How to make difficult decisions...
January 02, 2021
When the time comes for you to make a difficult decision, for example:
- Switching jobs
- Moving to another city
- Having kids
You freeze and get stuck. You don’t know what de best decision is. But why is that? In this article, I share why I think that happens and what you can do about it.
Why is it hard to make decisions?
Let’s say you are in the middle of a decision to switch jobs. But you don’t know what to do because these questions are running through your mind:
- How will my colleagues be? I have great colleagues now.
- How will the salary turn out? It’s a bit more. However, they don’t have the perk of a company car
Do you see where I’m going with this? I could go on with this list, but the point I’m trying to make is that you are comparing. You can compare endlessly. That is what’s causing you to freeze and what makes it hard to make that decision. The comparison needs to be made after you chose for yourself. I will explain later on why.
The root cause of why making decisions is difficult
I will take you to the core of the problem, where you endlessly are comparing your current situation against a new one.
You see me use the word current, and that is the core of this problem. You are in the now, which leads to comparing and analysis, that makes sense. That is because you are thinking of what you currently have that you are potentially able to lose: Loss Aversion
How can you make taking hard decisions easy?
To make taking a decision more easy you have to move out of the now, take a look at the bigger picture, and move to the future:
- What are my long term goals?
- Where do I want to be in 5 years?
- What are my roles in life that are important to me?
In this article, I share the importance of having a vision: The importance of having a vision, which is something that would greatly benefit this process.
When the decisions meets your vision it is time to compare the less important things, as I mentioned before. Taking this decision first forces you to not only go for the more financially attractive options but look at the bigger picture first.
How to get to the decision that is right for you?
To make the right decision you need time with yourself without any distractions. There are several ways you can do this. The one I prefer is to go for a long walk for at least one hour. You might get distracted from things outside. In that case, you can also sit in a quiet room for at least one hour. In both cases no phones! Be with your thoughts and let them flow.
What helps me as well is engaging in this process after a heavy workout, because it puts me in a better state of mind.
Shamans and heads of tribes used to follow this principle as well, only a bit more extreme. They would go into the forest for one or more days, without anything, not even food.
They would sit and meditate waiting for the right answer on an important decision. That decision would appear to them in a vision. Hence it was called a vision quest.
The key difference between the methods mentioned earlier is that you are close to nature. Since humans are part of nature it is easy to get into a peaceful state of mind. The other key difference is that there is zero distraction.
I shared with you why I think making decisions is hard. And shared techniques to make this process easier to comprehend. It will help you to make decisions that complement where you want to go in life and meet your bigger picture.
The most important factors are:
- Take time
- No distractions
- Look at the bigger picture
I'm fascinated by the power of a strong mindset. I combine this with being a web developer, which keeps me motivated. But how, you may ask? That's what I share on this website. For more information about me personally, check out the about me page: About Me