“Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.”
Robert H. Schuller
The importance of making great decisions
All decisions are not created equal. Some decisions impact us on a small scale, like deciding what to eat for dinner. However, some decisions can alter your life so much that you become a new person altogether, like leaving your hometown to live and work in a foreign country.
Sometimes you’ll find yourself at life’s junctions where you’re perplexed with your choices and the decision making is overwhelming. Whether you’re making a decision about where to go to college, whom to marry, where to move, or changing jobs, there are many elements that can throw your emotions into turmoil.
If you have a big decision looming, here are some things you can do to make your decision a little easier:
1. Get various perspectives.
Seeking advice from the people you trust – like family members, friends, or spiritual directors – can provide unique viewpoints about your situation that may help make your decision easier.
Sometimes someone from the outside can offer clarity that you don’t have sitting in the middle of the decision. The person can offer a bird’s-eye-view of the situation and bring out things you might not even be aware of.
2. Consider the Pros and Cons.
Another great method for helping with decision making is writing a Pros and Cons list.
• Get a piece of paper, and write the positive things about the decision on one side and the negative things on the other.
• Include financial impact, emotional considerations, friendships, and short and long-term aspects of your choice.
• Time might also be a factor, especially if you’re trying to achieve a goal. Sometimes a visual timeline is enough to propel you to make the right decision.
• Include other people in helping you make the list.
• If you still don’t have enough facts to make the decision, hold onto it for later consideration. Life circumstances may change, and that may alter your decision in the future.
3. Become educated about your options.
For example, if you’re considering a move across the country, you’ll want to visit the place first. Find out about living expenses, the job market, and how you’ll survive.
Knowing the answers to important questions will help you feel secure in the decision you make.
It’s essential to spend time praying, meditating, or simply reflecting on your choices.
• Find some time when you won’t be distracted, and spend as long as you need exploring what you feel inside. This will often lead to a peaceful solution.
5. Trust yourself.
If all else fails and you still haven’t made your choice, go with your gut. If you feel strongly about something in your heart, you’ll have the perseverance to withstand any storms that may come with the decision.
Making a decision is like being on the Price is Right game show. The contestants on the show are given big decisions to make. They can take advice from the audience, use prior knowledge, or make an educated guess based on given information, but they ultimately still have to go with their gut feeling.
Life may be different than a game show, but the decision making process is still the same. Use all the resources at your disposal, employ the strategies above, pay attention to your inner feelings, and then trust that you can handle whatever comes your way.
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