How to make great decisions

Author: Carrie Wallis 9 Oct 2016, updated Jan 2022

making good decisions

As a human, you will be judged by your actions.

Are you a thinker or a firefighter?

Are you proactive or reactive?

​Every action is preceded by making a decision to act.

How can you increase the chances that you will make the right decision?

How do you know if it is the right decision?

The more aware you are the better the chances you have of making the "right" decision.

How do you make your decisions?

Do you onerously ponder all the facts and listen to everyone's input before choosing your path?

or

are you one of those people who make instant decisions based on little more than a gut feeling? and relish the firefighting that comes after a bad decision?

A decision that takes you in the right direction gives rise to a different feeling, a different atmosphere, and a different sense of other people from one that is wrong. If you tune in to how the process is going, you will become more aware of the difference.

Decisions that turn out to be successful have certain elements in common.

The next time you are pondering a difficult decision ask yourself these questions:

  • does this decision feel right?
  • is it fair and honest?
  • can I trust what I am being told?
  • where's the catch?
  • am I in over my head?

If you look at the really bad decisions, assuming you made any of course, in your past, you will see that you didn't ask or answer these questions properly.

Somewhere in the decision-making process, you began to fool yourself - as many others have done before, and no doubt will do again. no matter your role.

You fell for illusion instead of reality because you became disconnected from your true self, the core of your personal values, beliefs, and purpose.

The environment that surrounds good decision-making has its own set of factors to indicate that you are in tune with yourself.

Have a look at the following list and see where you currently stand with your decisions:

  • you are optimistic
  • you don't indulge in wishful thinking
  • you are not obsessively worrying about what can go wrong
  • you can risks without undue fear
  • you aren't blaming anyone for past mistakes
  • you don't feel the need to ask for repeated reassurance
  • you want the group to do what is best for everyone
  • you assess criticism with detachment and fairness
  • you decide to take reasonable risks
  • you trust that there is always a solution waiting to present itself
  • you encourage independent thinking
  • you don't obsess over minute details
  • you listen to the broadest range of people
  • you realise the best way to go is unique to each situation
  • you offer honest judgments without being brutal
  • you focus without distraction
  • you praise fully when someone gives positive input
  • you set down reasonable rules that cause minimal constraint
  • you are modest about your authority; you make no one feel small
  • you participate with genuine enthusiasm


How did you fare?

If you scored under 10 yes's that may be a clue that your decision-making process needs review and you may not be making the best decisions for your set of circumstances and yourself. Your decision-making is likely meeting with blocks and resistance. Until you become clearer inside, your choices will be too clouded to be reliable.

So if you perceive the environment isn't good today, see if you can postpone making your decision until you have found the place inside you that is clear, coherent, calm, and self-aware. 

Think of those times when you knew without a shadow of a doubt that you had made the right decision, remember how it felt, remember the sense of inner peace and calmness you had; no matter how difficult the decision.

Consider those times when you have struggled to make a decision, been caught between strongly opposing views, and then apparently all of a sudden you have felt clear and certain of the path to choose. Have you ever experienced that? I know I have - this is what we mean when we say the environment - it is that sense of clarity and sureness.

The secret as always is that every situation begins inside you and reflects where you are at this moment. With expanded awareness, you can unerringly find the right path.

When the conditions "in here" are settled and clear, the results "out there" naturally follow suit.
adapted from Deepak Chopra's "The soul of leadership"

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