Making decisions is something most of us do every day, from minor ones such as choosing what to wear for the day, to major life-changing decisions such as whether or not to migrate to another country. Whatever decisions we make, you’ll probably agree it’s quite stressful, especially if it has a huge impact on our lives. Sometimes we dither, and it’s due to our fear of making the wrong decision. If you’re in that situation, these tips might just help you.
Don’t decide based on impulse
Most major decisions come with a price in terms of money and time: which school to send our kids to; what car to buy; which city to live in; and so on. Sometimes, we decide impulsively. A salesman told you it’s the latest car model, so you bought it without visiting any other showrooms first. Another parent told you the school had a good rating, so you enrolled your kids without doing the proper research. We’ll only realize we’ve made the wrong decision when we’ve already spent more money and time than we should have. Lesson? Never decide on impulse. Sometimes the worst decisions happen when we haven’t taken the time to think things through.
Determine your exact objective
What outcome are we really aiming to achieve? Ideally, it’s best to identify our objectives so we can narrow down our choices. Are you planning to migrate to another country with your family? Ask yourself why, and then list your objectives. Is it because you want to give your kids a better education? Is it because you’re looking for more job opportunities? Knowing your objectives will probably help you decide what to do.
Solicit advice from trusted friends or family members
Our friends and family members have probably gone down the same path we’re exploring now, so it’s time to seek their advice. What worked for them and what didn’t? Learning from the experience of others is a good way to prevent ourselves from making the same mistakes they did. But don’t always rely on other people. Remember that each experience is unique, so just because your best friend didn’t find a good job in another city doesn’t mean you’ll meet the same fate. Continue learning from others, but don’t let their experiences cause you to decide against what you’ve been planning to do all along.
Weigh your options
Now that you’ve sought the opinions of others, it’s time to weigh your options. Lay each out one by one and consider the pros and cons. If one option’s cons outweigh its pros, then it’s probably not the best one. Is buying an expensive SUV going to benefit your family more than buying a regular sedan? If you have the money to purchase it and you’re not going to suffer financially, then go for it. Sometimes the cheaper option isn’t always the best. Money can be earned back, but the convenience a more expensive option can give you is often matchless.
Seeking spiritual guidance is something my family always does, and it’s really helped us in making major decisions; it might help you, too. Things happen for a reason, and we personally believe that whatever happens in our lives is always for a higher purpose. But that doesn’t mean we always rely on fate alone. We still need to make the effort to reach our life goals. Seeking spiritual guidance allows us to have a clearer mind to choose the right path and the humility to accept failures. At the end of the day, we’re the ones who make the final decisions.
Final words: never blame anyone, including yourself
Despite everything, if it seems you’ve made the wrong decision, don’t blame anyone, including yourself. No matter how perfectly we did our research, there may be things we’ll only find out once we get there. So, worry not, as most people make wrong decisions now and then. Learn from your mistakes and apply the lessons next time you’re about to make another decision.
JK Legaspi is a freelance writer and owner of the blog “Empowered Moms at Home” (www.empoweredmomsathome.com)