How to make smart decisions about important things
- May 20, 2018
You cannot hear this often enough! Your BIG dream is super important because only you can fulfil it! The world needs you and your contribution. Your gifts and experience are unique. We are waiting to see you become all that you always dreamed of being! You deserve to be happy doing stuff that you love!
But how do you decide what is your ‘thing’, your life direction? How do you even dare to decide to chase your BIG dream? How do you move from where you are today to where you want to be? How do you make a smart decision about something that’s really important?
It all comes back to knowing what your options are and making the best (smartest) decision possible based on what you know at the time. The What Matters to You worksheet gives you many questions that will help you to get started identifying what matters to you. Download it here, open your journal and start to think about what you already know about yourself and your dreams.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW TO MAKE A SMART DECISION?
They say “What you don’t know, can’t hurt you!” Well maybe that’s true if you’re talking about a spy movie where the less you know about some dubious activity, the safer you will be. In life, when it comes to your decisions, what you don’t know can hurt you. It can certainly hurt your dreams!
Poorly informed decisions will waste you a lot of time and cause you a lot of pain.
You don’t need me to give you a case study! You already know people who made the ‘wrong’ decision!
Think about your friend who studied the ‘wrong’ courses at school or college and dropped out. Here of course, you have to translate ‘wrong’ to mean the ‘wrong-course-for-them’. Or another person you know who followed their parents wishes and got the degree but is now in a job or career they hate. It might not be that the path was wrong, but that it was the ‘wrong-path-for-them’.
That’s the challenge – to figure out what is ‘right-for-you’! To do that you need to know yourself very well.
USE YOUR MIND TO MAKE A DECISION
A well-informed decision making process requires, well, … information. Good, solid reliable information. That usually requires research, but that doesn’t have to mean book or classroom learning! It means opening your eyes and ears to everything that is around you.
Live with curiosity!
One important tip: – as you research it’s best to keep all the info in one place. Some people keep a notebook just for this topic. Take your time to gather the info and observe, reflect and imagine! Making a decision about your life direction or your BIG dream is a serious task!
Getting the best evidence and information is one half of the decision-making pie.
USE YOUR EMOTIONS TO MAKE A DECISION
The other half of the decision-making pie is your feelings, instincts and emotions. We are rational beings and we are also very emotional. A sensible (rational) decision might be intellectually wise and correct, but if you aren’t emotionally ‘into it’, when things get tough you will find it too easy to opt out.
The highly successful entrepreneur Derek Sivers has a process very much in touch with your emotions. He says: For every opportunity that comes your way, ask yourself, “Do I want to _______________?” and you will intuitively respond in one of three ways:
- “HELL YES!!!!! Abso-freaking-lutely! YESSSSSS.” – When this happens, you should do it. Right now.
- “Yeah . . . This makes sense. I can see this working. Yes.” – When this happens, you should table it for now and revisit it later. Or never.
- “Maybe. That could be cool. That might work.” – When this happens, you should walk the away. Mediocre is not good enough.
SOURCE: fastcompany.com Article “A Definitive Guide to Making Better (and Informed) Decisions
USE YOUR MIND AND EMOTIONS TO MAKE A SMART DECISION
A smart decision is one that blends all your research (knowledge, info and facts) with your emotions.
Because it’s your life and your choice, you want to make a good/smart decision. You don’t want to spend years climbing the mountain that is the ‘wrong-mountain-for-you’!
To make a smart decision: there’s no way around it – you’ve got to record it somehow.
- Start by getting to know yourself better. You can use the questions from our What Matters to You worksheet and continue from there.
- Learn more about the areas that you need to know more about. Consider your emotions. Trust your ‘instinct’ and know what feels right.
- Keep all your research and observations in one place. You can keep a notebook with images or doodles, start a file/folder on your laptop, write or record on your device, collect images / quotes that inspire you and pin them in your vision board.
Climbing a mountain isn’t easy. Your deeper emotional reasons combined with a good understanding will keep you on the path when the going gets tough.
In the end, you have to remember that any decision you make is not final. You will have several steps to take and if you find the pathway is always hitting a dead-end, you are free to take a diversion or detour. Your life is yours to live.
Whatever your smart decision is, write it down! Make your own map or plan that identifies your next action steps and key milestones! Include a ‘Plan B’ to outline what will you do if things don’t happen immediately.
Decision-making is not easy and it usually comes as a result of days and weeks of research and consideration.
Congrats to you if you decided that you’re not ready to make a decision immediately, or that it is too hard right now. Hey, even deciding to not make a decision right now is a decision, and it might be a smart one! It’s okay. At least you know more now than you did yesterday! And you are always able to look at things again in the future.
If you decided on the mountain you want to climb, to give your dreams a chance! If you decided to take the journey from where you are now to where you want to be, congrats!! That was a smart decision and awesomely courageous. Bravo!
Now you can start to flesh out the steps you need to allow to go forward in the direction of your dream.
You are worth it. It is going to be an exciting journey. We are here to cheer you on!
You are not alone! You have a dream inside you.
We love to hear from you. Your comments are like gold dust to us and we value them immensely. So much so that we even reply.
“Your life is yours to live.” What is the mountain you have decided to climb? Tell us what you have learned from reading this post.
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