Where we are in our journey in life is often a series of decisions that is made by ourselves. While it’s true that as a young person we may not have a choice about many decision made about our lives, we can play a part no matter how small about the direction of these decisions. We could hint about what we really want or speak up about decisions that we are not comfortable with. But in order to convince others about the decision that they make about our lives or to make those important decisions ourselves, we need to know how to make good decisions.
(1) Ask yourself what do you really want?
Some of us may find it hard to decide what we want to do in life, what field of study to take up or what careers to pursue. Those can be really big decisions to make as it will determine what everyday is going to be like.
So ask yourself how you want to live each day and what you want your future to look like?
- Imagine what your day will be like.
- What will you be doing in the day? What would each part of the day be like?
- Where will you be?
- How will you look and behave?
- What will your best friend and people around you, say about you?
- What are some of the things that bother you now and will not bother you then.
(2) What resources do you have?
Strengths – know your strengths.
- What do you like doing?
- What are you good at?
- What have you achieved and are most proud of?
- What are some of the good things that your friends say about you?
- What character strengths do you have? curious, funny, kind, thoughtful, caring, fun, strong, brave, protective, friendly, honest, helpful, independent, sociable, fair, patient, confident, creative, generous, tolerant.
- What are some of the problems in society
- What do people need and want.
- What are some of the trends in technology?
- What new opportunities are there now that was not there in the past?
- What does it take to be good at what is needed?
(3) Blind spots
Blind spots are the areas in our life that we cannot see and are not aware of. It’s usually an undesirable behavior, reaction or habit that is driven by our thoughts and believes about ourselves, other people or the world. Learn more about your blind spot here.
(4) Making wise decision
People often think that we have to choose between what our head says or what our heart wants. That is to either be completely practical and rational in our decision or to allow our feelings to point the way.
It doesn’t have to be either,
Emotional – How we feel and what we’ve always day-dreamt about
Practical – What can really be done and is achievable.
We think that the happiest decision are the once that includes both our head and our heart. Wise decision balances both practical and emotional aspects of what we want. The idea of the wise mind was first introduced by Marsha Lineham to help people who needed to regulate their emotions.
Here’s how to make wise decisions
- Set aside time. It’s never wise to rush into this exercise. To make wise decisions, you should not be pressured to have to make a decision within a certain time. Keep yourself calm and do some breathing exercises. Be mindful of your breathing and relax your body as you do so.
- Put aside all your preconceived ideas and prejudices.
- Write down everything you fear about or have unrealistic dreams about.
- Consider all the possible alternative decisions and the consequences.
- Shortlist a few possibilites and solutions that could help you reach your goal.
- Think intuitively about the solution or what you have decided on. Ask youself:
- Were you feeling negative or emotionally hyped up when you thought of that solution and decision. Making a choice when we are too emotional are not wise decisions.
- Is the decision based on objective facts and is it realistic?
- Making choices based that are totally objective and rational may block out what makes you happy.
The wise decision test is this. Ask yourself, if the decision you made hit the headlines the next day how would you feel?
A wise decision is a balance between what our emotions want and what our rational mind tells us to do. It will not cause too much harm to ourselves or the people that are important in our lives. However, there may not be facts to fully back up a wise decision, so there will be some unknowns and risk involved. It will be some thing that we will look back on and not feel regret.