My Secret to making the best personal decisions.
If I were asked my secret to success so far, I’d reply, Good Decisions. And I believe its not just me. You are your awesome self right now because of some decision you took in your past. Right or wrong is immaterial. Thats why it says best in the title and not right. Now if you google for this, you’ll find a plethora of sites. I admit, the amount of resources is over-whelming. And maybe you do need some of those decision making worksheets and algorithms when you are making a financial, business or professional decisions. But, I’m not talking about those decisions. I’m talking about simple choices like, how should I handle this relationship, what is the next step I take when I fail in my goals, do I take up this job or go for a Ph.D., do I spend the summer taking a vacation or should I rather take the MCAT, which research lab do I join etc.. and my personal favorite, I’m bored, what do I do.
So, here it is. This is the trick I use for myself as well as when people ask me for advice. Its a small game that you play with yourself. In your head. It goes something like this..
Imagine your daughter/son in your shoes. Say you have imagined your daughter. Assume she has been through exactly what you have experienced. And she is faced with the choice you are faced with right now. And she looks up to you with her pretty big eyes, and says, “Amma*, what do you think I should do?” You think for a second and reply, you should …
Thats it. Its as simple as that. Whatever your reply is going to be the best decision for yourself. I’ve tried it over and over and it works every time.
My hypothesis on why it works is that ideally we would want the best for our kids. Thats one thing. Secondly, making decisions becomes confusing because we are emotionally involved. Hence, thinking from a third-person point of view removes you from the hot seat and you can think more rationally. Thirdly, we subconsciously know what the right decision is. This just gives you a way to feel confident about your decision.
I would love to know if you have some other trick that you use to make your life decisions.
“Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader. Don’t fall victim to what I call the ‘ready-aim-aim-aim-aim syndrome’. You must be willing to fire.”
~ T. Boone Pickens
* My readers base is predominantly feminine. Hence Amma (mother) instead of Appa (father).