I have a hard time making decisions. I’m married to someone with the same weakness. It is not a good combination, but I have been working on it because it is so important.
Having a little trouble making a decision? This is a common challenge, especially when dealing with big decisions. You don’t want to make the wrong choice and so you tie yourself up in knots trying to make the best possible decision.
It turns out that the most successful people make decisions quicker than the average person. This is an important idea to remember. It made me wonder if I could be more successful in all my pursuits if I honed this skill.
Consider these strategies to make good decisions and create a successful life:
- Be clear on your values. Decisions are easier to make when you know yourself. What is most important to you? If you value adventure and risk-taking over comfort, certainty, and security, you’ll make different decisions than someone that favors the opposite. Make a list of your values and place them in order.
- Be clear on the objective. What do you hope to accomplish with this decision? Are you looking for the most impressive date for the company picnic or a lifelong partner? Are you looking for the most interesting career or the most lucrative? What do you want to achieve with this choice?
- Value time. We’re great at convincing ourselves that we have plenty of time, but it’s not true. Time is constantly passing through your life. You have fewer options available to you as you approach any type of deadline. Those that wait too long have no choices at all.
- Think about what you would do if no one else cared. Making decisions for the purpose of impressing others rarely works out well in the end. Buy the car you need, not the car that will impress your coworkers. Just ask yourself what decision you would make if no one would have an opinion other than yourself.
- Get into a relaxed, positive mental state. Intense emotions and fear lead to poor decisions. The logical centers of your brain are inhibited when you’re under emotional duress. Decisions made during this time tend to alleviate the short-term discomfort you’re feeling rather than looking at the long-term implications.
- Go for a walk. Getting out of your normal environment can free your mind from its normal thought patterns. You also get a different perspective of your life and your challenges.
- Get advice from someone that knows what they’re talking about. Getting advice from an expert might clear up some of your uncertainty. You might even learn a thing or two. Consider whom you know that has made a similar decision in the past and ask for help.
- Let fate do the choosing. I don’t say this flippantly. But try these: Draw cards, pull a choice from a hat, or roll dice. If you truly can’t make up your mind, then there’s a good chance that one option is just as good as the other. Simply choose something and get on with your life. You can’t accomplish anything while you’re stuck.
The choices we make can have long-reaching consequences, so it’s important to make good choices. However, there isn’t an unlimited amount of time available to make up your mind. And sometimes, the best choice isn’t that much better than a good choice.
Understand yourself and your objective. Be sure to give time itself the respect it deserves. Your life is continuously getting shorter, so make a solid choice and move on!