“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” – Peter Drucker
Before we go to bed at night, we make a decision on whether to turn off the lights or not. Each time we wake up in the morning we are faced with another decision; get up or go back to sleep? Although many of these are trivial and made subconsciously, they are decisions nevertheless. They all work together to shape the course of your lives.
The Decision Making Process
Whenever you are faced with a serious decision, there is no clear-cut guarantee that you will do the right thing. Some decisions can be made within the twinkle of an eye. Others, on the other hand, require time and some serious thinking and consideration. When you’re faced with critical decisions, and you aren’t sure what to do, you can minimize the risk of making the wrong choice by considering how your decision will affect the outcome.
Following the below steps will help you make the right decision even when you’re stuck between options.
Step one – Think long-term
The first thing you should do is consider the long-term consequences that may result from your decision. In most cases, people make decisions with only the short term benefits in sight. It is important that you think carefully about the long and short term benefits and disadvantages before you make the final choice. However, don’t procrastinate about it because you feel you have time as this will lessen your control over the issue and will prevent you from moving yourself towards your desired outcome.
Step two – Take account of others
Your decision shouldn’t just be about you. Try and consider how your decision will affect those around you. There are times when you may have to make a decision that is in your best interest but is at the same time considered as a deviant by others, especially those closest to you. It is important that you put those close to you in mind when you want to make a life-changing decision. It’s true that the final choice is yours. However, you should never deliberately make a decision that will hurt others around you either now or in the future.
Step three – Ask for opinions
Don’t always make decisions by yourself, seek out the advice of those close to you. Meet people who have some form of experience in the issue and ask for their opinion. Perceptions vary, that’s true, but you will still be able to gain a sense from what others have to say about the issue. Don’t meet people who will tell you what you want to hear. Consult those who are blunt enough to tell you the truth no matter how hard it may seem. No matter what others may say, the final decision lies with you, and you alone will carry the responsibility of your decisions and your actions.
“Trust your instincts, and make judgements on what your heart tells you. The heart will not betray you.” ― David Gemmell
In some cases, you may do everything within your power and follow all three steps to decision making, but you still may not get your desired outcome. When this happens, be gentle with yourself and accept that nobody makes the right decision every time. Always learn from your mistakes. The truth is that we are all biased and sometimes we may base our decisions on our beliefs. When our beliefs do not lead to a favorable outcome, then our decisions will be wrong. Subsequently, you must readjust your thinking if you want to achieve a different result.