by Janet Kellogg
Making hard choices can be much easier when you start with the simple question that narrows all the choices down to one clear front runner.
Stop and consider this . . .
- Why do some choices feel so much easier (and more fun) to make than others?
- In the present circumstances, is there a right or wrong choice to make?
- Who’s to say whether the choice is right or wrong?
I’m sure you’d agree that choosing ice cream flavors isn’t nearly as hard as choosing the names your kids will live with for the rest of their lives. Shoe color is way less stressful to contemplate than whether to uproot your whole life and move to another state. Regardless of whether the choice is an easy one that only impacts the next few minutes, or it’s a very hard decision with far-reaching consequences, choosing can be much easier when you start with the right question. It’s a magical question that quickly narrows the field of choices down despite all the various influences on your decision.
THE MAGIC QUESTION
Of all the options available, which choice is the very best choice for me to make in these circumstances?
1. Making hard choices: A privilege or a burden?
Even the way you choose to view your decisions affects how your choices are made. Since emotions are involved, your positive or negative view is certainly the result of positive or negative emotions that are influencing you. You ultimately have to choose whether your view of the decision will remain positive or negative.
Put another way, you either love having choices and relish the opportunity to evaluate each one before making your decision. Or you’re a bit annoyed that there are so many and just want to get on with experiencing the benefits of the decision (a.k.a., me at Ben and Jerry’s)! Depending on the nature of the decision, we can take either view, can’t we?
For example, if you lose sight of the fact that choice is a freedom we get to exercise all day long, we can quickly get mired down in “first world” problems and actually start to complain that we have to make the choice.
“I don’t have time for this . . . please just pick one for me!” (a quote straight from my collection of mindless decisions I inevitably regretted).
If we forget that in some cases, our freedom to choose was fought and paid for with the ultimate price, we can view the decision in front of us as more of a burden that what it actually is – a privilege!
“I don’t want my kids at the school in our district, but this other school is 45 minutes away! How can I manage all that added driving?!” (Even if it’s a decision we don’t really want to make, it’s still an opportunity to exercise a freedom we can easily take for granted.)
2. Making hard choices: Going with or against your inner design?
Most of the time, your choices are a matter of established habit and/or natural preferences. Unless some extra pressure is involved, like time or meaningful consequences, your inner design is at work, influencing your decision-making on a subconscious level. But with extra pressure, your decisions can take center stage. Those same resources (your inner design) can either be used efficiently to arrive at a good and timely decision (if you are working WITH your inner design) or you can burn up way more mental and emotional resources than you bargained for in trying to make that same decision based on someone else’s expectations or methods.
Do yourself a huge favor and choose according to the way you were made, avoiding the temptation to let other people and their preferences hijack your ability to make a good decision. Of course, others you trust should be able to give you input, but when it comes time to decide . . . own it entirely!
If you don’t know your inner design (your InnerKinetics®), now is the best time to discover that.
You’ll find you are either a person who, more often than not, consults their emotions, as well as the facts, each time a decision is made; or you line up the facts and make your decision based on what you believe the facts are telling you to do, regardless of the emotions that may be involved. BOTH ways are good, but they are very different from each other.
Learn more about how your InnerKinetics affects your decision-making.
3. Making hard choices easier by answering the magic question
We all want to make the right choices and we need to make sure we can recognize the right choice when it’s in front of us. When you ask yourself that magic question (“What’s the best choice I can make based on the options available to me?”) the answer IS the right choice for you to make. The right choice is the very best one available to you that honors your moral center and your positive beliefs. It’s time to read the “fine print”:
- Choosing the best requires that you believe that you are worth the best. That’s a healthy self-image at work in your life.
- Choosing the best requires you to function according to your inner design. When doing that, you have the right mix of both logic and emotion – the two essential ingredients to any good decision.
- Choosing the best almost always costs you something. Make sure you pay the right price.
With all the choices you must make in your your career, your parenting, your relationships and your personal growth, give the Real You the room you need to choose the very best. You are worth it!
Teach your kids to make good choices too. It all starts with understanding.
Learn more about parenting according to your child’s design, with this new self-paced online learning.