5 Secrets to Making the Right Decision
Have you ever wrestled with making the right decision?
If you’re human that’s probably akin to asking if you’ve ever taken a breath.
The answer is a resounding “hell yes”.
However, some of us struggle with decision making more than others.
Whether it’s making the decision to move interstate or overseas, picking out an outfit for a first date, or deciding what to order off the menu, the process of making a decision can be mentally exhausting if we allow ourselves to get caught up in it.
I’ve come to realise that mastering the art of decision-making is all about the attitude you adopt and your general outlook on life.
So, when you’re next faced with making the rgiht decision, here are 5 perspectives that may help.
#1 It’s likely you’ve already got 2 great options
This is for the times you’re tossing up between two options in a particular scenario. It may be something pretty major or life-changing (e.g. job X or job Y) or the simple decisions that crop up in your daily life (e.g. to serve wine A or wine B at the client dinner). The thing is, more often than not with decisions like these, you naturally go through a process of elimination that leaves you with two great options.
The reason you’re even choosing between the two is because you’ve already phased out the sucky ones and these are the top contenders. As such, the difference in the level of happiness or “success” experienced as a consequence of either of these two options is usually ridiculously teensy. Why spend oodles of time and energy agonising over choosing between two options that will ultimately result in an equivalent state of happiness or very similar outcome?
#2 Regret doesn’t exist without your permission
Often we battle with decision making because we’re scared we’ll make the “wrong” one. We fear that if it doesn’t all play out how we want it to, then the other choice must have been right and this one was a mistake. We forget regret is a human construct that’s determined largely by our own mindset. We get to decide the meaning we attribute to the outcomes in our lives based on the choices we’ve made.
Will you view it as a valuable life lesson? Or perhaps the means to a revelation or insight, which could only be learned by enduring some personal pain? This doesn’t mean living in a state of delusion or trying to “trick” yourself into feeling good about a decision that may not have unfolded as you’d hoped, but recognising that life offers no guarantees and you can never be sure of anything until it happens. So stop trying to avoid regret and simply decide to control how you think about your choices and their consequences.
#3 You make the decision the right decision
This has to be one of my favourite outlooks on decision making, because it’s so brilliantly simple and empowering. The premise is it’s not about faffing over whether or not the right decision was made, but making the decision made the right decision. In other words, once a decision is made, you make it work for you. You make it the best decision. Once you have focus, you’ll find all the alternatives naturally fall away and you can get on with things.
#4 You can always make another decision
There are times when a decision will change the course of your life, and once made it is difficult to “unmake” it. It’s these decisions that churn in your mind as you compulsively weigh up and over-analyse the apparent pros and cons of your options. You become paralysed with indecision and crippled with fear, because you worry you’ll be “locked in,” leaving you stuck and immobile.
So often we allow ourselves to become plagued by the “what ifs” and “what then”…forgetting that the journey doesn’t end there. If the decision wasn’t “right”, make another one. And if worst comes to worst and you’re not happy where this decision takes you, you’re rarely truly bound to it for eternity. You can always fly back home, sell it, rent it, quit, etc. There’s almost always a way out.
#5 Don’t sweat the small stuff
This is something I try to remind myself of whenever I’m caught up in a decision with little consequence, other than perhaps a minor personal grievance (food envy is real ya’ll). The daily deliberations we subject ourselves to is mind-numbing. Don’t get caught up in the minutiae of daily life. When it comes to the trivial stuff, act fast and don’t look back.
It’s clear, the act of effortlessly making decisions with lucid clarity and 100% conviction is pretty exceptional. I guess the lesson is, there are no wrong choices, if that’s what you choose to believe.
If you want to become a masterful decision-maker, you need to make decisions!
And then trust in your ability to mould the best outcome as life unfolds in all its mystery.