Every day, we make and are asked to make decisions on a wide variety of things.
Almost by habit, we don’t need to put much thought into some decisions. Being creatures of habit, we operate by guidelines, principles and rules that we have previously established for ourselves.
Proper decisions are essential for the direction your life. But poor, unhealthy choices lead to bad decisions and even worse outcomes. Brian Tracy says,
“Decisiveness is a characteristic of high-performing men and women. Almost any decision is better than no decision at all.“
Sometimes we are asked to make very difficult decisions, and we risk loss if we are wrong.
Many people are afraid of taking those risks, so shy away from making them altogether.
And sometimes the choices we need to make are not only painful, but necessary.
They can leave us feeling lost, confused or even bewildered.
But if you are in a position of leadership, you know that indecision is not a luxury you can afford.
Leadership demands decisions in a timely manner.
“Indecision is the first stop on the road to nowhere.“
I encourage you to read my previous post entitled 11 Creative Ways To Make Conscious Choices if you’ve not already done so.
The Quality Of Our Decisions
We all have hundreds, perhaps thousands of thoughts a day. I once read that the average person makes about 600 decisions a day. Regardless of the number, many of the decisions we make are very important.
What things influence the quality of our decisions?
- creative thinking abilities
- cultural boundaries
- emotional response, such as fear
- false information
- peer pressure
- personal biases and philosophy
- personal priorities
- societal expectations
I recently read The Mastery Of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz. He outlines, in the 4th chapter, the distinct
disadvantages of living in fear. Indecision is based in fear. Making the decision to love, to operate from that place of being offers great freedom.
I think one of the highest and best decisions we can ever make is to BE LOVE TO OTHERS.
10 Ways To Make The Right Decisions Every Time
Okay… most the time… because we can never be 100% certain of our decisions until the outcome is evident.
1. ACCURATE ANSWERS. Do you have all the pertinent facts and supporting information? And what degree of accuracy is attributed to them? How reliable are your sources? Remember that opinions and supposition are not facts. Wallace Stevens states, “Accuracy of observation is the equivalent of accuracy of thinking.”
2. COMPLETE CLARITY. Clarify terms. Make certain you understand the nature of the problem, including its alignment to reality. The late Thomas Leonard said “Clarity affords focus.” When obtaining information, also ensure you are clear on terms.
3. CONSIDER CONSEQUENCES. Make certain you understand implications and ramifications of the decision you are making. Think also of who your decision impacts. If you’ve done your best, you should have peace with your decision. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross said, “I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime.”
4. CREATIVE CONSIDERATION. The ability to think creatively allows you more options, such as developing contingency plans. It also means entertaining alternative solutions and options. Having given consideration to circumstances, problems and situations beforehand also saves you time when they occur. Bryant H. McGill says that, “Within the hearts men, loyalty and consideration are esteemed greater than success.”
5. DUE DILIGENCE. Due diligence is giving the due care and consideration necessary to satisfy all questions. In other words, you’ve rolled up your sleeves and done your homework. William Penn said, “Patience and Diligence, like faith, remove mountains.”
6. FAITH FILLED. You may have heard the expression… Starve your doubts and feed your faith.
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “God has not given a spirit of fear or timidity, but of love, power and a sound mind.” The Message says it this way… “God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.” Replace worry with trust. Replace doubts with faith. This will give you the confidence you need to make the right decision.
7. QUALITY QUESTIONS. Quality decisions come from asking quality questions. Many times the answer you seek is found in the nature of the problem itself. Answers also come from asking the proper questions.
Here are a few to consider:
- Does this problem require a short-term or a long-term solution? Within what time frame?
- How serious or widespread is the problem?
- In solving this issue, are you staying true to your vision, goals and objectives?
- Is it outside the scope of your abilities or the abilities of those you delegate?
- Is this something within your power to control?
- What factors and costs are involved in the problem?
8. PROPER PLANNING. What are you capable of steps do you need to take? What has worked before? If this is a new situation, what does your experience inform you? Alan Lakein says, “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” Peter F. Drucker says, “Checking the results of a decision against its expectations shows executives what their strengths are, where they need to improve, and where they lack knowledge or information.”
9. RISKS-REWARDS. No risk always means no reward. Double, triple, and quadruple nothing is still nothing. Anytime the rewards outweigh the risks, it is time to take action. 🙂 One of the top strategic thinkers in the world, Gary Ryan Blair, says, “Creative risk taking is essential to success in any goal where the stakes are high. Thoughtless risks are destructive, of course, but perhaps even more wasteful is thoughtless caution which prompts inaction and promotes failure to seize opportunity.”
10. TAKE TIME. Think before you act. Take time to think things through. Sometimes waiting is the best thing you can do. For example, if you’re upset, put off making any serious decisions until you’re in a better state of mind. Robert Schuller said, “Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.”
For the acronym buffs DECISIONS means…
Deliberately Exercising Consideration In Settling Information Offering New Solutions
I hope this post helps you to make decisive, deliberate, definitive decisions.
What do YOU think? Have your say…
Are there tips you care to share that will help others?
What do you do when you have a difficult decision to make?
Please inform your experience by sharing your valued thoughts here. Thank you very much!