Choices are a part of our everyday life. We all face choices each day. From minor choices, such as what when we get up in the morning, to major, life-changing choices, which will literally affect our lives for years to come.
In my past life , I protected people’s lives and in many ways still do. I fully understand affect it has on lives for years to come.
The choices each one of us makes create outcomes in our lives. Often, the tendency exists, in many of us, to subscribe to the theory that the positive circumstances we create for ourselves are a direct result of the choices we made in our lives. We then attribute any shortcomings or misfortunes in our lives to bad luck or being beyond our control. We also have a tendency to think that the positive circumstances in others’ lives are a result of good luck on their part and the negative consequences to be a direct result of the choice they have made.
The truth of the matter is that, even though misfortunes do occur, many of the consequences, as well as the positive circumstances that occur in our lives are as a direct result of the decisions that each of us make. We control more of our destiny than many of us realize. We have the power to change our lives according to the decisions that we make.
In order to understand how to better effect change in our lives, we will examine the decision making process. We will identify the steps that should go into each decision. Generally, small decisions require very little time to complete the process while larger decisions may take a significant amount of time to effectively make a decision that will best serve us and our individual needs. The following is the process to follow when making decisions.
Create a Plan
Start with the end in mind. Ask yourself these simple questions: What is my ultimate goal? What path do I have to take to get there? This step should occur well before any difficult decisions have been addressed. Keeping the end in mind will give you a measuring system by which you can determine whether or not your decisions are guiding you toward your final destination.
When faced with a choice, there are generally at least two choices that can be made. Often, the more choices you have, the harder the decision will be to make. It is important to be very open during this step. When beginning the decision making process, you should identify as many options as possible. Be careful not to eliminate choices because of preconceived biases or assumed information.
Once you have identified the different choices that you have, begin to gather as much information as possible. It is important to realize that there are many biases that people often face during this step of the decision making process. One bias is that the majority cannot be wrong. Just because the majority of people think one way does not make it the best or only solution. Make sure to consider new, creative, or innovative solutions based on their value to you. Another bias that many face while gathering information is that people tend to accept information from those they trust. Make sure to examine the credibility of all information you receive, even information from trusted sources. During this step of the process you should strive to be as objective and rational as possible.
Determine Benefits and Drawbacks
Once you have identified the choices you have and gathered information about each choice, you should begin to determine the benefits and drawbacks associated with each choice. Be thorough in this analysis. Take into consideration your values. If you are having difficulty with this step, consider inviting others to give you another point of view.
Select the Best Option
Weigh the benefits against the drawbacks of each decision. Begin to eliminate the options. Often, there may be two or more options that seem to have positive benefit to drawback ratios. Select the option that best fulfills your needs and seems to have the best chance of success. Once you have selected an option, stick to it. Immediately disregard any of the other options. The best option may fail if you spend your energy second-guessing your decision. On the other hand, a mediocre decision will generally be successful if you commit yourself to it.
Once you have selected the best option, begin immediately to work towards the implementation of your decision. Training yourself to react to your decision will be one of the skills that will garner success in your endeavors. Immediately taking action will mitigate the fear that is often associated with large decisions. It also reduces the amount of fear that can cloud your visions of the future.
Learning to make effective decisions and to carry out the decisions that you have made is a key skill for you to learn. This skill will allow you to find greater success and work towards your goals with greater conviction. Also, it will make you a better leader and those around you will trust and admire your decisions.
I hope you found this useful,