By Jamie Kirk
Decide and move on. ’Don’t continue to stay up all night. If you pray, ’don’t exhaust all of your prayer life. Avoid asking everyone their opinion. Cancel the appointment with the physic. Instead, get still, meditate, decide, and continue to live your best life.
There are four steps to making a major decision. I am not talking about what to have for lunch. I am not talking about if you should go to ’Joe’s on Juniper for dinner or Taco Mac in the Highlands. I am talking about decisions that can potentially change the course of your life. The way I see it is, you have to walk through these four steps slowly.
- Identify the Decision
Now that you have realized that you have to DO something, you have to decide what exactly you want to do. You have to determine what you are seeking to change, alter, or define. Once you identify the decision, you have to define the nature of the decision clearly. This is very important so that you stay focused and do not get distracted by other smaller choices that need to be made.
- Consider the Alternative
Think about what happens if you do nothing. As you collect information, you will probably identify several possible paths of action or alternatives. You can also use your imagination and additional information to construct new alternatives. In this step, you will list all possible and desirable alternatives. Please be careful here and separate facts from emotions. Avoid over-thinking the options you may or may not even have.
- Make Your Choice
Obviously, this is where the rubber meets the road. After you have weighed all the options, once you have considered the “worst case scenario” and have contemplated what would success actually looks like, it’s time to narrow down the playing field and pull the trigger.
- Analyze the Decision
In this final step, consider the results of your decision and evaluate whether or not it has resolved the need you identified in Step 1. If the decision has not met the identified need, you may want to repeat specific steps of the process to make a new decision. For example, you might want to gather more detailed or different information or explore additional alternatives. But you ’can’t be afraid to revisit the decision-making process. Part of the process is being able to step back, take a deep breath, and say to yourself, “well, that ’didn’t work, I need to decide again.”
Finally, what most of us forget is that the decision-making process is individual and personal. It should not include anyone that does not have to live with the consequences. When we make a decision, whatever the downstream impacts are, we need to ensure that only “we” are going to benefit from our actions. Keep in mind, every step we take has a consequence. The consequences are sometimes good and sometimes not so good, but this part of the exercise is vital. We ’can’t be surprised at an outcome, when our choices and inputs are the reason(s) why we have the results that surface.
Decisions and choices are our unique way of being human. We get to decide. We get to make choices. We get to weigh options. We get to be uniquely US. And in most cases, the worst outcome is that we simply have to decide again.