to that the fact that your intuition is literally connected to the nerves in your body, well—it's a confirmation of what I often tell people.
We are comprised of our mind, body, and spirit. All three are designed to live in harmony. When one of them is not in sync with the others, it's a flag that something is "off".
That's why, when you need to make a big decision, your gut should also come into play. If you listen to and honor it, you won't have to waste time (and go crazy) asking a billion other people. So long as your mind, body, and spirit are at peace, you can be too.
You'll be able to co-sign with Caroline Kennedy when she said, "When you make the right decision, it doesn't really matter what anyone else thinks."
The decision will be made. You can be proud. And both your present and future will thrive because of it.
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