Decisions, Decisions!

Making decisions in life can be stressful, nerve wrecking and worrisome.  But decision making DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THIS WAY!  I believe that young people need to learn how to make decisions for themselves (within the permissible or affordable boundaries that parents provide). It is best to begin to learn how to do this in matters that really at the end of the day, don't really have any monumental life consequences.  If you can learn to make decisions in the small things (even if they seem HUGE at the time) you will do better when they really count.   Here are some guidelines that I use and teach to my girls.  These guidelines are for making choices that are legal, ethical and moral. Decisions like what team to play for, what job to take, where to go to college...

1) Relax and take your emotions out of the decision.  Emotions change quickly, emotions are fickle, emotions trick us and make things seem much better or much worse than reality.  As much as you can, take the emotions out.

2) Make a list of the good and bad, the pros and cons and the facts.  IN ALMOST EVERY MAJOR LIFE DECISION YOU WILL HAVE TO MAKE THERE WILL BE NO PERFECT ANSWER OR SOLUTION!  Some times you are choosing between 2 good things, sometimes between 2 bad things. (normally it is between two good things!)  Rarely are they completely equal in all ways or perfect.  As the song goes... "You can't always get what you want..."  Don't be anxious or upset because you can't have everything that you want out of a situation. Often times, once we go forward, the importance that we thought we had placed on some things quickly fades away.

3) Pray. Ask God for wisdom and guidance. I believe that God gives wisdom to those who ask. 

4) Ask for some unbiased guidance from knowledgeable people.  BUT, then decide based on what is right for YOU. Base your decision on what is most important to YOU. Don't base your decision on what your friends are doing. Don't base your decision on what your friends or other "experts" are trying to convince you is right for you.  Don't base your decision on what you THINK THAT OTHERS THINK you should do.  No one else has to walk through your experience and through the consequences of your decisions as intimately and personally as you. Make the best choice for YOU.***
(*** This is not a license to be self absorbed, selfish or immoral... If you have already made a firm commitment to someone, a group a team or later in life a spouse and family - then you need to keep your commitments and make decision for the common good while being unselfish. If something is immoral or illegal, it is the wrong choice.)

5) Own your decision.  You need to be able to take responsibility for what you have decided to do.  Whether others agree or disagree, whether it turns out well or turns out bad.  Take responsibility for your decision and don't blame it on others if it does not work out.  Most of the time, our decisions work out just fine and we were worried for no good reason.

6) Sleep on it.  Some times it is good to come to what you think is the right decision... and then sleep on it.  Set it aside for a short time, maybe just a day or an afternoon or overnight.  Then revisit your decision before setting it in stone.  Is there something about it that just does not sit well with you?  Dig in and look at the facts again.  (Don't get all caught back up in emotions... remember we are trying to not let them dominate). 

7) CHOOSE!  Ok... at some point you are going to have to just decide. No more weighing options. You can waffle back and forth 100 times but the opportunities and challenges of each side of the decision are going to remain the same no matter how long you waffle and flop back and forth.

This brings us to what I call the Green Goblin moment!  What is that? Well, that refers to a scene in the movie Spiderman where the Green Goblin comes along and captures the love of Spidey's life in one hand AND a wire tethered to a gondola full of screaming school children in the other. He offers Spiderman a "sadistic choice" to save the woman he loves or "suffer the little children".  Then simultaneously drops them both while say "SO CHOOSE!"  Of course, Spidey saves them both... but he is a superhero.. he is supposed to do that.  We normally don't get both, but we still have to choose.  Even Spidey had to save one before the other.  For kicks... watch it below. Most of our decisions aren't quite this drastic.

8) Embrace your decision!  Once you have made your decision final- run with it. Embrace it! Don't look back. Don't constantly think about "what if"?  Put your all into your decision and decide every day that you will make the absolute best of it.  When we make a choice and embrace it, then our emotions can follow.  Ignore the naysays.  If it is not what your friends would do, then that's okay. If they are true friends, you will still be friends. You can make different choices and have different opinions and still be great friends, even best friends! 

9) Keep your commitments. Often times our decisions involve or strongly affect other people as well.  Stick to your commitments. Most choices are just for a time.  If it for a season, stick with it for the season. At the end if you realize you want something different next time, then add that to your basis for your next decision. Learning how to make good decisions and stick with them will help you to get through tough times when it REALLY matters... in your future career, marriage, family.

10) Be at peace and move on to more important decisions like which flavor of ice cream to get to celebrate... hmm, now THAT is a choice... decisions, decisions...


Make a free website with Yola