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Aug 15

9 Practical Tips on Coming Up with the Best Decision

decision

Making decisions is easy. Making the right decision however, can prove to be more difficult than we usually expect

Have you ever made a big decision that you ended up regretting?

I think we’ve all been in this situation before where we looked at the product of a decision we made and quietly ask ourselves:

“What the hell was I thinking?”

Sounds familiar?  Just look at the more recent things you’ve purchased with your credit card and you’ll probably pick one or two items that would make you ask that question.  Of course you will try to find a valid excuse for purchasing them but if you’ll be honest enough with yourself, you’ll find that regretting you bought them outweighs the feeling of actually being contented and fulfilled for spending money on them.

That’s perfectly fine though.  You’re only human after all.  As human beings, sometimes, we make decisions without really thinking of the ramifications it will bring after.  We just decide on the spot that we want this thing so we go for it.

Maybe during that time, you made the decision out of peer pressure because you’re the only one in the group who doesn’t have that brand of shoes.

Maybe you made the decision because you were lonely and you needed to cheer yourself up by buying this watch because this is what makes you happy.

There can be a ton of reasons for a bad decision but if we stop for a while and think of the decision we will make, we can cut the chances of making a bad call.  Here are a couple of useful and practical tips you can apply before making that big decision:

 

Is this really something you want?

Before deciding on something, make sure that you are making the decision for yourself and not for others like your parents, relatives, colleagues, and friends.  You have to be honest with yourself that you are going for this decision because this is really what your heart desires and that this will make you happy.

If a friend invites you to join a business venture that you don’t really like, make the decision to say NO instead of saying YES and regretting your answer later.  If you said YES in this kind of situation, you didn’t decide for yourself but for your friend because you went against what you really felt.

 

What advice would you give a friend who is faced with the same decision?

Sometimes, the best approach in making a decision is by putting yourself in another friend’s shoes.  What advice would you give a friend who has a similar decision to make?  This perspective can help you narrow down your alternatives because let’s face it, most of us are good when it comes to giving friends advice but when it comes to our own, we most of the time suck so acting as the friend of a person with the same dilemma may help you make a better decision.

 

The Need should outweigh the Want

This is especially true for money matters.  Oftentimes, we get so compulsive in our spending that we ignore the significance between the need and the want.  Just think of it this way.  When you want something, you want it now because of some reason but that may not be true tomorrow or next month.  If you need something, it means this object is so important for you because you must have it without actually liking it.

Most of the time, it is with those we want that causes us to make bad decisions because we already have bias towards it but when the excitement and enthusiasm has all died down, you’ll begin to wonder if you made the right decision of getting it in the first place.

 

Weigh the possibilities

The short and simple question to ask yourself if you push through with this decision is:

“Can I live with the consequences of this decision?”

Think ahead and picture yourself having made the decision already.  Do you see yourself happy with the decision you’ve made or do you see yourself wallowing in regret?  What you’ll see should give you a better picture of why or why you should not choose to make that decision.

If a colleague has been back-stabbing you, do you think it will be worth it to throw dirt on him too?  How will such action reflect on your character?

 

List down the Pros and Cons

Knowing the advantages and disadvantages that a decision will bring will help you choose the right one.  If you will get more opportunities out of making that decision, then it’s probably just right to call it but if making the said decision will put you on the losing end, it’s probably not worth making at all.

If you are thinking of building your own business and quit your job eventually, it will be a good way to start if you have pros vs cons list to help you decide.  What will having your own business entail regarding cost and time?  Do you stand to gain or lose money more if you go into business compared to working corporate?  What are the risks you will be taking?

 

Do not over-analyze things

One of the things that make it difficult for us to come up with good decisions is our tendency to over-analyze things.  Yes, there will be a lot of things to consider, there are pros and cons, there are possibilities to take note of but that’s it.  Chances are we will have a lot more running through our minds than we normally should so the best way to “uncomplicate” them is to put them all in paper.

The last thing you need when faced with a big decision is a cluttered mind.  You need to be focused and sharp before making that decision.

 

Don’t make decisions when you’re mad or emotional

Making big decisions out of anger or deep loneliness is the worst time you can pick to make one.  It’s out of such situations where stupid decisions are born because your emotions are running high and it eventually gets the best of you.

Decisions should be well thought of and not made based on how you are feeling at that certain point because if you do, it’s almost a hundred percent sure that you will end up regretting your decision later on.

The best example for this is the tactic being employed by credit card collectors.  They will call you everyday to follow-up on your late payment and if that’s proving to be hard for them, they will use dirty tactics like insulting you for not being able to come up with payment or threatening you with a lawsuit.  These tactics can infuriate even the most patient person who will end up borrowing money from someone so he or she can pay the remaining balance on the credit card and not hear from the collections agent again.

 

Take your time

If you’re not on a deadline, take as much time as you can in making the decision.  Patiently go through each of the considerations you have about this decision.  Brainstorm repeatedly until you are a hundred percent sure that this is the right decision and that all bases are covered.

 

Seek advice from others

We can’t know everything.  One way or another, we will meet difficult decisions that we have no idea or knowledge of and it is at these times when it’s best to turn to people who has a lot of experience or better yet, someone who has been on your shoes before.

Please make sure though, that they do not make the decision for you.  You should still be the one to make the decision.  Their role is to guide you and show you alternatives based on what they’ve experienced before.

We got our house through bank financing, something my wife and I were not familiar with at that time and since acquiring a house is a big decision, we sought the advice of friends and relatives who has gone through the same route before and they were able to give us insights that made us decide to go for it because we learned from their own experience how safe and secured bank financing is when it comes to buying a house.

 

Over to You

Making better decisions should be your priority especially if what is at stake has something to do with your family and your future.  You can’t get used to making hasty, unplanned decisions because doing so can lead you to disaster.  Take your time, think of all the factors that the decision will affect, and weigh your options carefully.

What’s the biggest decision you’ve ever made?  Did you make the right call or did you end up regretting it?

 

I would love to hear from you and I will appreciate it if you can leave a comment or feedback below.

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Noel Rosos

About Noel Rosos

Noel is a husband, father, author, performance coach and self-proclaimed FAILUROLOGIST who helps business owners and struggling individuals convert their failures into opportunities through inspiring blog posts, life-changing books and exceptional one-on-one coaching sessions

4 comments

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  1. Steve

    Love the list of tips. Personally speaking, I’ve been affected by over-analyzing. Yeah, it’s my main weakness. I try to understand things from so many different angles that eventually it consumes me. I try to understand things more than actually making a decision. So sometimes I don’t make any decision at all. But over the years, I’ve come to terms with that side of my personality and have become quicker at taking a stand. It helps a lot.

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Nice to hear from you again Steve! Yes, analysis by paralysis has been a weakness for most of us. We all have the tendency to make everything perfect, even the situation we get ourselves into that’s why we sometimes over-analyze everything.

  2. bobbyfoster33

    I relate the most with, “don’t make decisions when you’re mad or emotional.” I think that’s when I make the most mistakes in my life. Thanks for posting these here, I’m sure they’re going to help a lot of people!

    1. Noel Rosos
      Noel Rosos

      Thanks for your comment Bobby! Yes, sometimes we get too emotional that we make decisions rather hastily and without thinking much of the repercussions it may bring. We’ve all been there but as we all mature, we will learn how to control our emotions and think long and hard before making a big decision.

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