We’re all confronted by countless choices each day. Some have minimal consequences, such as whether to have our ice cream in a cup or cone, while other decisions can be life changing. And while some of these choices may impact our lives today, other choices may not affect us for years to come. The important thing to remember is that we are a product of the choices we make. Each decision helps to define who we are and how we’re different from one another. Making good choices begins with taking charge of the decision-making process.
Manage the big stuff. It’s very easy to get sidetracked by insignificant issues in life. If you spend a lot of time on trivial stuff, you won’t have time to contemplate things that matter.
Values matter. Make decisions that are consistent with your core beliefs and values. The alternative invariably leads to regret.
Learn from the past. Learn from your experiences and the experiences of others. Identify situations where you’ve had a similar choice in the past. How can you apply those lessons learned to the existing situation?
Know what you know and what you don’t know. Don’t try to be an expert in everything. Seek input and advice when variables lie outside your comfort zone.
Keep the right perspective. View an issue from every vantage point. What do the facts say? What is your intuition telling you? Is your conscience trying to tell you something? Listen up.
Don’t procrastinate. You’ll rarely have all the information that you need to make a “perfect” decision. So don’t demand perfection. The philosopher Voltaire warned against letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. That advice still holds true today.
Once you make a decision, don’t look back, make it work. Don’t second-guess yourself. You can’t relive the past. It’s a waste of valuable time and energy.
Life’s not about checking an item off your to-do list or trying to impress others with how busy you are. Life’s about being content with where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you’re going. It’s about being proud of who you are, what you represent, and the impact that you’re having on others. This begins and ends with the choices that you make. So give some serious thought to every choice you face. As Albert Camus once said, “Life is a sum of all your choices.” Are you happy with the path that you’re choosing for yourself? The choice is yours.
This is adapted from Follow Your Conscience: Make a Difference in Your Life & in the Lives of Others By Frank Sonnenberg © 2014 Frank Sonnenberg. All rights reserved.
Frank is an award-winning author. He has written five books and over 300 articles. Frank was recently named one of “America’s Top 100 Thought Leaders” and nominated as one of “America’s Most Influential Small Business Experts.” Frank has served on several boards and has consulted to some of the largest and most respected companies in the world. Additionally, FrankSonnenbergOnline was named among the “Best 21st Century Leadership Blogs.” Frank’s new book, Follow Your Conscience, is now available. © 2014 Frank Sonnenberg. All rights reserved.