There are many times in life where we come to a crossroads and have a big decision to make. The decision isn’t always easy, and we can often lack the clarity we need to move forward. What do I want to do for a living? Should I change my career? Where should I live? Should I marry this person? Am I ready for children (or do I want them)?
And the list goes on…
We wanted to help you by giving you 5 questions to ask yourself when you have a big decision to make:
1. Am I prepared for the negative consequences?
No matter what decision we make, there will always be some negative consequences. The typical advice for decision making is to weigh the pros and cons. In this case, you are answering the questions by weighing the cons against each other. Which consequences can you live with and which do you want to avoid?
2. Does this decision honor my values?
“It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are.” –Ray E. Disney.
If you haven’t identified your values, that’s the first step. Once you have, all your decisions can be measured by how it respects your values! For example, my values are connection, freedom, change, growth, simplicity, and creativity. So when a decision comes my way, I hold it up against my six values and see how it fits. When I feel most off balance, it’s because I am not giving my values the attention they need.
3. Will you regret making this decision or will you regret NOT making this decision?
We don’t want to live with regrets. Sometimes we can’t predict how we will feel, but sometimes we can. If we can already foresee regret on either side, this should help us determine the right outcome. Will you take a risk or will you choose to feel regret?
4. Are you making a decision alone or using God’s wisdom?
What is God’s wisdom?
“Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” –James 3:15-18
There are times when I feel pressured into a decision or selfishly choose an option that I desire without even once considering God’s wisdom. God’s wisdom is pure, peace-loving, gentle, merciful, sincere, and righteous. We need to think, does the outcome of our decision produce a harvest of good fruit?
5. How does this decision align with your vision for the future?
“Connect the decision to the vision.” –Kim Butler
Does this decision get you to where you want to be three, five, or even ten years from now? We cannot plan for the future, but most of us still have dreams! Our big decisions should be helping us get one step closer to our vision. If a decision takes us 2-3 steps back, why bother? Either the vision should change, or the decision shouldn’t be made.
Tell us in the comments about YOUR big decisions! Have these questions helped you?