Friday, January 13, 2012

The Art of Making a Good Decision

A fortune-teller is an exciting idea.  How great would it be to have someone tell us our future so we could avoid pitfalls or take full advantage of opportunities?  We would never lament, "If I had only known..."

In all honesty no fortune-teller is necessary to predict your future.  You can do a fairly good job yourself.  From where you stand today look back at your life.  If you are a visual person make a Life-line Timeline based on decisions or events that brought you to the place you are today.  Your ability to make 'good' decisions or 'bad' decisions, based on how you rate your current situation, will be evident in your history. 

It is always easier to look at someone else.  For an example you likely don't have to look further than your circle of friends.  Chances are someone came to mind when you read the title to this blog.  Many of us have at least one person we know, and have watched, make poor decisions. That person you have listened to lament their decisions but who continues in poor decision making with or without your advice.  Maybe you are that person.

There is a pattern to decision making that, like a habit, can be difficult to change.  Often times lifestyle or home-life feeds a poor decision making process.  Identifying and making changes in these areas is the first step.

Most decisions are based on 'feelings', feelings that are immediate but often fleeting.  A good decision must look beyond the immediate to the time when that feeling is gone.

Making a good decision is an art.  It is a process that takes thought, planning and self-control.  You must develop your own process, personalized to you.  This is my process for making good decisions:

1. Pray seeking God's guidance.  As a Christian, Christian principles should be my guide.  They are the measuring stick I use against my desires and reasons for the choices I make.

2. Seek wise counsel from trusted individuals.  There are people in my life who I trust will want the best for me.  It is important that I LISTEN to what they have to say as they may not agree with what I'm wanting to do.  I want to give their reasoning due consideration.

3.  My husband must be in agreement or be supportive of my decision.  My husband is my main stay plus any decision I make will affect him and our life.  If he is not in agreement or supportive the decision is not a good one.

Like all good artists, once you have put time and practice into your craft it comes quickly and naturally.  Bigger decisions require more time and consideration.  There are still decisions that are not easy to make but with a process I can be assured it is a good one.

What is your decision making process?

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  1. My decision making process is much like yours. These are great tips, Sally!

  2. Great tips, Sally.
    So much of what we do depends on how we were raised, doesn't it, how our parents modeled for us?

    I like to plan carefully, the plus and minus of decisions.
    My husband tells me (and he is a psychologist) that we all make snap decisions, and after we make them, we find reasons to support them.

  3. My husband and I were notorious for deciding fast--in past years we have learned how important it is to pray that God either opens the doors or shuts them so we clearly know what direction to take. We are praying now about building or not.

  4. I use the same litmus tests--is it biblical? Do the wise advisors in my life approve? Will my mate agree? If all check out, then all systems go!

  5. Great post Sally, My husband mulls and then decides and I usually make pretty quick decisions but both of us are learning to pray about things first. This eliminates many problems.....

  6. That's my process too. I used to jump into things more. I'm learning to slow down and look at the decision from every angle now.

  7. This is great...and yes it is a discipline to make good decisions. I know my process of decision making, which is very different from my hubby's process. I think sometimes a couple of bad decisions will also knock your confidence making you wonder if you can make good decisions, so you need to go back and follow your decision path like you just expressed.

    Great post!