The most powerful threefold decision-making tool
We make so many decisions every day that we can barely recall them all. Then there are decisions that keep us up at night. That is because we have someone or something that we really want to pursue; it feels right and we so want to make progress and yet we do not have a warm and fuzzy feeling. Perhaps we have a lot of fear involving making a decision, or we do not want to hurt other’s feelings.
All of this type of decision-making sets us up for a terrible night of uneasy sleep, if we can sleep at all. When we are really infatuated with an idea, chances are we may be making a really risky decision that we will regret later on. Never making a decision is just as bad. The older we get we make decisions more and more with our intellect. It is however heavily influenced by historical events because we want to limit our pain that comes from having made a poor decision.
So what can we do?
The secret of powerful decision making lies in tapping into the power of three human domains: Intellect, Heart, and Instinct. This is helping create your version of a decision balance sheet. It is divided in three main categories.
Most of us have a gut reaction, also known as instinct, to any given decision you have to make. Whatever that may be resist the urge to only base it on this single input. Make a note of what your instinct is advising you to do. Take it serious enough to journal your thoughts. Next step is pondering what your heart (meaning compassion, empathy, love, passion, etc) tries telling you. Finally, reflect on what your intellect is advising you to do. Your brain offers to you a strict “just the facts, Ma’am” response. With that may come a common sense answer free from emotion and gut reaction responses. This process is so successful as it is breaking up your usual decision forest to a more manageable decision tripod.
Resist the urge to the extent possible arguing your way to a result you wanted to get to from the get go. Instead, start with your question that keeps you up first. Then follow your answers to all three main criteria. Finally round it all up with pondering if and how your decision will still look like in 2 to 5 years from now. Is it long term sustainable? How much fun will this by in the long run? I did almost forget including the element of fun and excitement. Keep fun in balance with the risk you are willing to take and you will start sleeping much better. Happy pondering.