Wouldn’t it be great it we never made a bad decision?
One night I was making dinner for the kids and out of nowhere I heard my daughter Ayla scream, “Mommy! Come help me! I’m stuck! Please help!” Instantly I ran to her room, my heart pounding as I wondered what happened to my little girl.
As soon as I saw her, I couldn’t hold back my giggles. I was relieved to see she wasn’t hurt, and quite honestly, amazed at how she managed to fit herself into her Easy-Bake Oven box.
It took me a little bit to get her out of it, but eventually she was free from the big bad box. After we worked through her conundrum, she gave me a big hug and said, “Whew! Thanks Mommy, I sure won’t do that again!”
Ayla’s battle with the box is a great illustration for us adults. All too often we find ourselves on the other end of a poor decision wishing we hadn’t made it.
Here are Some Key Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Make a Decision:
- What is it that I’m trying to accomplish?
It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to fix something before understanding what the problem actually is. We have a limited amount of time to collect the facts, therefore we often don’t. Instead we take what’s in front of us and react with what we think is a solution. This often puts the proverbial “cart before the horse.”
Instead, try taking the time to digest what the issue is. This allows you to see all the working parts and prioritize which needs to be addressed first.
How will the outcome potentially impact me?
No matter how hard you try, you can’t see the future. You can, however, make an educated guess. Look at the pros and cons to what you want to do and weigh them. Doing this gives you perspective and understanding of what could happen.
- Who else with this decision impact?
This is something we don’t often think about. We get so caught up in our own agenda, we forget to think of the others that could be affected by our actions. Once you identify who could be impacted, think of how it could impact them. By taking a few extra minutes to think of others, you can save a world of potential heartache in the future.
- Am I emotionally motivated by this?
Emotions are a funny thing. Sometimes they can be your friend, but very easily they become your FOE. That’s my code for Fog Of Emotion. Have you ever been in a relationship with someone toxic? If you have, did the people that love you try to steer you away from that individual? And here’s the kicker….did you listen to them?
I’ve been in that situation myself, and because I was so lost in my emotions, I couldn’t see past them. I was in the FOE! Or maybe it’s not a person, but something you really want. Deep down you may know you can’t afford it, or its not the right thing to do, but you don’t listen to that intuition.
Some of the best advice my dad ever gave me was related to this very thing. He told me if I ever had a big decision to make, sleep on it for 24-48 hours. Let whatever emotion I was feeling wear off so I could see it clearly. I still practice this advice to this day.
By Answering these questions, we can strive to avoid bad decisions. We may still make them, but we can take comfort in knowing from bad decisions come lessons. Those lessons help us to grow.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from a decision?