Steps to Make Decision Stew
Life is full of decisions, thousands upon thousands of decisions, every single day.
“What should I wear?”
“What route to take to work?”
“Do I want to eat this delicious blueberry muffin?”
(Last one isn’t really a decision, who doesn’t love a delicious blueberry muffin?!?!???)
We make thousands of decisions everyday, some thought-provoking and some second nature.
However, with every decision we make, we are affecting our lives with second, third and up to umpteenth order effects.
Some things are small, like not eating the delicious blueberry muffin makes you hungry later in the day…
Others are larger; should I purchase a car or house? How will this affect my bank account, my daily operations etc.
So here are three steps to help you decide and make intelligent decisions:
1. Fact finding: Figure out what you’re actually deciding on! This is sometimes easier said then done, however it’s a critical step. Make a pro and con list in your head or on paper for larger decisions. Find out the effects of your decision and examine every angle. Look on the internet, talk to others who have made similar decisions, and throw all these facts into your stew.
2. Talk to your advisers! When I want to talk to the smartest person I know…..I talk to myself! Hahahaha, but seriously, talk to trusted people. Talk to people who have made a similar decision before, talk to people that make sound decisions, and people that know you well. Present them with the choice and a little background and see what they have to say. Also, ensure you present to them some of the facts you found in step 1, and explain to them your thought process AFTER they give you their initial opinion. This allows them to have an unbiased mind base on what you say. If you talk to 5 trusted individuals, they may all give you the same answer, but with five different ways to achieve it. Very similar to asking 5 people for directions to a destination. They all accomplish the goal of arriving, however, they each have their own benefits and drawbacks. Take all this info, and throw it into the pot.
3. Take time (if possible). It takes all of 17 seconds to choose to devour a delicious blueberry muffin (can you tell I’m hungry?). However, when faced with a larger decision, like a major purchase or a career move…..there is no better solution than time. You don’t cook good stew in a minute….you let it sit in a pot, simmer, and allow for all the flavors, ideas, experiences and facts to meld together into your final outcome. With some things, you can’t take time, and you have to trust your gut and your experience, because at the end of the day, YOU are the only one who can answer for your decisions. Not your pro and con list or your trusted advisers, but for most decisions….you can let your stew simmer for a little while.
At the end of the day, after all of these steps….you can still have crap stew. Not every decision in life works out in your favor. The quality of the ingredients, the way you heat up the stew, the spices, etc. all have an effect on your decisions, and either way you have to eat your stew.
Gather the facts, get some ideas, give it some time and execute, and hopefully the end result doesn’t taste too bad.