Decisions shape our lives. Every single day, we make many decisions like -Which dress to buy? Which movie to watch? When to wake up in the morning? Whom to hire? Which breakfast to have? And so on. The quality of our life depends on the quality of our decisions.
For example, let’s see how a simple decision like ‘what to eat for dinner?’ impacts us. Dinner will have many choices. All choices can be place under two categories – healthy or unhealthy. If we choose a healthy option for dinner, we feel light, and we sleep better. And if the same decision of a healthy dinner option is taken every day, our health becomes better and better. Now, instead of a healthy option, if we choose an unhealthy option and keep doing the same every day, our health goes down. Such is the impact of decisions on our life.
Many of us don’t realize this, but we all make many decisions in a day. Do you know how many decisions an average human being makes in a day? Its 35,000 decisions per day. Amazing, isn’t it? So, we all know how to make decisions.
Out of these 35,000 decisions, many decisions don’t impact us significantly. It’s ok whether we wear a blue dress or a white dress for work. It’s ok whether we eat a banana or an apple. However, some decisions like whom to marry, which job to choose, which home to buy, etc. are big decisions, and these decisions can make or break our life. When it comes to making such kind of big decisions, many of us take time. We wonder if we are making the right decision because the stakes are high in such kind of decisions.
So, how to make better decisions? Below are some pointers.
1. Know your priorities – Before you take any major decision, first be clear on what you want in life. What are your priorities? What are your goals? This understanding will help you make better decisions. When you know your life’s priorities, you know better which option will fit into your life. The confusion goes away, and clarity comes in.
2. Understand yourself – We are all unique and have our own likes and dislikes. So, understand what you like and what you don’t like. Understand your strengths, weaknesses, and needs. This good understanding of self helps you in decision making.
3. Consider all the choices – Sometimes, due to preconceived notions and assumptions, we overlook certain choices and later regret. So, for some time, park your assumptions aside and consider all the choices in your hand with an open mind.
4. Research – Study thoroughly about all the choices in your hand. Consult your family members, friends, and well-wishers. Do an online study. Listen to the views of experts. After receiving all these inputs, come to your own conclusion and make a decision.
5. Analyze the choices – Pick up each choice you have and analyze its pros and cons without any bias. Understand the choice thoroughly and make a decision. Remember, there will be no choice, which is 100% perfect. Every choice will have its own pros and cons. So, don’t be stuck with the idea of perfection while making a decision.
6. Have a timeline – Some of us delay taking decisions because of the fear of going wrong. But taking no decision is worse than making a wrong decision. Because, when we make a wrong decision, at least we gain some experience. And this experience helps us learn something and grow in life. But when we avoid making decisions due to fear, we are stuck in life without any progress. So, have a timeline within which you need to make a decision and stick to this timeline.
7. Never make decisions emotionally – When emotions overpower us, our decisions miss the logic, and we become biased. We lose our balance. We don’t think of consequences. When you are going through strong emotions, especially negative emotions like anger, sadness, and loneliness, don’t make any decision. First, let the emotion calm down.
8. De-stress – When we are under stress, it becomes tough to think and make the right decision. Stress clutters our minds and makes it challenging. A relaxed mind can make perfect decisions. So, de-stress yourself by spending time in nature or watching a good movie or regular yoga practice.
9. Think about the consequences – Some of us decide on the spur of the moment and later regret. So, before making a decision, think about the consequences of a particular decision. What will it bring you? Will it make your life better or worse?
10. Listen to your inner wisdom – Each one of us carry inner wisdom within us, and our heart whispers it. Tune into this wisdom and use this in making decisions. However, to be able to listen to our inner wisdom, we need to calm down our thoughts and emotions. Meditation helps you greatly to connect to your inner wisdom.
11. Pray/Meditate – Before you take any major decision, pray to the divine asking for guidance and help. When you do this, the first benefit you gain is your mind calms down. And secondly, divine guidance will come to you in some form, helping you make better decisions. You may get a new idea, or your friend might send you some article which gives you new insight. We never know how divine guidance comes to us.
12. Don’t regret – After you have made a decision by following all the above steps, don’t regret it when it still goes wrong. Life will always have uncertainties and unknowns. Regrets don’t serve us in any way. Learn from your mistake and use this learning for the next decision.
These are some pointers that help you in making better decisions.
Decisions shape our life, especially the big ones. So, take that time and analyze thoroughly before making an important decision. Don’t be emotional and hasty. At the same time, don’t take time forever to make that decision.
Wish you the best!