Do you ever look back on your decisions and think, “Why I on earth did I do that?”
We all make bad decisions.
- Buying an SUV that sucks up all your cash
- Starting a relationship without being in love
- Saying yes to a job that you’re not passionate about
- Creating things that no one needs
Life happens. But the funny thing is that bad decisions never seem like bad decisions at the moment. As my grandfather was always quick to remind me – “Smart people do dumb things.” You can never avoid making a mistake. However, you can do your best to avoid making dumb decisions. Plus, by learning from other people’s mistakes, you can make their mistakes your own. You’ll learn faster that way.
Don’t Overthink – Smart people are way too preoccupied with doing the right things. They want to have a perfect life, career, house, business, car, holiday, etc. When you put too much pressure on yourself to make the right decisions, you get analysis paralysis. I can do the same with overthinking. And I bet you’ve been there too. When you overanalyze every single decision, you become paralyzed. Result? Nothing. Now, that’s what I call a bad outcome – nothing no results, no learning, nothing. Guess what? those are all just perspectives. That’s how people end up wasting their lives. The only way you can stop overthinking is by making yourself aware of your thinking process. You can’t control the future. So stop thinking about it.
Do This Instead: Make Small Decisions And Decide Often – I recently read Seeking Wisdom by Peter Bevelin. One of his decision-making strategies is to avoid mistakes. But that can be interpreted in different ways. I have often written that there are no mistakes if we choose the lens from which we view our efforts. You can fear decisions altogether because you might make mistakes. What happens is that you don’t make decisions at all. The difference between a good actions and processes and a bad ones is that good actions embrace one “easy” decision after another. The bad actions tend to paint the process as painful decisions time after time. So it’s really in the mindset that we set, keep and tend to.
Earlier Decisions Lead To Better Decisions – The earlier and more you decide, the more chance that you make better decisions. I often say that there are no right or wrong decisions — only decisions. That’s not entirely accurate. Of course, there’s a difference in the quality of our choices. That’s the topic of another article. But here’s the thing: NOT making a decision is also a decision. If that’s a conscious move, that’s okay. You think about something, and you decide that doing nothing is the best option. However, I’m referring to not making a decision as in “I’ll put it off until another time.” No matter what, you’re making decisions all the time. Instead of making fewer decisions, we need to make them daily AND make them conscious choices.
Because all you need are a few good choices in your lifetime anyway. What will be your best? You only find out after, you guessed it, you’ve made a decision.
Peace and Love, Jim