SEPTEMBER 27, 2020

It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do.

-Elbert Hubbard

All of us have to take a decision and take actions at multiple points in our lives. Some decisions are small and insignificant like which restaurant to go to for the evening, but some decisions are big and truly important, like deciding what city to live in. The place that you live in is very important as this factor is what will decide the kind of career options, education and living conditions that you get. And these kinds of big decisions and actions need to be taken in a very well planned and articulated manner so that there is little chance of taking a wrong decision which may affect you negatively in the long term.

    In this blog, I am going to discuss various aspects of taking a decision and how they affect your life. While taking important decisions, it is important for us to know what exactly the important decisions are. The example of deciding where to live is valid, but there are many different spectrums of life that need to be covered under the roof of important decisions and it is important to know what they are. Without knowing if the decision that you are going to take is important or not, you cannot take in consideration the other factors that follow suit in order to help you take the decision that is best for you. The following steps will help you to truly take the right decisions, giving you a chance to live a life free of regrets.

  1. What is an important decision? As discussed above, it is important to decide if your decision is significantly important or not. Simply stated, the important decisions are the ones which affect your life in the longer term and these effects may not be visible in the present. Deciding which restaurant to go to on a special evening is not going to affect your life over the long term. But, if you start going to this restaurant often and eat unhealthy food more than you eat the healthy home cooked food, then the long-term effects of this decision are going to affect you negatively. This thin line between the important and the not so important decisions is what confuses people. Going to the restaurant was not an important decision once, but when it was repeated consistently over a long course of time, it compounded and then created a large impact on your life. The most important thing to understand here is that anything that is repeated continuously over a course of time has a big impact on your life. So, it is important to decide wisely. Simple things like deciding which city to move into or deciding which person to marry are the most visible important decisions, but some decisions that may not seem important slip out of our eyes and then affect us. 
  2. Spotting the important decisions. Now that you know what the important decisions are, you need to understand how to spot and identify the important decisions that may not seem important in the short term. Well, there is a very simple way of doing this and that is to become an observer. Whenever you start to repeat some actions consistently or regularly, it becomes extremely important for you to look at it from a third person perspective. Many times, people narrow down their vision too much and filter it to see the world in a manner that is different from reality. That is why the long-term effects of doing something are not visible in the earlier stages. To make sure that you don’t take wrong decisions, it is important to remove the filter and see the world as it is. The simplest way of doing this is by seeing your decision and your actions from the viewpoint of a complete stranger. Here is how to do this. Whenever you have to take any decision, you visualise yourself in whatever situation you are in, and watch the actions that you are taking currently as a movie, but don’t see yourself there – imagine that you are watching a complete stranger doing the same actions. Let it play and then think about how these actions will affect that person’s life. Then you need to make a conclusion on how you think these actions will end up, and you will know what the long-term effect of your actions will be. Actually, doing this exercise regularly will help you stay on track and will give you an insight into the reality of your life, which will give you the chance to stop going on a wrong path before it is too late.
  3. How to know if the decision being taken is right or wrong? Well, this is very simple. If you want to know if your decision will be right or wrong, then you need to spend some time with yourself talking about everything related to that decision. Take my example. I have decided to write one blog a week and it means that I need to spend two hours every Saturday morning and then publish on the next day or the same day. Now I need to decide if this decision is right or wrong. So, the first step is to look at the actions from the third person perspective. When I do that, the long-term effects that I can see are that the regular practice is helping me in improving my writing and is giving me the chance to express my thoughts clearly. This decision is important for me as I plan to continue with this for a long time. Now, to know if this decision is right or wrong. So, I need to compare the consequences with the efforts and the time that I need to put in. So, I am giving in two hours a week but that is actually helping me a lot as I am developing more clarity of thoughts and it is helping me improve my writing. So, if I am getting a positive benefit from this action that is truly fulfilling the value of two hours of mine, then I am taking the right decision. You need to understand how much time you are putting in a certain action and see if you are getting the value that is more or equivalent to the amount of time you are putting in. If the results of your actions are positive and they fulfil the value of the time that you are putting in. Then they must be taken and if the result of the action is only negative, then you must not do it because your valuable time will then be used in something that is deteriorating you, and it doesn’t make sense to do something like that.

   This is how you can decide if the decision you are taking is beneficial for you or it isn’t. This method will help you see the reality and based on that you will be able to build solid foundations on which you can take the right actions. You need to follow these three steps to understand which actions are important, look at them through the third person perspective and then understand their value in order to make the final conclusion and then take a decision. You can also use this method for the actions that already seem important by understanding their value and then deciding if they are worth your time or not. This way you will be able to filter out all the bad decisions which will truly help you live a life free of regrets.

   Thank you so much for reading and I hope that through this blog I was able to add value to your life. Do share your learning in the comment section below and I will definitely love to go through them! Once again thank you very much!

Well wishes,