Here are my tips on how to make wise decisions when you don’t know what to do.
Everyday you make decisions and through those decisions, you gain wisdom.
Wisdom is the quality of having experience, knowledge and good judgement. Sometimes we need the bad judgements to gain wisdom. Mistakes are there to make you a better person.
You make decisions every day that affect your life in different ways. Some decisions, such as which movie to rent or where to go on your morning jog, have a small impact. Others, such as which job offer to accept or whether to get married or not, have life-changing implications. Moral decisions are easy, such as if you should lie or tell the truth.
Wisdom is NOT about being good at life, no matter what scholars tell you. Wisdom is smart, moral and successful…but you can still be unhappy at life. Wisdom will prepare you better than anything else for the things you are chasing. You must use your life to seek wisdom.
What you want will determine what you do!
When it comes to making decisions I am the most indecisive person you will meet. It is one of the qualities I am not fond of at all. I will go back and forth between decisions in fear of making the wrong one. This is where trust comes in. You have to trust that you will make a decision based on the best information you have at the time – and if failure comes – take it as a stepping stone.
Techniques to Better Decision Making
- Think of yourself as a fly on the wall. Place yourself outside of the impending decision and play devil’s advocate. What would it look like if it went one way versus the other?
- Stay present in the current decision and cut your losses. Make the decision based on the wisdom that you currently possess and accept any losses that may come from it.
- Cultivate your emotional intelligence and deal with it rationally. Making decisions when you are angry or frustrated will cloud your vision. Work through the emotions even if it means you need to step away for awhile until your vision is clearer.
- Be aware of your goals and make sure they align with the decision you are making. Your current decisions can’t be in conflict with future goals.
- Listen to your gut! Ultimately, take a step back and reflect on your thought process, your soul is speaking to you.
- DON’T LOOK BACK! Make the decisions and move forward – no matter the outcome! Regrets are moments of looking back at the stupid stuff you did but knowing that it was what you wanted to do at the time. It’s a stepping stone.
Questions to journal about:
- Think about a past decision you made that didn’t turn out the way you wanted. How did it change your life for the better? What did you learn from it? Have you used this lesson to make future decisions?
- Take a small or big decision that you are currently faced with (something as small as whether or not you should take a family vacation this summer or something large such as whether you should end a relationship or not).
- What is your first emotional reaction?
- What choice brings you joy?
- What choice brings you anxiety?
- Which decision is aligned more with your being and who you are wanting to become?
- Does one energize you or drain you more than the other? (Note: a decision that energizes you doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a good decision. And likewise, a decision that drains you, doesn’t mean that it’s a bad one.)
- Do you need more information?
Sometimes the questions are hard and the answers are simple.
I know this is a topic that requires a lot of thought when it is something that you struggle with. If you are able to take the journal questions above and walk through them when you are facing a tough decision, it will make the process easier.