Friday, April 25, 2008

Decision Making

How do you make a decision? I am asked a couple of times a month how to answer that question. How would you answer it?

I know some people that make decisions like they jump into a pool; they just hold their nose and close their eyes and jump. Others will check out the depth, check out the temperature, check the prevailing wind, go buy a nose plug, and then finally jump.

The fact is: we make decisions every minute of our life, we just forget we do it. More than “what do you want to do?” “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” “I don’t care, what about this?” “Nah, we did that yesterday” and so on. Every step you take involves a decision, literally. Try getting around with a bum leg or twisted ankle and you will remember what I mean. You mind makes decisions subconsciously ALL THE TIME. I have always been fascinated watching people negotiate a crowded mall, hallway or airport. Whether they gracefully glide from one opening to another to get ahead or whether they simply follow the crowd. Whether they worry about bumping shoulders with oncoming traffic or just bum and move on. Decisions, decisions and more of them.

First: Decisions are based on experience. Your body knows it and reacts to it. If you step on ice YOU KNOW IT! How is your experience in the area you are making a decision? Have you been here before? What worked and didn’t work last time?

Second: Decisions are based on education. If you haven’t been there before then learn about it as much as you can. Get informed. Do you know everything you can know about both horns of the dilemma? Have you asked all the right questions? It is better to ask now than after you decided.

Third: Decisions are made in the “gut.” Does it feel right? Does your body resonate with either one or does it make your gut cringe to take that step? Test your gut reaction.

Fourth: Decision are made with close friends. This may be part of your educational process but; what do your close friends and trusted advisors say? Often they see parts of you other do not see.

TRUMP CARD: I believe in all of this there is a spiritual trump card. God may be making this decision for you. Even though you experience tells you no, your education says no, you gut is uncomfortable and you friends are calling you crazy; you still are called to do it. Fortunately if you stay close to your God you will find your decisions easier.
I find that God doesn’t eliminate all possible doors and give you just one. What God does, depending on your closeness to him, is start dropping doors one at a time so you have less and less doors to choose from. He will rarely give you just one door to walk through because that will eliminate freedom but he will take it from 100 potential doors down to a handful for you to pray about, research, and discuss with friends. Decisions are made all the time by you so don’t be afraid of them. Look at all your decisions as an opportunity to grow and get closer to your dreams and goals. I’ve decided to end this column here.

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