How do you know that it’s the right decision?

Reading time ~ 4 minutes

In life, there are a lot of big and small decisions to make. We make small decisions consistently. When to stand up? Press the snooze button one more time? What to eat? What to wear? Which movie to watch? Call a friend? Stay home because it’s raining? Always something to decide.

Most small decisions are automated. Mostly we eat the same things for breakfast, we get our coffee from the same coffee place, we meet with the same people, we have our routines. This way, we reduce the small decisions to a minimum. Otherwise, we would go nuts. We can’t think about every little decision we have to make. There are just too many of them.

And that’s perfectly fine. Makes it easy and we have time to focus on the more important stuff.

But there are the big decisions we have to make. Fortunately, we normally don’t have to make them too often. Big decisions like if we should end the relationship, if we should buy the house, if we should take the opportunity that presents itself. All the decision that really could change our life.

How to make these decisions? How to know what to do? How to be sure that we are doing the right thing?

Unfortunately, we never know. We never know if it’s right or wrong before we make the decision. And even after the decision is made we can’t be sure, most of the time. We just have to wait and see. And do everything we can to make it the right decision.

But one thing I learned about these big decisions is that it can get a little bit easier to make them if you prepare yourself.

That doesn’t mean to pre-plan every decision that could come up or to say yes only to every third opportunity. No. What I mean is to figure out yourself. To find out what you want from life. How you want to live it, what you want to accomplish, how you want to feel, how you want to live every single day.

That doesn’t mean to have a specific plan for the rest of your life. That’s nearly impossible, and I have no idea how that could work. I am talking about the big picture. Some ground rules you lay out. And in the case of a big decision, you can see if this decision aligns with these standards.

For example, if you want to be with your spouse every day and you get offered a job that would have you to travel five days a week and only be home on the weekends, you most likely shouldn’t take the offer. Or if you are a freelancer and know how much money your time is worth to you and someone offers you far less than this number, you are aware that this opportunity is not for you.

There are a lot of areas in our life that have big decisions coming up every once in a while. And most of the time they catch us by surprise. But if you have some ground rules, if you are aware of what you want and what you don’t want, you can make these decisions easier and with more certainty. You create your reasons to decide in a certain way, so you have much less to worry about after you made the decision.

There is one nice side effect I should mention. If you figure out what you want from life, you can start actively searching for it. You don’t have to wait for the opportunity to arise magically, you can go out there and find it.

Just start small. For example, think about your typical day. How would your perfect day look like? How would you feel? What would you do? With whom would you spend it?

Next, you could start to look at different areas of your life. Your love life, your work life, your social life, your family life and so on. You don’t have to name specific things, just think about how you want to spend your time, how you want to feel, what kind of people you want around you.

Once you get clear about these things, you can start to make decisions and adjust your life to become the life you want to live. Once you know what you want in the big picture, you can more easily decide if the opportunity is for you.