How to Make the Right Decision in Any Situation
July 29, 2008
Which job should you take? What car should you buy? Are you ready for another baby?
Life is full of tough choices, and the bigger they are, the harder they get.
Research shows that most people will not choose at all when presented with several good options. But practice, experience, and rules of thumbs can help you to make those decisions. Here’s how:
When making a choice, then, it pays to take some time to consider the outcome you expect. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the probable outcome of this choice?
- What outcomes are highly unlikely?
- What are the likely outcomes of not choosing this one?
- What would be the outcome of doing the exact opposite?
Thinking in terms of long-term outcomes can help you find clarity and direction.
Ask Why Five Times
- Why should I take this job? It pays well and offers me a chance to grow.
- Why is that important? Because I want to build a career and not just have a string of meaningless jobs.
- Why? Because I want my life to have meaning.
- Why? So I can be happy.
- Why? Because that’s what’s important in life.
Follow Your Instincts
People who make decisions quickly, even when lacking information, tend to be more satisfied with their decisions than people who research and carefully weigh their options. Your unconscious is very good at working through complex problems. People who “go with their gut” are actually trusting the work their unconscious mind has already done.