The Art of Decision Making: Tips on Making Decisions You Can Live With
Making decisions in our lives–whether it’s what to eat for lunch or where to find your next job– can seem overwhelming. Each decision carries with it a result and a chain of events that may dictate the course of our lives.
For those of us who consider every decision as life or death, day-to-day decisionscan seem impossible!
To help you discover the finer points of decision-making, here are some valuable tips on how you can make decisions that you can live with every day:
- Map out your decision. Start by evaluating the decision to be made. What are the details? By mapping out exactly what your decision will entail as far as consequencesand results, you’ll be on your way to making an informed decision that you can live with.
- Weigh pros and cons. This process is tried and true. Make a list and evaluate the pros in one column against the cons in another. Include short and long term consequences as well as positives and negatives.
Seeing the pros and cons before you on paper will make the matter at hand seem all the more evident as far as how you should make your decision. In your evaluation, give more weight to the pros and cons that carry more weight in your life.
- The quantity of pros or cons does not equal the quality.
For example, if one of your main priorities in life is to make more money, listing “make more money” on your pros column should count for more than one of the cons in the other column.
- Become informed. Find out all of the related information you need to make your decision. Being better informed through research or talking to others will help you make a decision you can live with.
- Consider your motives. While evaluating your list of pros and cons, consider what motives may be contributing to the points you added in both columns. Revise or weigh accordingly. For example, can the con on your list be attributed to your lifelong fear or is it merely situational?
- In the case offears, perhaps facing your fears should be part of the decision.Facing the fear may be a pro as opposed to the fear being a con.
- Give yourself a deadline.When faced with an important decision, we tend to delay making the ultimate choice. By giving yourself a deadline, you will have no other choice than to decide one way or another.
- Look at the decision as part of the bigger picture. Is this a small or large decision in the course of your life? Decide which and evaluate accordingly. If it’s small, perhaps you’re spending too much time and consideration on it. If it’s larger, how will it fit in with the rest of your life goals?
- By examining the decision for what it is in the short and long-term, youwill better understand how the decision affects the bigger picture.
- Recognize the relativity. Many tough decisions can carry with them irrevocable consequences, but more often than not, there is always more time and more opportunity to make the decision again. Worrying needlessly about one decision is futile.
- Most decisions only determine your short-term circumstances in the relative present. In most cases your decision can be altered in the future when circumstances are different or you’re in a different stage of your life.
Following these tips can transform decision-making from a stressful process into a process that gives you more confidence and control in your life.
Embrace decisions as the good thing that it is, and the result will be a happier, more confident you!