Making better decisions. Decisions are a big deal and we are the sum of every decision we have ever made. So, how do I make better decisions? How do you make better decisions? Everybody wants to, but how do we actually do that? Truthfully, we could write volume books on that. Many have been written but I am going to just hit a few of the high points on how to make better decisions.
Before we get into that, what do people mean when they say, I want to make better decisions? A multitude of things. But typically, they want to make quicker decisions to get the results they want without creating pain for themselves or others. They want to make decisions that move things forward. Here are some of those things that can help you make those decisions….
- SLOW DOWN
I’ve heard some people go… “Well, I started dating this person and I just felt like they were the one… so we got engaged.” I typically respond, “So, how long did this take?” “3 and a half days…”
COME ON, SLOW DOWN. The bigger the decision, the slower it should take or rather the slower pace in making the decision. And we are talking life altering decisions; marriage, business, big decisions about your kids, about your investments. Don’t do that too quickly.
A good rule of thumb, if you are going to be making a really big decision, go home and sleep on it, weigh all the pros and cons. Even when I feel peace about it, I’ll say I will make that decision tomorrow.
- TRUST YOUR GUT
Make quicker decisions. I love that there is this paradox of slowing down and trusting your gut. The ability to make good decisions develops over time. Like, when you are 12 years old… I would not tell you to trust your gut. But the more time you invest in making decisions, like parenting for 10 years, you can trust your gut more than someone who is new to parenting.
There is a great book called Blink written by Malcolm Gladwell that I would recommend. The premise of the book is very simple: what separates good leaders from average or mediocre beginner leaders is how quickly they make a lot of decisions in the blink of an eye but you can;t get to that without experience making decisions in business. Some of you are in that place where you have been running a business for 10, 15, or 20 plus years, some of you are exhausting me with how slow you are going. Speed it up, baby! Trust your gut! You’ve worked hard to get that gut experience (And if things haven’t been successful, some of these other points may help you in that direction).
- FACE REALITY
The quickest way to change is to face reality. And when it comes to decision making, you want to be able to face reality so that you see it. Not any better than or not any worse than it is… BUT ACTUALLY HOW REALITY IS. It is really different to look at reality the way it is than looking at it through rose colored glasses or the sky is falling mentality.
The rose colored glasses might make someone think, I had a guy who called about a big contract but I haven’t heard from him in three weeks… I am sure he is going to call me back, I think I will go ahead and make a huge capital acquisition based on that contract. NO. Please do not.
And do not be too fearful to make any decision because the sky is always falling. You have got to face reality, the one that is around you every day.
- DON’T DO IT ALONE
The best way to overcome or to trust your gut more is to seek counsel? A Bible verse I love spells it out pretty clearly, “plans fail for lack of counsel.” I love that verse. If you want to make good decisions, don’t make decisions alone, in isolation. Get counsel, talk to people that you value their opinion. Ask them questions, get their input, get feedback, see what they see as pros and cons. See if they see things that you don’t see, because sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know and some wise counsel can.
- HANG OUT WITH PEOPLE WHO MAKE GOOD DECISIONS
This is a little different than not doing it alone or seeking counsel. If you guys listen to any of my Vlogs, following my Blog, or some form of social media… you know that PROXIMITY IS POWER! You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You hang out with people who make poor, impulsive decisions… you are probably going to be making poor and implicit decisions. But if you surround yourself with individuals who make sound decisions, well-thought out decisions, know how to trust their guts, and you will probably be making great decisions, too.
Just hanging out with a couple of my mentors the other day. I love just sitting around a dinner table and listening to them talk because you know what? Those men make great decisions and they don’t have to deliberate about it. They don’t have to ask 62 people about it because they’ve invested decades in their spheres of influence and expertise to be able to make decisions quickly, soundly, and well.
- LET PEACE BE YOUR GUIDE
Do not make a decision when you feel uneasy, tense and your stomach is in knots. This is more art than science. This isn’t always hard and fast because you can have peace and still be a little unsure because it is a big decision! YOu can have little butterflies in your stomach, a little anxious feeling but I’m talking about deep in your core… you need to have peace on a decision. For me, it’s a very spiritual thing because I know that my God is a God of peace and if the Holy Spirit who brings peace into my life is going to guide me, I cannot move forward without peace. That’s my check, I can’t move on a decision without peace; decision in relationship and alignment, decision in business or finances… Whatever it is, I need peace.
So you want to make great decisions… let peace be your guide. My hope is that you will take this stuff and apply it to your life. But first go out there and give your greatness to the world because somebody needs what is on the inside of you! Don’t hold back! Love you guys!