Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Making Decisions

Decision making is not just an action, but a necessary action. How many times have you found yourself in a moment where the responsibility was placed on you to say yes or no? But, because you didn’t want to make a bad, or wrong, decision, you hesitated on giving a response. This worry of choosing a wrong answer is amplified when the answer requires a definite action, as opposed to just a yes or no response.

For example, deciding on whether or not you want takeout for dinner, is completely different than deciding on whether or not you want to buy a house, which college to go to, which career move you will take, or even yes or no to some other goal you are thinking about. The problem lies in not how important the decision is, or how big we think it is, but in our ability to actually make a decision; and to not take an eternity in reaching one.

But now, let’s say you actually make a decision on one of the things mentioned above. Have you ever found yourself second guessing that decision? You may have even reached the point where you actually changed your mind completely, and decided on whatever the alternate option was. If no one told you then, I will tell you now: Making a decision, and then going back on that decision, deteriorates your credibility. I am not even talking about your credibility with other people, but with yourself. The more times you go back on your own decisions, because you regret making a previous decision, the more that habit will embed itself in you. This will create an enormous amount of doubt in yourself which will concrete the path of indecision even further.

Does this mean, we are expected to make “perfect” decisions every time? Or even, expected not to feel the effects of what very well could have been an actual bad decision? Of course not! If you remember nothing from this post, at least remember this: Life is one big string of decisions. There is no negative or positive in that statement. It just is. And what that statement actually means is that everything in our life is the result of a previous decision. One decision leads to an action, which leads to another set of decisions to be made, which in turn leads to other actions, and so forth.

From this perspective, we can see that regardless of whether or not we make a “right” or “wrong” decision, after that action is taken, a new set of decisions will need to be made.  For instance, imagine you are trying to decide whether or not you want to go with Company Full of Promises. Let’s suppose you say yes, and decide to work for them. Now, being hired by them, let’s say it ends up being what you hoped for, and you are happy with your decision. This is a great outcome in your mind, as this is what you were looking towards. 

Now, suppose you get hired by Company Full of Maybes, but they end up being nothing you were hoping for. You practically feel lied to. Now, this is your place of employment, and you regret your decision. But, before you beat yourself up, and wallow in a load of self pity for “making the worst decision”, try an alternative way of looking at it (because the feeling sad for ourselves part does nothing productive). Instead, realize that you made a decision, and acted on it. Don’t focus on whether it was bad or good. Focus on the new decisions that need to be made due to your being unhappy with the outcome of choosing to work where you are. Do you stay, and give it a bit to see if anything changes? Do you immediately start looking for new work, while being employed there? Do you get to know other people who currently work there, and find out about the work place culture, because maybe they just do things differently than what you are used to?

You see, they are just decisions that need to be made one after another. So many different paths, and options, and possibilities – yes, it’s true it can seem overwhelming when you dwell on all that. But, something that helps immensely is if you know what you want. THIS is the actual key to decision making, in respects to what you would internally consider a “good” decision for yourself. When it is a decision made off of what you want to do, if it harmonizes with who you are internally, it becomes ridiculously easy.

Someone told me a short story once, of a business owner who somehow always seemed to make good decisions, or the “right” decisions. When asked by an intrigued person, on how it was possible for an imperfect man to not only make all the right business decisions over the years, but also to make them
quickly, the business owner explained that he always left it to the coin in his pocket. But, it may not be due to the manner in which you think.

The business owner never actually left it to the chance of the flip of a coin. The business owner always made the right decision for himself – actually from his gut. Off of his intuition. Every time this savvy gentleman felt a slight hesitation between “this”, and “that”, he would take out his coin, designate heads to one option, and tails to the other option, and throw it up in the air. The minute that coin was in the air, the man’s subconscious was already rooting for one of the sides to land. The very instant he felt that, he knew which choice to make. Once the coin landed, he never even bothered to look at it. He just shoved it back in his pocket. Knowing what harmonizes with you, knowing what you truly want, makes your subconscious kick out the decision you should take.

So is there a way to use this process in case you actually DO NOT know what you truly want for yourself just yet? Yes, and again, you can use the coin. Designate an option for each side of the coin, and if you truly cannot feel a gut reaction on which option you actually want while the coin is in the air, then let it land, spin, and stop. No hesitation – just go with what landed.

You see, even with our business owner in the story above, there were times when he felt his gut tell him what he really wanted to go with, and then he chose it, but then that decision ended up going completely opposite of how he thought it would turn out. What did he do then? Blame the coin? Beat himself up internally? Not at all. He realized that new decisions needed to be made. Nothing more, nothing less. Life is one big string of decisions.

Let it be absolutely clear though, that allowing the total falling, and stopping, of a coin to make a decision for you, is a last resort. Your best route always, is to concretely know who you really are, or are in the process of becoming, thereby allowing the real you to make decisions that lead to your personal happiness. The objective is to not allow any excuse as to why a decision was not even made.

Of course, life is so much more than the way we are referring to it here. It is extremely colorful, enjoyable, full of potential, and an amazing thing. But, when you come down to its bare basic, as it relates to how we move our own lives along, it really is several decisions being made, one after another. The better you get at decision making, the more enjoyable your life will be. It develops confidence, character, and frees up so much time that you would have previously spent on worrying, or hesitating, about the correctness of your choices.

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Lover of Family, Life, and Possibility. Creative Soul. "Stop Thinking You Can't, and Start Knowing You Can." Reach out to me, and let me know how I can help!


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