Wednesday, January 26, 2005

When we make decisions that mess up our life

Yes, it is true that some decisions don’t work out, some fall apart and some create a big mess, but within all decisions lies the potential for greater clarity, wisdom and understanding.

Most of the decisions that don’t work out stem from the fact that few people have been taught how to take a proactive approach to life instead of a reactive approach, while for others it is because the decision-making process was deferred to someone else.

We have to learn that arriving at a decision need not be difficult or fraught with stress if we will take the time to ponder these questions before making a decision:

What decision needs to be made?

Why must a decision be made right now?

What is going on in your life that has forced the issue, causing you to feel compelled to make a decision right now?

What will happen if you delay making this decision?

What are the consequences of delaying this decision?

What or who will be affected if you don’t make this decision now?

What results do you want?

What is it that you desire as a result of the decision?

What outcome do you want or are you expecting?

What are your choices?

Are those your only choices?

If there are other options, then what are they?

What are the consequences of each option?

What will you gain as a result of choosing that option?

What will you lose?

How do you feel about whatever you may lose?

How will each choice affect you?

Are you willing to live with the results?

Are you willing to pay the price for the choice you make?

Which option feels the best? Since you will never absolutely, without a doubt, know the outcome of making a decision before making the decision, it usually comes down to instinct.

Which choice feels the best?

Which does your gut instinct say to choose?

Why does that choice feel the best?

What is it about that decision that feels so good?

If you implement your choice and it doesn’t work out, then what?

Often, people think that when they make a decision, they must live with the results for the rest of their life. The truth is that decisions are temporary stepping stones toward more decisions. Look at your decisions as temporary bridges to the next step in your life.

If things don’t work out as a result of your decision, think of the knowledge that you will have gained. Think of how that knowledge will help you to make better decisions in the future.

Did you master riding a bicycle on your first attempt?

Didn’t you practice until the wobbling stopped and you rode like a pro? Decisions are the same.

How many times do you think Thomas Edison made the wrong decisions in his experiments with electricity, then learning from his trial and error, finally invented the light bulb?

And what about all the new discoveries he made along the way?

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