Have you ever wondered how to make better decisions? We make thousands of decisions every day. Research studies say the average person can make up to 35,000 decisions every single day. From the little decisions like what to wear and what to eat to bigger decisions like how to handle the angry parent or client, we make decisions all the time. But do you always make good decisions? I don’t always make the best decisions. Following is a list of questions to ask yourself so you can learn to make better decisions.
How to make better decisions? Ask yourself these 9 questions:
1. Have I prayed about it?
Prayer is the best place to start, though it often an afterthought.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6
2. What are my options?
What is the decision you made? You made a decision, but there were also choices you did not make.
Just like you can learn from the decision you made, you can also learn from the decisions you did not make. Many times there are more than one choice to make, and you need to take all options into consideration. The decisions you choose not to make will reveal a lot about your thought process, and could potentially help you with future decisions.
3. What is the worst that can happen?
Many people make decisions based on the best possible outcome, but the reality of the situation is that not often does the best case scenario play out. Many times, however, the worst case scenario does play out. When you decide to move forward in a particular decision, be sure you are prepared for the worst case scenario. Take the risk, but manage the risk. Ask yourself “Can I live with the worst that could happen?”
4. Is the timing right?
Timing is everything! Acting on the best decision at the wrong time can lead to disaster. Just ask the farmer who tried planting a garden in the middle of winter.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens Ecclesiastes 3:1
5. What are the long term ramifications?
Make sure you consider what is good in the long run, not necessarily what is good for today. We are free to make our own decisions, but we are not free from the consequences of our decisions
Every action has a reaction:
We can choose of the reaction is good or bad. We can play now and pay later, or we can pay now and play later, either way we have to pay.
6. Have I asked for advice?
Having trusted friends or advisers can be a great help when making an important decision. Keep in mind you should be careful who you give this influential power to:
- Will they take me serious?
- Do they know me well enough to know my strength and weakness?
- Do they have genuine care and concern for me and my success?
7. Am I making a convenient decision or right decision?
Convenient does not always mean right. Taking the easy road is usually not the best choice, especially when other your decision affects other people. Success is what I do for myself, significance is what I have done for others. Taking advantage of people around you is not the right path to choose when you make a decision. Make sure to ask: How can I help you? Not how can you help me? What can I do for you? Not what can I get from you?
“ask not what your country can dofor you—ask what you can do for your country” — President John F Kennedy
8. Am I afraid to pull the trigger?
Make decisions based on peace, not based on fear. We are often afraid of the unknown, and many big decisions are based on circumstances we cannot know. While being afraid sometimes means we should not make a certain decision, be careful, because being afraid is not always a reason to not follow a certain path. Instead of basing a decision on fear, try basing your choice on peace. It is not uncommon to feel peace with a certain decision, and still have a healthy fear of the unknown. Many times we are afraid because our choice takes certain circumstances out of our control, and we don’t like that. If we can learn to lean on God in these times, we will find out that he will be with us to work things out for us, and do things we could not do on our own. God will give a peace to help guide you, so you can set yourself up for a God moment and allow him to do something in and for you that only he can do.
9. Do you have staying power?
So you used the previous 8 questions to finally make a decision. That’s great, and it brings us to the last question on our list. Am I able to follow through with the decision? If you do not have the patience to follow through with the decision you make, it may not be the right decision. Just like you need to be willing to accept a worst case scenario, you also need to be willing to exercise the patience needed to follow through.
This is a great list of questions when you wonder how to make better decisions. Some of the questions come from a sermon message I heard years ago.
This is by no means a complete list, so what questions would you add? If someone asked you how to make better decisions, what would you say? What is your decision making process? Post a comment and let us know
Ron is happily married to his best friend, and dad to the best daughter you could imagine. He has over 19 years experience of teaching, leading, writing, creating and consulting. He has written for churches, contributed to several collaborative publications, and written a #1 Best Selling Devotional on Amazon. Don't hesitate to ask if you think he could help you and your ministry in any way.
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