Most everything you do involves using a process.
Consider brushing your teeth for instance. What if you put the toothpaste on the toothbrush after you brushed them? Or, what if you rinsed your mouth before you filled it with toothpaste. It wouldn’t make any sense, right?
Well, the same is true when you’re making a major decision.
There is a process that you can follow that will greatly increase your chances of reaching a decision that works in your favor. Here are the steps:
Step #1: Consider all of your options
When most people are faced with a huge choice, they often only think about two solutions: doing it and not doing it. However, that way of thinking limits you in many ways and closes your eyes to the multiple other scenarios that exist; scenarios that may offer the best solutions.
For instance, if you are trying to decide whether or not to change careers, it doesn’t have to be a “yes” or “no” answer. You can also look at other options such as staying in your current field and trying the new career part-time until you figure out if it is what you want or whether you could make money at it.
Try to consider all of your possibilities. Research what others have done when they’ve struggled with the same issue and see how creative you can get with making things work best for you and your situation.
Don’t count anything out either. This is a brainstorming session so write down all of your ideas, no matter how silly or impossible they may seem.
Step #2: Pick the top 3 options
Once you have a list of possibilities that is as exhaustive as you can make it, it’s time to pick the top three that jump out to you. Just run down the list and choose the ones that appeal to you most.
You’re not selecting them based on any logical explanation so don’t get caught up in trying to justify why those three are most interesting. You’re going to deal with logic in the next step, so use this one to simply narrow down your choices.
Step #3: Come up with a list of consequences
For each of the three possibilities that you selected, you’ll want to examine them thoroughly and come up with a complete list of possible consequences for each one.
Contemplate what the benefits of picking that choice are and be realistic about the negatives. Try to be as thorough when creating this list as you can.
For example, sticking with the previous career change example, let’s say that one of your options was to quit your current job and go back to school. The pros may include the fact that you would be happier and less stressed, you would be home more, and your schedule would open up so you could finally attend some of your kid’s sporting events.
In addition, you would be able to get another degree to enhance your education and you could be out from under the thumb of your current micro-managing employer.
Some of the cons you may want to write down? Those may include the fact that you would obviously be losing the income, you may have difficulty getting back into studying after being out of school for many years, and you wouldn’t have a “scheduled” work day which would rely on using your own self-motivation to get homework and projects done.
Also, you’ll likely be going into more debt unless you have the cash saved up for the courses and you’d be at home more (this was a pro too, but it may be a negative for you as well if you like to be out and about).
You want to do this with each one of the three top picks so that you have a very detailed image of what it would be like if you chose that particular option.
After all, you don’t want to make such a major decision without really knowing what the likely consequences of that may be. The more realistic you are, the better
Step #4: Go with your gut
This may be the hardest part to follow as we’re often taught to do things based on logic and proof alone. However, you can’t and shouldn’t ignore what path your body is telling you to follow. It knows you better than anyone, so it deserves the final consideration when you’re making a choice.
If you’re not totally sold on this concept, remember that you’ve already done the leg work and are more than aware of what you’re up against. So, it’s not like you’re making an ill informed decision based on invalid information. Your gut is giving you a direction based on knowledge and intelligence as you’ve thought about each option very specifically.
A lot of times we let our minds talk us out of our dreams. We tell our inner selves that we won’t succeed or that we’re incapable of reaching our goals.
However, our heart and gut know otherwise. That is why you get that flutter in your tummy when you think about pursuing something that you’re passionate about.
Sure, you may face some hurdles in your path, but the reality is that you’re going to face hurdles no matter what you do. So, you might as well do what is going to make you happy, right? Make it worth it!
Don’t be afraid to go after your dreams and do the impossible. Remember that people are doing it every day. They’re not listening to what society or the “experts” say can’t be done. No, they’re listening to their own bodies and hearts and choosing to defy the odds.
They’re the ones changing the world. What do you say? Are you ready to join them?