Image by: Yakir
By Ronnie Toofan
Over the last five years, I have been making life-changing decisions.
First, my self-discovery led me to change my religion. Shortly after, I ended my 4-year relationship with my girlfriend. Then, I left my job to start my own business. After a year, I decided to travel 11,000 miles to meet a girl I just met online.
You probably think I’m crazy, but no, I’m not. In fact, I have never been so sure of my life and my decisions. Before, I would just always go with the flow, whatever happens, happens. I let my parents and other people around me decide what was good for me and do my thinking for me.
But all of those things changed when I became bankrupt twice, and then all of a sudden, I was left all alone. No one could possibly help me in my situation, so I had no choice but to rebuild my life by myself.
I knew that I had to make some big changes and take control of my life.
Life is all about making choices.
We make simple snap decisions every day on what to wear, what to eat or what to cook. Our mind seems to work a little bit faster when we are presented with easy options.
However, things become more difficult when we are presented with limited choices with possible contradicting consequences and when we are presented with a completely unfamiliar situation.
To help avoid getting “decision paralysis,” here are some pointers and strategies to broaden your thinking and gain clarity.
Understanding the nature or getting into the root cause of the issue will give you direction.
Steve Horsmon tells an interesting story of a man who was stuck between avoiding conflict with his wife and being true to himself in his piece “The One Thing Introverted Husbands Must Never Apologize For.”
Pressuring yourself about unknown consequences is like playing endless guessing games in which you’ll never know the answer.
When you find yourself in the same situation, it is best to confront your problem by asking yourself “why” questions such as:
• Why do I have to do this?
• Why do I feel this way?
• Why do I have to decide now?
You shouldn’t let your challenges intimidate you or boss you around.
Distance offers some perspective.
Don’t rush. Avoid making the wrong plans by being rational rather than emotional, especially when it comes to managing your business.
Martin Zwilling presents 7 blunders of startups.
Actually, I wasn’t surprised with the first item on his list: “Count a discussion between friends as a firm agreement.”
Trusting your friends is a good thing. However, when it comes to money matters, legal documents and paper trails are always required.
Also, to become successful, it is important to do some studying and research. Ignorance and lack of information lead to poor choices. You should never leave your business to chance.
Refrain from over-analyzing things; and stop agonizing over nothing.
Sometimes, overthinking allows us to create problems that are not really there. In effect, we spend time worrying and worse, battling with ourselves.
Chloe Della Costa gives us a perfect example in her piece “What to Do When Your Partner Has a Higher Sex Drive.”
Mismatched libidos don’t have to be a deal-breaker in a relationship. There are ways to make it work such as open communication or seeking professional help.
However, when you’ve already given your best and still, it didn’t work out, then, it’s alright too. Sometimes, not getting what we want can be a good thing. What’s important is that you give it your best try.
You can cultivate happiness through small, consistent and healthy choices.
Happiness is right at your fingertips, you just have to make decisions wisely.
Vishnu Subramaniam simplifies life for us with her piece “9 Small Choices That’ll Make Every Day Happier.”
All the items on the list are all great, but #1 & #5 are my favorites:
“Choose to appreciate rather than to complain. Choose to focus on solutions rather than problems.”
Complaining and focusing on your failures will not improve the quality of your life, nor will it encourage happiness. Being thankful for all that you have in your life, big or small; and being optimistic are the best ways to live happier.
There is no such thing as a perfect decision.
Sometimes, we get unexpected outcomes and don’t get the results we want. But even if your plan fails, that’s alright. The experience will make you wiser and will give you the opportunity to do better next time you face a similar situation.
In essence, it is a matter of owning your choice, taking full responsibility of your decisions and accepting the consequences.