If you are here, you probably have an idea of the profound effects of making changing life decisions. We often live through our lives, oblivious to what thoughts we are thinking and what actions we are taking. Every single decision we take today shapes our tomorrow. It shapes who we are as a person, what we do in life, what kind of people we end up with. This is because once we make a decision, we often habitually follow it without even realizing it.
It is okay to feel anxious before making a decision. Think it through properly. But before you finalize something, ask yourself some critical questions.
1) What is my guiding principle?
Why am I more inclined to take this decision? Am I looking for money, travel, power, security, independence, creativity, or what? These are essential questions that one should ask themselves in life, regardless of whether they are making a decision or not. If whatever you are after does not have the primary characteristic you are looking for, then you will not feel content no matter what else it may have.
2) What are the downsides and upsides of choosing this option?
Questions like, ‘would I be okay with the outcomes?’, ‘would this be a disaster?’, ‘is this optimum for me?’ are fundamental questions to ask. Make sure you familiarize yourself with each and every outcome of all the options that you have.
Try to make an exhaustive list of the pros and cons of each decision. And not just in your mind. Write everything down on a piece of paper. Think about each option in detail, visit each branch. It would be best to imagine a scenario where you have taken that decision and think about how it makes you feel to know which option is best.
3) If I had 6 months to live, would I be happy with myself?
This is the last but the most critical question to ask yourself. Especially if the decision you are going to take is life-altering. This is called the ‘thought experiment’ as it helps clear the fog in the head and helps one make a choice that they will not regret.
As the Tibetans say, “In thinking about death, you will learn how to live.” This is, in fact, very true. More often than not, we are confused about our choices because we think we have a lot of time to do more. But if we didn’t, our priorities would become much more apparent.
So sit down in a quiet place and imagine being told you have six months to live. Now ask, ‘do I still want this?’
If the answer is yes, you know what decision you should make. No matter the path, you will find a way to make it happen because we all want to die with no regrets. This question is essential to ask when you are making decisions such as:
- Do I want to marry this person?
- Do I want to move to Russia and learn music?
The logic here is quite simple. It’s like a psychological experiment where you ask yourself, ‘If I didn’t have all the time in the world, would I still do this?’
Taking a decision may be one of the most challenging tasks, yet it is one of the most important ones. We all have to make decisions in our lives, be it small or big. This practice will help you make better choices.