Decisions, decisions! Life is one decision after another. Apart from breathing, making decisions is probably one of the most frequent things we do on a daily basis. Some decisions are small and trivial. Do I walk the dog in the morning or in the afternoon? What do I make for dinner? Do I return this phone call now or later? Many small decisions are made without our conscious awareness that we are even deciding.
Some decisions are medium size decisions. Do I want to get a pet? Should I let my child play football? Which credit card do I pay down first? And then there are the big decisions: what do I want to do with my life? Should I move to be near my family? Is it time to sell my house and downsize? These are usually conscious, sometimes even agonizing decisions. They usually take a lot of time and thought to make and are seldom made easily.
The process of making big, life-changing decisions is the most interesting process to explore. It is very valuable to understand how we as individuals make our most significant decisions. Some of us fly by the seat of our pants, making even large decisions quickly, perhaps even impulsively. Some of us gather information and make our decisions intuitively, giving priority to our feelings and inner sense of knowing to gain clarity about the decision. And others of us give great emphasis to research, data, and logic. Naturally, these methods are not mutually exclusive, but we tend to have a style that is dominant.
Obviously, any decision we make, by whatever method, may turn out to be satisfying and fulfilling or disappointing and feel like a terrible mistake. However, we almost always make decisions that are the best we can do with the information we have and our capabilities at the time. Errors in judgment are inevitable and usually not catastrophic, and sometimes decisions we make that seem bad at the time turn out to be greatly beneficial and serve our highest good. We never know. Let’s talk about our individual decision-making styles.
- What is your predominant style of making decisions? Do you agonize over even small decisions? Are you quick and decisive or slow and thorough?
- Has your style of decision-making changed as you have gotten older? How has it shifted?
- What decisions do you consider to be the best decisions you have made, and which do you consider to be the worst?
- Are you comfortable with changing your mind and pursuing a different course of action when things are turning out poorly?
- What are the biggest decisions you are currently facing? Where are you in the decision-making process on these issues?
- Share what sources of input you utilize to help you make decisions and which have been most helpful over time.