We make so many decisions every day that we can barely recall them all. Then there are these 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.
Makes for a terrible night of uneasy sleep, huh? 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 the power of three: Intellect, Heart, and Instinct. What I mean by that is creating your version of a decision balance sheet. It is divided in these three main categories.
Typically, your first response to any given decision you have to make is taking you down the right path. Make a note of what that is. This is the first reaction to a decision you are facing. Now enter what your heart – meaning compassion, empathy, love, passion, etc – tries telling you. Now reflect on what your intellect is telling you. In other words you are breaking up your decision tree 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?
Sure, I did almost forget including the element of fun and excitement. Keep that in balance with the risk you are willing to take and you will start sleeping much better. Happy pondering.