How to Make a Decision
One area that doesn’t seem to get a lot of air time these days is the process of deciding or making a decision, probably because so many of us are simply trying to hold on.
Yet, how many people do you know who have thrown in the business towel? Decided their marriage isn’t worth salvaging? Taken a plunge and opened up a new business? Decided to leap first; worry later? My guess is way more than during pre-COVID times.
Isn’t it fascinating how we all make what appear to be split-second decisions? NOTHING is ever split-second. Having become a defacto sounding board for many in the do I or don’t I world, I’d like to offer some nuggets I have learned.
There are no wrong answers
Now, that sounds counter-intuitive. Especially when nearly always there is a considerable amount of money involved. Yet, there are no wrong answers. Every answer is correct.
The most important question we need to ask ourselves is — am I prepared to pay the price? Most of us want to spend the least amount we can. Yet, paying the least is not always the most acceptable criteria.
I have seen mega-million dollar business deals come screeching to a halt over a charge of a few thousand dollars. (How silly when less than ½ of 1% of the total cash to the seller becomes the roadblock.) All of us have seen bitter divorces drag on for years because one or both parties did not want to pay the price of abiding by the established legal protocols and guidelines. And how many people do we know who are frustrated and miserable in their careers or professions, endlessly complaining, yet glued to the so-called stability of paycheque security?
It’s never about any one thing or any single decision being right or wrong. It’s all about our willingness to pay the price to stay or avoid the cost of leaving.
There are no wrong answers
Because when prepared to pay the price, we are always correct. The excruciatingly hard part is NOT KNOWING the price we must pay. This is the part that always causes us emotional torment, always triggers us somewhere along the road and generally brings out the worst in us.
The hardest part of making the yes/no stay/go decision is our fear of the unknown. That is our greatest fear. And the fundamental reason why we all hold on to what we know for far too long.
I don’t claim to have all the answers. However, what I share here is tried and true.
Everything is temporary
That means all the good in our lives, all the bad in our lives and all the ugly too. NOTHING is permanent. If we can come to grips knowing that everything is just temporary, then here are some ways to question ourselves to help make that decision.
The Basic Five
• How much of your unhappiness is caused by a specific person/job situation/etc?
• Are you contributing negatively to the situation? Would changing yourself change things?
• What specifically about your situation do you not like? Can you find these things elsewhere?
• What do you like about your situation? Would you find these good things elsewhere?
• Can you communicate your feelings? What reaction do you receive when you do?
When we are honest with ourselves and answer these five questions truthfully, the decision becomes obvious.
However, say those five questions do not give you a decent sense. Move on to
Eight is Great
1. Does this situation cause you more pain than joy?
2. Does this situation disrupt your inner peace?
3. Have you started becoming resentful?
4. Do you feel unheard or disrespected?
5. Is this situation preventing you from growing and pursuing your cherished goals?
6. Do you feel exhausted? (emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically)
7. Have you stopped having fun?
8. Is being in this situation asking you to compromise your personal values, your own truth, vision, and integrity? (In other words, does this situation demand that you be someone you are not?)
More than a couple of yeses, and I promise. You have your answer.
Now you have two tools to help you make your yes/no, do I stay /do I go decision. Stand firm in your decision. Because there are no wrong answers.
Are you interested in learning more tools? Reach out.