The One Question You Need to Ask Yourself When Making a Decision
Some decisions in life are easy. Like what to eat, what to wear, or what to watch on tv. Other decisions are not quite as simple.
When you are trying to live your life on purpose and with intention, you want to make the best decisions possible. However, that sometimes leads to analysis paralysis. It’s easy to get stuck making the decision because we don’t want to make the wrong one. So, we put off making the decision or make it too hastily and then live to regret it.
I have a couple of decisions I’m facing right now. One revolves around my involvement with a non-profit executive board. The term is four years, however each member is given the opportunity to continue serving or leave the board after each year. I’m in a spot right now where I know I have not been a good board member. When emails come to me for decisions, I have been letting them get buried in my in-box. I’ve not kept up with my system to make sure I process my emails in a timely manner. So, that has put me making last minute decisions and doing things that really are out of my comfort zone.
Another decision I have has to do with our home. As many of you know, we’ve had our home for sale for over a year and a half. Our plan has been to build our dream home once it’s sold. Well, my husband and I have been talking, and we both agree that we may not be up to building. We’re not sure we want to make that kind of financial commitment, and we’re not sure we have the energy and patience it takes to see that kind of project through. We definitely don’t want to stay in this home, so if we don’t build, we’ll be looking for a new home to buy.
These are hard decisions. They involve not only time and finances, but other people will be affected by the final decision as well.
The main thing I’m doing in these decision-making processes is praying. I know that God holds the key and can help see me through these decisions.
However, I also know He has given me a mind that He created to process things and to choose the way I should go.
A few weeks ago, I shared how to overcome busyness based on what I learned from reading Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington. As I read more of her book I learned about creating a decision-making framework. In other words, developing a systematic approach to guide me during the decision-making process.
One of the aspects of her decision-making framework is considering the future. There is one question she asks herself that helps her to look at her decisions from a different perspective.
What will my future self think about this decision?
When you think about it, this is a powerful question. Consider the consequences of your decision from the perspective of the future.
What will your future self think about it one month, six months, a year, or even five years from now? Will your future self be reaping great benefits and blessings from your decision, or will she be caught up in a crazy busy schedule because you have overcommitted her with responsibilities that do not reflect her values and goals?
Oh, how I wish I had done this in the past. I could have saved myself, my family, and others around me so much grief and trouble if I’d only considered what my life would look like in the future if I made certain decisions. Also, I feel I’ve let others down because I’ve committed to things that sounded good at the time but then became a burden to me.
Back to the two decisions above that I am currently facing…they both require an answer within the next month or so. I will continue to pray about them. I will also consider what the future will hold if I continue with the executive board. Will I dread meetings because I’m not prepared? Is this truly something that fits within my passions and calling?
For our housing situation, my husband and I will have to talk about it more in depth. We will have to consider how it will affect our children. If we choose to buy another house, we will have to decide which one best meets our needs both now and in the future.
I’m confident if I give these decisions the proper amount of time and focus, I will be able to make the best decision possible.
How do you make decisions in your life?