There are so many instances when the choices that we have to decide between are quite similar, making the selection of just one that much more difficult. In deciding, we are rejecting possible alternatives – choices which may in the long run be better suited to our purposes. In some cases, we may be able to give each potential solution a trial run, but this is rare. We must determine the best solution based on established parameters and turn away from the other choices.
I’ve already written about making decisions once specifically, and referenced this requirement of life many more times. Being good at making decisions comes down to having a strong understanding of how to define the current a potential future needs which should be met by the successful choice. It also means giving up the idea of a perfect choice – attempts at perfection in decision making often lead to the worst paralysis.
So this first decision is to make certain that you know the intent or objective that the solution you choose should meet. For instance in your personal life, the choice of a particular school for yourself or your child. What are the pros and cons of each of the choices in comparison to the expected needs for the course of study? Farther back, how to decide what is the best course of study? What other factors will affect the choice – distance from home, financial aid, availability of work study jobs, and so on?
At work perhaps it is a new opportunity, but not quite in line with the direction that you had expected to grow. Should you divert from your expected path, what are the pros and cons of making this choice? What are the pros and cons of staying put and being prepared for an opportunity more in line with your preference? Are you even ready to make this decision right now? If you don’t really know what you want from these choices, then you should work on that issue first.
Perhaps you are normally good at making decisions and are agonizing over a particular one. Instead of trying to figure out the best choice, your energy might be better spent digging into why this particular decision is so difficult for you. Is it because you have fallen into the perfection trap? Or are you just not ready to work on this particular issue right now? Perhaps it is a case of conflicting priorities?
Perhaps you have received too many opinions from interested parties, regardless ultimately you must come to your own conclusions. Lying awake at night agonizing over decisions is ridiculously maddening and not at all time well spent. Here’s a great perspective from a fellow blogger – Decisions, Decisions – What if I’m wrong?
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