EmPulse for Week of March 7, 2011
A wise person decides slowly but abides by his decisions. (Arthur Ashe, American Tennis Player, 1943-1993)
O, if only life were simpler, like in the old days. Really? You believe that? Life has never been simple. Complexity, convolution, conflict, and chaos have reigned since time immemorial! About the only simple thing we get to choose is which color M&M to munch. Life is a series of decisions; some critical, some important, some of less consequence. If you are one who does not like making decisions, you have a problem. There will not always be someone there who will tell you what to do— you will have to make a decision on your own.
Ergo, this little Ten-Point Primer on decision-making might be of some use to you. Enjoy.
1. What is the nature of the decision? Complexity? Ramifications?
2. What amount of time can you devote to this decision given the other areas of responsibility (read- time-commitments) in your life?
3. What are the time-constraints on this decision? By when MUST it be implemented?
4. What resources might you draw upon to help you make this decision?
5. WHO should be included in your decision making process?
6. Since your decision will affect the future, consider what might go wrong with your decision. How can you lessen its negative impact? What feasible scenarios might you create as secondary courses of action? [In general, there is always more than one way to do something.]
7. What will your decision cost— financially, emotionally, relationally, professionally?
8. How might spending time alone before God, listening, enable you to make a better decision?
9. Some people need a lot of information before making a decision; others, not so much. At what point will you make the decision? Being about the future, it will never be totally certain, totally safe.
10. Make the decision; implement it, live with its consequences.
There are few tools available to better gauge our growth toward maturity than our competence in making decisions. Risk, faith, trust, teamwork, fear, critical thinking, and just plain guts all come into play when we have to make a decision. The buck may stop with you, or you may be on a team that needs consensus; no matter the process, you come to a point of decision. By the best of your ability, so help you God, make a good one.
Have a nice week,