HOW TO TAKE RIGHT DECISIONS AFFECTING YOUR LIFE
If there is something you know you must do, what does it take to get you moving? It takes nothing more than your decision to make it happen.
As you grow older, at any stage in your life, you may meet certain problems that require taking some decisions to solve, or may come to crossroads that need critical thinking before choosing the right path.
You have to take a prudent decision to chart the way forward for achieving your objective or to get out of an undesirable situation. Taking a decision means making a choice out of several alternatives.
I am referring to personal life decisions and not decision taking in business.
CHOICE BETWEEN TWO OPTIONS
When I left Senior High School some decades ago, two options of job openings became available for me. In the first one I was offered a job as a Clerk at a reputable financial institution, and in the second option I was offered a job as a Technician Trainee at a Broadcasting studio. I had two days to choose between the two. Finally I chose to work at the former.
After some few years, some unforeseen incident happened which led to my exit with a few other employees. Then I cursed and said to myself that I would have been a qualified Technician at post if I had made the other choice.
I re-applied, but the opportunity was no more sitting there for me.
In the second of a similar situation in my life, I was unemployed and my daughter had been sent home from school. A friend whom I had discussed my plight with offered to help me by employing me. The agreement we reached was that I would take my first pay before starting work so that my daughter could get back to school.
At that same time I had a call for a job interview as a Proofreader at a Media house. I had only one night to decide which of the two options to choose.
With my daughter’s situation bothering me much I chose to work with my friend to enable her go back to school. After a couple of years the business started to decline and my friend could no longer hire my services, so the better option was to thank him and leave.
When as a young man I was ready to marry I came into contact with two women, each with a firm desire to marry me. I had to choose between the two. The first one named Charlotte came from the same local area as me, and the second one, named Princess hailed from a distant town and was more beautiful. I loved both of them but I wasn’t the type of man who could keep two lovers.
So eventually I chose to stick to Charlotte.
I based my decision on the fact that we hailed from the same local area and not from beauty or character. We moved steadily for two years and, lo and behold, the friendship had a great and unexpected crash, and we separated. I ran searching for my Princess and luckily found her, and I was very happy. But oh! she had got married to someone else.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER
We all are sometimes faced with an option to choose between two, three or more alternatives and have to make the best choice out of the available alternatives. The question is how do you identify the best of the alternatives to make that choice?
Some factors like comparing the alternatives and weighing the potential outcomes or effects of each will come into play, especially with important decisions.
Some choices are ephemeral and you can make them without considering any long term effects. For example, choosing between a breakfast of tea with bread or oats with bread can be made without any considerations. Similarly choosing to watch football instead of boxing comes with no big considerations.
But those that may have effect on your personal life have to be weighed before a choice is made.
For example, choosing between being an Animal Care Specialist or Pediatrician, and choosing to buy a house at the city center or building one at the outskirts.
The choice you make shall have effect on your personal life and has to be made after careful considerations. Sometimes you have no criterion on which to base your choice and so anything goes. Not anything goes in all circumstances.
In making a choice between two alternatives, each of which superficially looks good, you have to make a picture of the end result in your mind. How will the end look like if I make this choice? What shall be the outcome and can I do it without inconveniencing myself? Sometimes such a picture may not be easily perceived but the attempt can have some result.
If you’re a student in college you could have a problem with the choice of your career if you are interested in many things. You may be very interested in several or two subjects say Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering, but you have to major in only one. So you are faced with difficulty in choosing between the two. This choice requires some analysis of the employment situation in your country and whether Mechanical engineers are very much in need or they are redundant. More importantly, to find out whether there is the potential for developments in the construction industry to create job opportunities. There are other things besides these to put on the scale.
The same applies to Computer related jobs. Are Companies switching over to the use of computers in business? How do you see the future of computer usage in basically every sphere of life in your area? What specific social problems can you identify, to develop programs to solve? How will you value yourself as a Computer-literate person in a world in which majority are computer-illiterates?
All these analysis and more will help you make a choice.
SOLVING ACCOMMODATION PROBLEM
If you want to solve your accommodation problem and choose to build a house instead of renting an apartment, the end result has many benefits but you may not be able to offer your children the education they need because your resources will go into buying building materials. If your children’s education is important to you, you will continue to rent an apartment for the meantime or might not be able to build a house.
BENEFITS AND COSTS
What sometimes make choosing between alternatives difficult is that both carry benefits and costs. Choosing one means accepting its costs and forgoing the benefits of the other.
In choosing to rent the apartment you forego the benefits of living comfortably in your own house. In choosing to build a house you forgo educating your children to the detriment of their future lives.
ALLOW TIME TO PASS
Despite weighing alternatives, sometimes choice still becomes a problem and no decision is taken after all. Sometimes the decision is deferred to allow more time to pass. That’s good if implementation of the decision is not urgent or immediate. Time can allow you to think more clearly to make a good choice or even change the situation altogether.
You can come to a point where both negatives and positives of two options seem the same and you can’t decide which choice to make. It may not be so easy for you to say I am choosing this one out of the two.
TOSS A COIN
In this instance you may assign ‘head’ and ‘tail’ to the options and toss a coin to make your choice. If head wins and you feel no snag about it you have made a choice. If tail wins and you feel no snag about it you have made a choice, right?
What if you see the result of the coin toss and feel a snag about it? Then also you have discovered your true feeling and have to opt for the other alternative. Sounds crazy? That’s the way out.
Gut-feeling or intuition allows you to make a choice with or without considering the pros and cons of the choice. If you are unable to make a choice with your mind but have an inner feeling that one alternative is better than the other, you can follow your feeling.
REVERSING A DECISION
Having arrived at a decision after carefully weighing its advantages and disadvantages, the decision may be wrong after all. When this is determined you can reverse the decision as early as possible or abandon it. I went running after Princess after discovering that I took a wrong decision in leaving her.
It may not be too late for you, unlike mine (I am not specifically referring to making choices between women) and you can make amends. You would have seen the better option by now.
The disadvantage of a reversed decision is wasted time. If you take the right decisions, progress in life is always progressive instead of probably coming back to restart from somewhere. In spite of that a reversed decision is always better than living with a wrong decision.
IMPLEMENT YOUR DECISION
Taking a decision is one thing and implementing it is another. Many people take decisions without implementing them, thereby wasting their time and efforts. But I believe you are not one of them so convert the decision you take concerning your life into action or habit by which you live daily to achieve the desired result.
When you have taken a right decision you will find that it will be producing the desired result for you and you will feel satisfied.