Decisions suck sometimes. Many times when we’re in the midst of a difficult decision, we expect there to be a clear right and wrong choice. But there isn’t. People involved always complicate the matter further. How in the world do we navigate these situations in our day-to-day lives? Here are a few tips.
Do The Opposite Of What’s Comfortable
This will knock out the uncertainty in more than fifty percent of your decisions. It’s especially true for my life, because if I had done what felt comfortable to me, I probably would’ve never went on a cross-country road trip that changed my life.
Too many people in my hometown choose to stay comfortable. I was out at the bar the other night and saw dozens of people that I used to know from high school. They never left home I guess.
It’s hard to forsake comfort for the unknown, but I’d wager that 9 times out of 10, it’s the right way to go.
Listen To Your Friends
Making a decision is quite easy if you’re willing to listen to friends. Sometimes they might sabotage your best interests in the name of their own selfishness, however I’ve found that this doesn’t happen very often. Besides, if you choose the right friends, you won’t have to worry about this happening to you.
And how do you find the right friends? Ben Franklin once said “the same man cannot be both friend and flatterer.” Sure, find friends who are kind and fun, but also find friends who will tell you what you need to hear, even if you don’t want to hear it.
And then, most importantly, listen to them.
Fill Out The Johari Window
We all want to be happy. That’s why some decisions are hard to make, because they carry serious ramifications connected to whether we might be happy in the end. Should you ask your girlfriend to marry you? Should you take that promotion?
The Johari Window can help you with that. It looks like this.
As shown, it’s not enough to know who you are, we also have to know how others view us.
Here’s where it gets tricky though. When others know more about us than we do, it’s especially important to listen to them. However, when we know more about ourselves than our friends, then we have to trust our gut.
It’s difficult to know what our friends think of us, but to clear it up ya’ll can go through this exercise and fill out the Johari window. It’s actually quite fun to do, and when your friends know you better, they’re in a better position to give you advice.
Spend Time With A Mentor
Unlike friends, mentors are there specifically to give you guidance. There’s a level of rapport found in these relationships, sure, but mentors are supposed to judge our situations with level eyes.
I spent time with a mentor in college and he urged me to think about the man I want to be in the future. Honestly that was the first time I seriously thought about my future, and our meetings forced me to stay accountable from week to week.
Stare Into The Past
What better way to inform our current decisions than to look at our past ones? Ponder similar situations you’ve gone through, if you can. Think about those involved, your goals at the time, the success you saw, and the obstacles you overcame. Apply anything you can to your current decision.
Take Emotion Out Of It
Human beings make way too many decisions based on emotion. If some people buy a dog, or get married because of an oncoming rush of emotion, then it’s entirely logical to assume that we make many other decisions based on our emotions as well.
Some things might feel right in the moment, but in reality that feeling only lasts for a little while, and can deceive us into doing things that aren’t good for us in the long run.
Listen To Yourself
We’ve gone through a variety of tips. In your life, doing all of these exercises will illuminate the proper response about 90 percent of the time for you.
But if you’re anything like me, you like doing things your way. Making the right decision is a weird mixture of listening to others while also turning inward to look at your soul. At the end of the day, your friends could know bits and pieces, but nobody knows the whole you better than you. When you’ve gone through all of the previous exercises and still don’t have a clue of what to do, simply do the most exciting option.
If you made the wrong choice, you can always revert back to another route. You don’t need to make the best decision every time, and with every decision you make, you find out more about yourself in the end.
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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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