As long as you are a living, breathing human being you have to make decisions every day of your life. Some decisions are easy. Others are a lot more challenging. Challenging because there is no right or wrong answer. I once worked in an organisation where I was sent on a course that was to teach us how to make good decisions. It was all very mathematical so we had to take our feelings out of the equation. The idea was to help us learn how to be objective. There were some good tips and strategies. However, I felt that taking emotion out of the equation just didn’t work. People are not objects. Whether or not you ask them to be objective is inconsequential because there will always be an element of emotion attached to the decision-making process.
Good decision making starts with having a vision. Your vision – not the Jones’ vision, not your mother, father, not your friend or boss, not your uncle’s or cousin’s vision. This is your REASON WHY? Why are you being called to make a decision now? Are you debating whether you should continue living in the city or move to the country? Is it because accommodation in the city has become unaffordable or do you want to raise your children where there is lots of space for them to play, to be close to family? When you picture the ideal environment how do you feel? Does is make you happy, are you drawn to the vision or not? As the good book says. “Where there is no vision the people perish.”
Your vision may be to look and feel good in your own body so you may see the future you being well-toned, having bulging muscles, slender or being a specific weight.
Strategy is the train that will take you to your vision – where you want to be. But there is an essential requirement. You have to board the train and it must be sound, i.e. in good working order. You never set off on a long journey without preparation. If you are driving you want to ensure that your car is serviced, has fuel and all that is needed for the journey. If you are using public transportation – be it road, rail, sea or air – you want to make sure that the service you are using is reliable and is going where you want to go.
What will it take for you to bring the vision into realisation? Will you change your diet and opt for healthier options, go to the gym, watch Youtube videos on exercise? Your strategy must be one which you can follow or implement with enthusiasm otherwise nothing will happen. Let’s say for example, you were offered a well-paying job 20 miles from home but you would have to walk there everyday – would you take it? What if the job came with a chauffeur driven car?
Most people end up making poor decisions not due to lack of vision but due to lack of good strategies. Everyone has strategies for doing different things but you need to learn to develop good, proven strategies that you can use. I deal with this topic in a different post.
You need to take responsibility for your actions or decisions. If you are not prepared to live with the consequences then it is not a good decision for you. Forget about what Peter or Jane or your boss thinks. Good must be good for you not anyone else. This is where people start blaming others for their failures. “If it had not been for such and such then I would not have suffered this misfortune… etc.”
It is always a good idea to have an accountability partner who can help you stay on track and remind you of your big WHY when the going gets tough.
Ultimately though, the right decision is the one whose consequences you are prepared to live with. Make yourself accountable to yourself if you can’t find an accountability partner. If you are prepared to live with ill-health due to bad eating habits or being the subject of rude comments because of your looks then that decision is good for you. Have you noticed how people at death’s door due to poor lifestyle choices usually change when they decide, “I want to live long enough to see my children grow up/see my grandchildren.”
Everyone knows about the risks of smoking. Cigarette packets carry warnings but that does not stop people smoking. External factors will not change a person. It has to come from within.