What Do You Do When Faced With a Big Decision?
Having options is supposed to be a great thing, right?! But having options can create headaches as well, especially when an option presents itself unexpectedly. And even more so when a great opportunity arises, but you are content in your current situation!
So what is one to do?
Any time I am presented with a big decision I tend to obsess for a short period of time and then I get to work on due diligence. My first step is to mention the idea to my wife and get her gut reaction. If her initial reaction is 100% negative I would probably not pursue or commit much time to consideration. If her initial response is to ask questions then I begin step 2.
My second action is to make a pros and cons list. I will make a couple lists, one for my current situation and one for the new opportunity. This helps me weigh the opportunity versus current situation and assess whether it is worth considering. The big question for me revolves around the idea of changing. Do I feel like changing to this new thing or do I want to stay where am I doing what I’m doing?
The third thing I do is assess the risk. If I were to take part in anything new in my life, what is the worst case scenario? If this new thing were not to work out, what could happen negatively. Could I end up homeless? Could I lose my life? Would I have to start over and rebuild? The possibilities could be endless, but honestly there aren’t too many decisions that are truly life-and-death. So for me, risk assessment has to do with security, safety and progress. Will this new opportunity compromise the security of my family? Will it put me or my family in harm’s way? And will this new thing hinder or help our progress?
Fourth for me, I will bring these facts and thoughts back to Evelina and we will talk on a deeper level. At this point the decision-making process becomes less objective and more subjective.
The last step is to ask myself if this new project “feels” right. It is difficult to put into words what feeling right means. It is a gut intuition. If the decision doesn’t feel right then I run in the opposite direction. If it does feel right AND I have gone through the process of due diligence then we move forward and consider saying “yes”.
Sometimes good opportunities happen at the wrong time and sometimes the timing is perfect. I think the key is keeping your mind open to all possibilities. Remember, there was a moment when Bill Gates could have said “No thanks, I’m not interested.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be the guy who says no to a possible life-changing opportunity!
Have a safe and happy Wednesday!