Life puts the same decisions before us until we get it right, and then we may go to the next level, whatever that is.
Besides joy and anticipation, for some people the Holidays and their festivities have also a way of bringing on a sense of failure, of incompleteness, of reminders of mistaken choices in our memories, creating an unexpected depression. But a little careful planning can eliminate that unexpected depression.
If you’re one of those people who feel like you just aren’t making any progress in your personal or professional life? Hurt? Frustrated? Mad at life, and the people you encounter, and can’t figure out why? Are you struggling with problems from which you cannot seem to free yourself? One of the greatest problems we face today is the ability to make clear decisions. And unclear decisions can literally drive you bananas. But if you take time to do a little clear thinking while you pay attention to your past mistakes, you may be able to change your life and head it towards a path of success. Here are some suggestions:
If you cannot make a successful decision, then every aspect of your behavior is affected. Emotionally, you are hurting inside and not at all aware of how to stop that inner storm. On the outside you attempt to seem like everything is ok, and you are stable and calm, making your inner storm even greater, because you are living your own personal lie. Let me make an attempt to help you out if you’re caught in this storm. Perhaps some of the following suggestions will bring you enough calm to get back on the path of making successful decisions that can turn your life around.
Are you aware of who you are and where you are going? Millions of people have no idea who they are or why they are here and kind of wander in mental oblivion, making wrong decisions and watching our world crumble before our eyes, and not even knowing why. If you need statistics, all you have to do is examine the number of divorces in your county (approximately 2 out of 3 marriages end in divorce these days), number of murders in the past six months, assaults by juvenile delinquents who are being brought up by confused parents who have no idea how to raise their children, theft and robberies, war, and I could go on and on, and so could you. And of course, the results reveal that all of this roots in unsuccessful decision making. A simple examination of who you are and why you are making wrong decisions could turn this troubling trend around in no time, and sometimes the solution is no further than a simple change of your mind.
Understanding your Goals
If your desire is to get a college degree, you will spend a lot of time at the college getting the credits that make it possible to get your degree. If your goal is to get a significant other, you will spend time getting to know the person in which you find an interest. Whatever your goal, determines your behavior. And if you haven’t taken the time to understand your own goals, you are like a ship without a sail on that vast sea, battered by the wind.
You must match your goals to the decisions you are making, determining first if your goal is worthwhile, and secondly how to decide to negotiate problems that need decisions because of the activity that is bringing you to your goals and your swaying emotions. Only then are you ready to deal with the problem by going through the decision process.
Rather then being prepared, many people rely on impulse or intuition to make their decisions, which ultimately causes unwanted experiences such as divorce, or delinquency, or war. If we walk before we run, if we slow ourselves down to determine the good and bad of what we are about to do, and why we are about to do it, then we can greatly improve our activity and the quality of our life. Once you become an Expert decision maker, you can go through the process quickly and solve many problems. The following point clarify the Decision-making Process.
1. DEFINE YOUR DECISION CLEARLY!
What do you want to do, and what are your potential problems? Why is there a decision necessary, and what methods are you going to use to get there? Do you want a significant other? Do you want more romance? Do you want a close friendship, or more social life? Are you unhappy with your job? Would a raise solve that problem, and if you determine that such is the case, what are you doing to make certain you deserve a raise? Are you using your talents optimally, and if not why not? Where is your passion? Where are you unhappy and why do you need to make a decision in the first place? These basic questions are all decisions that must be made in the midst of problems that you face, and if you are not asking these questions, you are riding blind on your impulse alone, and even though that may work sometimes, it will more often make you confused and frustrated. There are many ways to define a problem that you probably have not ventured, and the more specific you become about the problem, the more accurate you will be in making a proper decision to eliminate the problem.
2. CONSIDER EVERY ROUTE YOU MAY HAVE TO GO TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM.
Experience has probably already told you that there is always more than one way to solve a problem, but not all of these routes are right or healthy. If you are poor, there are many ways that you can try to get rich, but some of the decisions people make to become prosperous are neither healthy nor morally right. And one of the greatest ways to help you make a decision is to study your own passions and desires, and to understand where your talents want or need to take you. If you follow your passion, you will be doing what you want, and what your own life is saying to your psyche. College Students that come to me wanting to know what College Major they should study to get a degree always hear me ask the most important question: “What do your talents tell you about yourself?” If you are poor in math, you shouldn’t be an accountant. If you have an excellent singing voice, and you enjoy singing, you should consider making a living with your musical talent, and so on.
3. GATHER THE INFORMATION NEEDED AND EVALUATE ITS BENEFITS!
Are you making a proper choice that will guide your life because you are educated in your possible solutions, or are you just taking a guess and a gamble and seeing what happens? If I ask you, “What are your talents?” do you have an educated answer? If there is a career that you want to pursue, do you know what education is required for that particular career? If as a parent you are having trouble raising your child, have you ever gone to a seminar on Parent-training skills? Are you aware of the education available to help you become a better parent? These solutions need to be researched. If your not doing your homework, you’re going to fail the test of life. We all need special help, but it is up to us to find it.
And just because you have done the research, you still have to supply the input as to what is better or worse for the decision-making process. You must honestly ask questions objectively and see where your research takes you. Maybe you have a talent for math, but you still hate the idea of being an accountant. You have to pay attention to yourself and the advantages as well as the disadvantage to make your decisions properly.
4. MAKE YOUR BETTER CHOICE!
There comes a time when the research and questioning stops, when you have to get off the fence and make a move. Let’s suppose that you want to make a decision on what kind of career to pursue. These four questions should be answered in your heart and mind, and then a choice needs to be made:
a) Can this career choice give me financial security?
b) Will this career give me personal fulfillment?
c) Is this career utilizing my special talent?
d) Does this career meet most of my personal and family needs?
If the answer is yes to these questions, you may be on the path to finding a worthwhile career. You can also ask these questions concerning your search for a significant other, by changing certain key words. You can also change the keywords t about raising your child. See the difference between “going with your gut” and making an educated decision? So what if you make a mistake? We all make mistakes. You’ll live through it, and you’ll learn. C.S. Lewis believed that God would keep putting the same decisions before us mistake-wise until we learned, and then we would go to the next level, whatever that is.
5. MONITOR YOU RESULTS AT ALL TIMES AND BE WILLING TO CHANGE YOUR SOLUTION IF IT ISN’T WORKING!
Sometimes a “best choice” is temporary, depending on changing circumstances, and that means that the choice will only work for a period of time or even on a certain area. There are very few permanent decisions when it comes to living. In fact, believing that a decision is permanent for the long run is usually fatal. Getting married and assuming marriage is going to be permanent no matter what, is almost always fatal. We can lose it if we don’t make the decision to refresh our marriage every day. Every new day on our job needs to be refreshing, and any relationship without fresh decisions is almost always doomed.
There are short term goals and long term goals, and we must identify which is which, and how each applies to our situation, or situations, as the case may be. Each plan, each decision, is simply a starting point for living right, for making proper decisions, for making your life what you want it to be.
Be creative: Search your options and make a decision. Change them as they need to be refreshed, and learn to live happy and in the wisdom of making right and proper decisions.