Can’t Decide – Making Hard Life Decisions

Life decisions are hard, not because one choice is better or worse than the other, but because the choices are on par with each other. We, human beings, are rash; we want the results we desire as quickly as possible. This clouds our judgement which makes us choose the easiest or fastest option, even though it’s not the one we wish we have pursued later.

What Makes A Life Decision Hard?

“What should I study? Where should I move to? Who should I date? Which job should I take? Who do I want to become?”

These are all hard decisions and mainly for these reasons:

  • There are multiple acceptable answers. Our culture, belief or society often pushes us to make decisions. When we look to the world around us and no advice is suggested, decisions become even harder.
  • How to decide is unclear. We think of many different reasons that determine which choice could be better, however, it’s unclear how to weigh them.
  • There are no trials to test out choices. Much of life’s complexity is reduced by learning from experience. Therefore, the hardest decisions in life allow little to no opportunity to reconsider.

Ways To Help You Decide

For the past months, I have had to face some hard life-changing decisions of my own. With the hardest one whether or not I should move abroad to build a career.

I had many doubts and I couldn’t decide. My only guidelines were what I consider to be valuable in life. In addition to that, I spent a lot of time searching and weighing the possibilities by using different methods.

There’s no on-fits-all process for making these decisions, even though you have clear values in life. In these cases, it’s helpful to use different methods and see which option stands out. Below are four methods which can also help you to decide:

1. Make Choices Measurable

This first method is to use reason in your decision-making process. This is often useful when your intuition is conflicted, or there are measurable matters to consider that your intuition might not be considering.

For example, you’re deciding what to major in school. One way of evaluating this choice is by figuring out, what your chances of passing are, or what the average career earnings are for each field. This analysis won’t always yield the right answer. However, by looking closely at the numbers, you can get a better sense of whether it’s actually that much better to go into engineering rather than business or science.

Keep in mind that this method will leave a lot out, which is okay. For instance, you may weigh the costs and benefits of having kids right now based on the costs and disadvantages and see if those are ones you can bear. That won’t calculate the love for your future children, but it will make you aware of any sacrifices required.

2. Go With Your Intuition And Assess It

I know, this sounds like a lazy decision-making strategy. However, there’s some sophisticated psychology behind making intuitive guesses.

One reason this works is that our intuitions encode our past experiences. According to Claudia Hammond, an award-winning broadcaster, author and psychology lecturer: “We might not always realise it, but the brain is constantly comparing our current situation with our memories of previous situations. So when a decision feels intuitive, it might in fact, be based on years of experience.” Therefore, we often reason from patterns that aren’t consciously visible to ourselves. Intuitions also help us avoid problems, so we may pick the option we really “want” more, even though we can’t rationally justify it.

However, knowing your intuition is often difficult for hard decisions.

One way to assess it is through a coin flip. This technique requires you to assign each decision to one side of a coin. Then flip it. During the flip, as you watch the coin spin in the air, you might notice that your intuition is shifting to a certain answer. Before you realised it, the coin has landed and the decision has been “made”. Now, ask yourself whether you regret not being able to take another. If you feel relief, that’s the direction your intuition points. If you feel regret, it points the other way.

3. Research And Replicate

Even though there are no trials to test out choices, they do allow for research in order for one to replicate a decision.

A common problem is choosing which career to enter. Well, there are possibilities to replicate this by talking to people who work in those fields. Maybe there are already people within your network who are willing to help you explore those fields. Ask if you can shadow them for a day or two, to see what the working life is like. Try gathering information on salary, benefits and opinions on their typical working culture and expectations. If that’s not enough, consider interning in each potential field for a longer period, to get a better feel for each.

In this case, doing more research can eventually outweigh the potential difference in choices. It’s surprising how little research people do for the hard decisions in their lives, only to find out after many years that they don’t actually want the life they have been pursuing.

4. Consult With Others

We like to think we’re different, which separates us from other people and makes our choices unique. The reality is duller than that since we’re mostly the same. Our commonalities bind us more than our differences make us unique. Therefore, we can leverage this to imagine the outcomes of our decisions.

Talk to someone who made the same decision. Ask how they feel now about their decision and if they would do it again. Best of all, ask people on both sides. People tend to intuitively justify their past decisions, but you can see differences between: “Yeah, it turned out okay…” and “It was hard but also the best decision of my life!”

Consulting others can help to reflect on your options, and others’ insights may lend clarity to the choices you face.

Breathe And Accept That It’s Not Easy

There’s a common view of psychology that suggests that all this analysis is mostly not to make better decisions, but to justify the ones you were already going to make.

Some choices can be incredibly painful, even when you’re certain your choice is for the best, and even when the outcome is happiness. Instead of wishing that life decisions were easier, accepts the fact that it’s not, nor should it be.

The one thing that’s harder, is not making any decisions, and thinking about the outcome of what you might have decided. So, use as many methods as you need to pick the best solution. Regardless of how you decide, the decision needs to be your own because that’s the only way to be in control over your life.

Originally published at ye-chen.com

  • Are you in the middle of making a hard life decision?
  • What was your latest hard life decision?
  • How did you decide?

Have your say in the comment section 🙂

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Thoughtless decisions can ruin you

Beware of thoughtless decisions. Do not take thoughtless decisions. Thoughtless decisions can ruin your life. To avoid thoughtless decisions, it is necessary that you take time to ponder on the issue on which you want to decide. Pray about it. Ask for wisdom to take the best decision. And after examining all the sides, take your decision. If you do this, you will have a good chance of taking a good decision. A good decision opens the way for good action and good results.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

God can change your course of history. Have you ever been between a rock and a hard place, where you have to make a choice between two unpleasant options? I grew old from throwing stones, so I conceded to stay in prayer.

I’ve found myself at dead-ends of lonely highways, and at the edge of cliffs I thought was a gentle shoreline. I drove in storms where no man ventured, unaware I was being protected by God. Do you, too, look at your world and question how you ended up where you are today?

Second-guessing our world allows Satan a place to rest in your life. No rest for the weary may have more meaning once you understand the complexity of the verse. Being placed between a rock and a hard place is best described as a vice on your spirit. God will not allow our hearts to be bound if we continue in loving prayer. We can apply God’s command by choosing His way…

“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him.”

Deuteronomy 30:19-20

How does God give us direction? He guides us by the wisdom of the Bible and wise biblical counsel from His servants. It addresses every complexing situation in life. Sometimes, though, answers may not be clear through scriptures. Search out guidance in a library or Christian websites to gain a piece of broader knowledge.

“Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14

Maybe you’re afraid of deciding about something which you may regret later. Everyone has to make choices, and my friends, our Father’s abundance of grace and mercy freely flows to His children. His forgiveness is unending.

I give God the glory! The mighty savior’s strength protects us from the storms. He knows we face situations of being caught between a rock and a hard place. But in the sanctuary of His safety, He delivers answers within the ferocious winds and the sigh of calm waters. The Lord’s love abounds among the fear. He mends the broken threads of Satan’s fury for His way is forevermore.

I pray your prayers will make miracles happen when you are between a rock and a hard place. Wouldn’t you rather find peace in a quiet harbor than on a violent sea? Pack a paddle and head for the Lord!



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The Hardest Thing To Do Is… Listen

We found our way around the yachts parked in their cradles. An empty spot was right next to the dock. We quietly got ready to embark, and the cloudless skies made us wonder how far off heaven was from the pier. The snoozing seagulls perched on the post tops. As we set sail, the gentle breeze bellowed the fabric, and God became our propulsion. The shores of the water looked so endless. It was a beautiful Saturday morning, and no place would I’d rather be than with my love and God at the helm. He created this perfect world of pristine water, and all we had to do was sit and watch Him work.

Sometimes it is difficult to accept God is with us day in and day out. Just as sailing into the open blue, we do not realize we are always at His mercy. Many times our sails luff and we pray as though we ran aground. As hard as life is, even doctors can do little to relieve discomfort. In the distress of my wife’s health, I’m left standing in a vacuum for everywhere I look, I see the remnants of the doctor’s aura.

So, I turn to God and ask Him if He has a minute. The hardest thing to do is… listen and wait for His messages. Our faith is only part of the process. Listening for His answers and reacting accordingly is the trick, so we must have a seeking heart. We should talk to Him as though he is a brother and reveal our frustrations, fears, and doubts. God will teach us how to recognize the difference between His voice and just our thoughts.

Find a location to be with Christ and His great mercy. The Lord always has a place open to sit with me, especially on this endless journey my wife and I have encountered today. I wish I could run away and take her sailing to the place called heaven, but it’s not time yet. God gave us responsibilities we must partake and fulfill. Instead,  I will sit with God and try to understand what advice I need to listen to and praise His great gifts. He united the two of us for some much-needed healing in our difficult road of life. So, I will carry her in every way I can possible. In His strength, we will travel as far as the Lord’s work will need us to go for He isn’t done with either of us yet.

The hardest thing to do is listen for God’s words, but if you acknowledge His involvement in your life, you will always recognize His heaven sent voice. Praise God! It’s our intimate relationship with Him that counts.

www.danabicksauthor.com

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Taking hard decisions

Hard decisions

What do you do
When you have a hard decision
To take?
There are some decisions
So hard to take;
But if that is the right thing
To do,
You have no choice
But to do it;
Success, you must know,
Hardly comes on easy terms;
Many things you will not like
To do,
But must do
If you want to succeed;
Stop wanting to do only
What you like to do;
Or what you enjoy doing;
Such an attitude
Will not take you far.
If I take myself, for example,
A lot of times,
I would love to stay in bed
And feel comfortable;
But many things would go wrong
If I do.
Or, I won’t have what I want;
And so I muster courage
And dive into it;
In the end, I am happy
I didn’t take the easy road;
The easy road in life
Often does not lead to success;
The easy road often leads
To failure,loss, regret,
And frustration;
Don’t be tempted by
The easy road,
Unless you are sure
It is leading to where
You want to go.

10 things to note

Here are 10 things to note when you face a hard decision to take:

  1. Don’t fear taking hard decisions.
  2. Don’t be scared by hard decisions.
  3. Don’t shy away from hard decisions.
  4. Don’t worry when hard decisions come your way.
  5. Hard decisions are often necessary for noteworthy success.
  6. You need courage to go for hard decisions so muster it.
  7. All the great people of the world face hard decisions.
  8. Do not depend on your strength alone when you are facing a hard decision.
  9. Turn to God and put your problem to him.
  10. You feel happy and more confident when you face the bull by the horns and take a hard decision.

Best wishes to you as you take courage to take the hard decisions of your life.

Shoddy decisions

The boys were doing fine until the new leadership came in with sloppy language that made their orders unclear and imprecise. This left the team confused. Soon, they began to take shoddy decisions that skewed the entire plan. You have to be careful about the decisions that you take. Shoddy decisions can ruin a very good project.

Skewed

Hasty hasty

At one time I talked about hasty decisions;
At another I talked about hasty conclusions;
The one thing that is common here is hasty;
Watch out not to fall into the hasty trap;
Many people fall into this trap;
They take hasty decisions;
Or draw hasty conclusions;
None of the two is advisable;
Many have suffered in life for being hasty;
So my advise and I say so very strongly,
Avoid being hasty;
Avoid doing things hastily.
Avoid hasty decisions, hasty conclusions.

Hasty decisions

Have you reflected properly
Before taking the decision
You have taken?
It is important always to do so;
In order that your decisions
May be sound;
A well thought-out decision
Is a sound decision.
And sound decisions bring
Positive results;
Do not go for hasty decisions;
They lead to poor results;
Go for sound decisions;
And reap the fruits.