How to Make Important Decisions in Life With Effective Wise Choices

Updated on June 28, 2019
Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok writes about personal growth and emotional well-being that he learned from his studies of social behavior and from experience.

Source

When trying to resolve issues in your life, consider the long-term benefits of the options you have. Start with giving some thought to what you want to do.

Once you have an idea of what you want to accomplish, review these five questions:

  1. What's the point?
  2. Does it have value to you?
  3. Do you have a detailed plan?
  4. What are the long-term benefits?
  5. Are you overlooking something?

I'll elaborate on each question as I give you more to consider.

Ask Yourself, "What’s The Point?"

While contemplating every step along the way, always stop and ask yourself, "What's the point?"

If you can't answer that question with an honest and realistically meaningful conclusion, then you might want to consider an alternative. You might suddenly realize you'd be wasting your time.

We go through life, continually making decisions, choosing one thing or another. Whatever we want, we are eliminating all other possibilities—and yet some of those options may have been better. However, we sometimes make hasty decisions because of limited time and attention to detail.

Always try to consider if you are doing something meaningful that serves the purpose you set out to accomplish.

Consider the Value of Your Choices

Most decisions we made throughout life have had value. There's a reason why we chose the friends we have, the job we perform, the person we married (or didn't marry).

Decisions were obvious at the time. We've made them for a reason, and that reason is for the sake of value. Even if we chose subconsciously, our minds are made up for one reason or another.

Although we may make drastic mistakes in our judgment from time to time, the primary purpose of our choices is to improve our position in life with our desires.

Just because some decision we made in the past might seem to be poor judgment, it may very well have been what we wanted, and it had value to us at the time.

Evaluate the Alternative

No matter where you are in life, you can change course. Remember that while you are involved in any endeavor that you choose to do, you are losing out on everything else that you could have been doing at the same moment.

All you have to do at this stage is to determine if your choices have value to you. If not, analyze your options and consider making a change.

Few things in life are so strict that we can’t change it. Contracts, commitments, and caring for other people are things that we need to respect. Sometimes we just need to stick to it. However, when we find ourselves going in the wrong direction, we need to work at correcting our path whenever possible. It may require some attention and focus.

Develop a Plan

Once you decide to do something, you need to develop a plan. Think of what’s required to get started and the steps you need to take to move along to completion.

Write these steps down in the order you need to do them. This list will provide a visual representation, which makes it much easier to plot the required tasks.

Once you have the design of your plan, get started, and check off each step as you complete them. That works for most any aspect of life.

Visualize the Long-Term Effect of Every Decision

Consider your choice of friends, for example. We spend days, years, maybe a lifetime with certain people we have accepted into our lives.

If we think about it, tracing back to whom we met from whom—a friend of a friend who now became a friend. If we track it all the way back, we realize that every decision had a turning point where we might have met some other person instead. Then from that person, we would have met others, different people from those we know now.

We would have had a completely different life at this juncture, knowing completely different people.

You may not have been aware of it, but every person you know, everyone you have been in contact with, has had an effect on your life. One friend may have introduced you to a new venture that you followed. Another may have made a comment that caused you to change your direction in life.

You might have had a completely different life than you have now. Maybe better, maybe worse, maybe just something different.

Now I'm just using friends as an example. You can apply the same analysis to the choice of profession. Do the thought process yourself on that one—track back in your mind about career choices you’ve made, and what opportunities you overlooked. Then consider what alternative life you might have had.

Play it through as if you were writing a screenplay. See how different your life may have been.

For example, working in a different company or choosing a different profession might have caused you to relocate. Your whole life might be different, having lived in a different town, state, or country—knowing other people and making better friends.

The conclusion you imagine might upset you. It might be a little overwhelming. You might suddenly realize you made the wrong choices.

Nothing can be done about that now, but getting in touch with this vision of how life carries out can help you apply the same process to decision-making going forward. This exercise can have long-term benefits.

Analyze Your Options When Confronted With Adversity

Life isn’t always pleasant. We can experience catastrophes and misfortunes. Tragedy can strike when we least expect it. It’s not always easy to overcome adversity in life, and sometimes it’s impossible.

However, the thing to do is try to analyze the options that we have available. When we become aware of the choices we have, it’s easier to develop resilience to adversity and to deal with the trials and tribulations we encounter.

When you find yourself in the worst of times, and you know you need to find a way to pull through for survival, remember to stop and think of the options you may be overlooking. Put a plan together that will get you to a better place. Visualizing the outcome will also help construct a plan of attack.

When confronted with an important decision, try to logically analyze the available options to arrive at the best outcome.

Source

Don't Be Afraid to Change Your Mind

When we make decisions, we care about the outcome. We have desires, goals, and compassion. We try to lead a better life, and we consider the choices we make even if we don't realize the missed opportunities we ignored.

As logical as we can be, we can't always consider all the possibilities. However, when confronted with confusing decisions, we can think logically to see things clearly and make the right choice.

Life is full of surprises. Some are good, and some not so good. Nevertheless, even bad decisions can be turned around if we change them in time. Bad decisions provide positive lessons in life. We can always get something positive out of it when we recognize what we have learned from our mistakes.

As long as you follow your dreams and focus on the value and long-term benefits of your decisions, you’ll be on the way to changing your life.

© 2017 Glenn Stok

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      FlourishAnyway - That's a great idea to teach young people to study more than one field in college. We never know where our future interests lie until we are introduced to new things.

      When I started out I majored in mechanical engineering because as a kid I liked to build things. But then I learned about computers, changed my major, and never looked back.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 years ago from USA

      I'm big into what I call "option development" because like you said it allows you to be more adaptable, employable and resilient. I encourage the young people I interact with to try to double major in college in very different fields, if possible (e.g., Engineering and Psychology). It widens opportunities.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      MsDora - I'm glad you found that meaningful. I know it works for me. Every mistake we make is a lesson for improvement.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Glenn, your article is very insightful. Thanks for reminding us so powerfully that "Nothing can be done about that now, but getting in touch with this vision of how life carries out can help you . . ." Very meaningful to me.

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      Jodah - You got the point very well, and you brought up another useful tip that I use but didn't mention. When I have a serious problem that needs to be resolved, I sit down in a comfortable chair in my living room (I call it my thinking chair) and I contemplate the situation and figure out a solution. It funny, but I always seem to get good ideas in that chair. I'm sure it's just because I gave the issue my attention and thought it through.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Very good advice here Glenn, and things we all need to take seriously. You don't always sit down and consider how different decisions, friends, acquaintances and situations could have changed your life so dramatically.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, remedygrove.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://remedygrove.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)