When uncertain or afraid, how do we free ourselves from delay, make good decisions, and take decisive action?
1. Make decisions sooner:
It’s easier to make decisions earlier than later. For example, if you hate your job, make a decision to leave sooner. Yes, be judicious and collect information…but don’t get into analysis paralysis or become scared of change. Set a date and prepare. Making bold decisions for yourself is the secret to moving your life forward. Ask, “What’s decision have I been putting off in my personal life? What decision have I been waiting to make at work? What decision do I need to make in my relationships?” Avoidance may be the best short-term strategy to avoid pain and conflict, but it is also the best long-term strategy to ensure suffering. Stop putting it off, make that decision and stick to it.
2. Set criteria:
Criteria means you look at your decision making from three perspectives: What’s good for you? What supports other people around you? What should the universal rule be for everyone faced with this decision? This means you seriously contemplate if decisions are right for you, honoring of others, and generally good for most people. What other criteria could you set? Create a “cheat sheet to good decision-making” with your own criteria and keep it by your computer and in your wallet. Consult it at every important decision.
3. Do intelligent research:
Bad decisions are often a result of acting without any information, listening to the wrong people or forcing a false choice. Intelligent research means collecting as much information as possible from informed people. There’s nothing you want to achieve or overcome in your life that someone hasn’t already achieved or overcome. Before you make your decision, go out and consult other informed, happy, smart, joyous, accomplished people who have done what you want to do. Often, you’ll find it’s not just a matter of choosing A or B, but rather there are a multitude of choices available to you.
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Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]
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