The Adventurer Way!
How to make the right decision
5 do's & don'ts in decision making
This is one of our biggest challenges in life and it comes back again and again.
How to make the right decision? How to know whether it is really the best choice? How to be sure?
We’re faced everyday, nearly every minute, with choices and decisions to make. Some have little impact and therefore to bother us so much. Others are far more important and going one way or the other can rock our entire world. We think over and over, we weigh the pros and cons, trying to figure what to do, where to go…
When I’m all alone out there, in the middle of the Arctic winter, I am faced just with the same situation as in everyday life. I need to make important decisions, sometimes even life-threatening ones... and sometimes the direction is obvious, sometimes it isn’t. Yet, any decision made has a ripple effect on everything that follows... sometimes, the impacts of a single decision can go far beyond the ongoing expedition.
So here’s what I do when faced with a challenging situation and a choice to make. It works extremely well and can be applied to any decision in everyday life.
My do’s and don’ts to help you make the RIGHT decision
Key #1- Decision is inevitable
Maybe obvious or logical , but important anyway. Once you are faced with a choice to make, you cannot do otherwise than choose. Either by going left, right... or by deciding not to move anywhere and stay where you are. Be aware that by making a choice or by not making it, is in itself a decision.
Key #2 - Know your Why
This is a crucial step. Why do you need to make that decision? What are the reasons pushing you to make it? And what are the real (hidden) motives behind each option? Is it fear, lack, distrust, unhappiness, conditioning, survival, "should"… or eagerness, conviction, freedom, abundance, potential, joy… ? No reason is good or bad in itself. Just be clear on the motives, be honest with yourself on the reasons why, and it will help tremendously.
Key #3 - Timing
How decisive is it to make that choice now? Can the decision wait until the situation gains clarity… or is it imperative to make it right now? Like an opportunity that cannot be missed, an offer only available once in a lifetime…
- This is actually an argument massively used in sales...It’s a major mental trigger...and it works! People are so scared to miss out on an opportunity...
I believe that in most cases, there’s always enough time to gain clarity before making any decision - it can be a few seconds, minutes or days... depending on the situation. Being pushed to make one usually doesn’t lead to satisfying results. Not that the choice made is necessarily wrong... but it leaves room to wobbly and fearful thinking (see below)...the famous buyer’s remorse…
So do you have all the elements in hand to decide? Or can you wait a little to figure things out, make some research, take time to clarify…?
Key #4 - Trust your Gut
Now #4 is my go-to every single time. I will never ever skip it when making a decision. It’s the key, the secret ingredient. It’s the one element that will make #5 easy. It’s the one that will leave you satisfied and happy with your choice, however how hard or decisive it is.
Ask your Inner Guidance:
- How does it feel? What does your gut tell you?
- If you knew you could not fail, could not hurt anyone or be hurt, if you had no fear and knew you would be fine, what choice would you make? If you go left, how do you feel?
- How does your body react? Do you get tensed or lighter?
- Repeat, for each option you have, even the “make no move now” one. How do they resonate in you?
The right solution for now, with the elements you have always feels good, lighter than the others. Always.
Key #5 - Once you’ve made a decision, align with it.
Be aware of your inner dialog. No decision is good or bad in itself. It’s what you will do about it that makes it a good one. But your inner negative thoughts can ruin a decision you just make.
When you start doubting or, questioning your choice, with “what if?” “But should I have…?”, you scatter your energy and can eventually ruin the choice made. This is what I call wobbly thinking. It messes up with where you are now, with your energy in doing what you have decided to do right now. You get lost in translation. Lost in fearful thinking. And it can definitely lead to self-sabotage.
As an example, when I am on a solo expedition, this fearful inner dialog is extremely dangerous: it sucks up my energy, interferes with my actions, messes up with my mind, and can lead me to make mistakes… When dealing with minus 30°c temperatures, believe me, the consequences can be mortal...
Note: If you’ve done step 2, 3 and 4 correctly, then you rarely fall into the wobbly and fearful thinking trap.
If later on, you realise that after all, it wasn’t the best option, then fine. It happens. Another opportunity will present itself. But don’t blame yourself or judge the past decision:
You made it at the time you did with the elements you had then.
That’s all. And who says it was utterly wrong? Learn from it instead. It can certainly serve you in many ways. There’s certainly a lot you can get from the direction you took at that point...and use it to bounce back, course-correct, and make an even better choice next time.
”I don’t believe that they are wrong choices. It is what we make of them that makes them good or bad.„
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