Decision-making 101

By Mandi Hart
Published on: November 2, 2021
Decide, commit, repeat

“I believe the single most significant decision I can make on a day-to-day basis is my choice of attitude.” Charles Swindoll

Wisdom helps us make better choices

Wisdom fascinates me. What’s most interesting about wisdom is that we can ask God for it, we can learn about it and we can grow in it. Wisdom doesn’t always appear like a cloud in the sky. It is a gift to us and it is a skill.

They define wisdom as the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise. It is also the ability to know what is true or right. When we make decisions about what to eat, where to live, which relationships to invest in, or even what business to start, we need more wisdom than we ever could imagine.

Life is made up of the sum total of all our decisions.

In an article on how many decisions adults make, the writer had this to say, “Researchers at Cornell University estimate we make 226.7 decisions each day on food alone. And as your level of responsibility increases, so does the multitude of choices you have to make. It’s estimated that the average adult makes about 35,000 remotely conscious decisions each day. Each decision, of course, carries certain consequences with it that are both good and bad.”

35 000 decisions! WOW! That’s a lot of decision-making in a 24-hour period.

For every yes there are several no’s

If I wanted to run a marathon and said yes to that opportunity, then I would have to say no to plenty of other things. For example, time spent training vs staying in bed a little longer or even my nutrition choices might have to change. Years back, I learnt the hard lesson that we cannot say yes to every opportunity. That’s simply not wise and so I practice saying ‘no’ so that I can say yes to the things I am called to do in this season of life.

Here are a few pointers to guide you in your decision-making ability:

Make sure you know what the decision is that you need to make.

Often we are don’t have clarity on what the decision is that we need to make. Clarity goes a long way in helping you ask the right questions to get to a decision. It is often said that the right question illuminates, not the answer. 

Weigh the pros and cons. 

I know that this might seem pretty obvious, but make a list of what’s good about the decision and what isn’t. Then decide which outweighs the other. It’s as simple as drawing two columns and making a list. 

Listen to your gut. 

‘Always, always trust your first instincts. If you genuinely feel in your heart and soul that something is wrong, it usually is.” Anonymous

Find a place to get quiet and just sit and listen to what your inner voice is telling you about the decision. Have you prayed about the decision? What does the Bible say? What thoughts or feelings come up? 

Consider the impact on others. 

Wisdom reminds us to consider things from every angle. Think through the decision from beginning to end. How will it impact those around you? Every decision we make has an impact on the people in our lives. And in doing so think about how does the decision align with your passion, values, and priorities? 

Avoid making a decision out of fear.

Fear is a terrible master. When we make decisions out of fear, it can only lead us into isolation,confusion, and even despair. Fear is not your friend and if you feel as if the choice is made because you are afraid of failure or rejection or any other fear, then I want to encourage you to hit pause on that decision. Look for wise advice from those you trust. 

Seek advice. 

Wisdom is found in counsel from those who love you and are on your side. Share your thoughts with someone you know and trust. Sometimes the biggest help is simply hearing yourself talk out loud about what you’re thinking and why you’re thinking that way. Proverbs 1: 5 reads, “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.”

Then, when all is said and done, make your decision. Step up and go for it. You can make wise decisions that will benefit you and those around you.

 

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