Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Soup or Salad? The Tough Decisions In Life

From the moment we wake up in the morning until we go to sleep at night, we are constantly making decisions. Some of these choices happen quickly and are relatively insignificant like choosing which mug to use in the morning. Others decisions seem more important with long-ranging consequences like making a business deal.

Making decisions often takes little effort but sometimes decisions can literally take hours of thought. Sometimes we spend too little time or too much time deciding on what direction a small part of our life will take.

When I had an important decision to make in high school and college I would make a pros and cons list. This is a strategy that many people recommend. While this was a logical way to analyze the choices in my life, it never really made a difference.

Before making the list I had a feeling of what I wanted to do and after making the list, rarely would that feeling change.  The older I get the less I make pros and cons lists and the more I go with my gut feeling.

Going with your gut requires a belief in your heart that even if a decisions initially may turn out to be wrong it will eventually it work out for the best. The negative consequences of my decisions are never that bad.  Part of this is because I’m still a young adult and because I’ve lived an incredibly lucky and fortunate life that has never required me to make a “Sophie’s Choice.”

Knowledge is part of this equation too. Sometimes the pros and cons list engenders more questions that require research. Doing this is essential to make sure that you don’t sign a bad home loan for example. The thing is even with doing all of your research and checking every angle of a decision, at the end you still have to take a leap of faith.

Logic and facts only get you so far in life. The decisions that matter, the decisions that change your life cannot be fully fleshed out in a chart. They require your heart to make that last step.

Now that I'm an adult decisions seem more important. While this can be frustrating, challenging and sometimes petrifying, the positive side is that you get to make your life what your own.

If you can get through a day without saying “I don’t know,” to yourself in response to a decision, you are probably lying to yourself. Never forget, it’s okay to not know what to do. Do what you have to do, analyze the situation, maybe make a chart, but also listen to your feelings.

While your feelings sometimes change, they are the only thing that you can know in life for sure and deserve your trust.

No comments:

Post a Comment