Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets

Our decisions determine the direction and quality of our life. While no one plans to complicate their life with bad decisions, far too many people have no plan to make good decisions,

Our hearts are deceitful. They can be Dan. It’s why we’re so convincing. We don’t merely lie to ou; we deceive others.

There is away to keep our deceitful hearts in check though.

Here are 3 Ways:

1. Admit It.

The sooner we embrace this uncomfortable disquieting fact about ourselves, the quicker we’ll be able to develop and maintain a healthy suspicion. The more open we’ll be to information and advice that conflicts with where our heart is taking us. The more cautious we will be when the salesman inside us starts selling us. The easier it will be to recognize what we are tempted to justify may be just a lie we’re telling ourselves.

2. Ask It.

Ask the question. Am I being honest with myself, really?

We need to have a heart-to-heart with ourselves. Have it in the mirror. Look yourself in the eye. Seriously, stand in front of the mirror and ask yourself out loud – and yes your name. “Kathy, are you being honest with yourself, really? And then, tell yourself the truth even… even…if you don’t plan to act on it.

We owe it to ourselves to know, even if know points us in a direction we don’t intend to go. It won’t hurt to know. We need to be honest with ourselves… really.

3. Be Curious.

When we push through our discomfort and get curious about why we’re feeling what we’re feeling – why we are determined to do what we are hell-bent on doing- we get to the truth.

But most people don’t do that.

Don’t be most people.

Be curious. Curiosity will keep you focused on the frontiers of your ignorance. That’s where we learn. That’s where we gain insight. It’s where we catch sight of our prejudice and our narrow-mindedness.

When it’s uncomfortable… and it will get uncomfortable. When it gets uncomfortable and you are tempted to turn away, to turn back to what you’ve always known, know this… that if fear talking. That is insecurity talking. You’ll learn little from either. So turn back around and be curious. If you do, you will learn something. If nothing else, you will learn something about yourself.

What are the questions we need to ask ourselves to improve our chances of making decisions we will no longer regret?

1. Am I being honest with myself, really?

Who is the hardest person in the world for us to lead? Ourselves right? The person in the mirror. There are times we have made decisions, knowing that the decision we were making was not only wrong, but actually lacking in truth. We have overrode that check with our spirit with thoughts like, “I deserve this.” Or “This just feels like a good decision.” Only to later on be faced with the predictable result that we should have listened to that “still small voice” within us that told us in advance, “You will regret this later if you do this now!”

2. What story do I want to tell?

The decisions that we make today will be the stories we will have to tell tomorrow. Good decisions today means that we have good stories to tell tomorrow. Poor decisions today mean that we will have stories that we will not want to tell tomorrow.

You may recall the story in the Bible where Joseph’s brothers made a decision to sell Joseph to slave traders and then told their dad, Jacob, that Joseph had been killed by wild animals. That was the story- actually the lie that they had to maintain thereafter. I am guessing when they made that decision to sell Joseph they had no understanding that their decision would be the story – the lie that they would have to continue to tell year after year after year.

3. Is there a tension that needs my attention?

Are there times that the decision you are about to make seems good and reason paper? All the “T’s” have been crossed and all of the “I’s” dotted – but you just have that feeling in your gut that something just doesn’t feel right? Or maybe it’s your partner or colleague who has that feeling. This can be a good time to just put the decision on hold. A few more days or even weeks, will likely bring more clarity.

4. What is the wise thing to do?

Maybe when you were growing up you remember asking someone what you should do, and they answered “What is the wise thing to do?” Often we ask “What is right or wrong?” We are often wanting to know how to close “wrong “ we can get and still be on the “right’ side or even how much over the line can we go and still be okay? In other words, how close to the edge of the cliff with a 2000 foot drop can we walk and not fall off? But when we ask, “What is the wise thing to do?’ We know the wise thing is not to even get close to the edge of the cliff.

5. What does love require of me?

Jesus has a command, “As I have loved you, love one another,” in the Bible. It is easy for us to live those who love us back. But the scriptures say that while we were yet sinners, Jesus loved us. Jesus loved us to much that He even died for us and not just any death – but a death by crucifixion. Will your decisions serve others?

These questions are not only great questions to ask ourselves- but they are great questions for parents to ask their children.

Question # 1, The Integrity question:

Am I being honest with myself, really?

Decision # 1, I will not lie to my even if the truth makes me feel bad about myself.

Question # 2. The Legacy question:

What story do I want to tell?

Decision # 2, I will tell a story I’m proud to tell own decision at a time.

Question # 3: The Conscience Question:

Is there a tension that needs my attention?

Decision # 3, I will explore rather than ignore my conscience.

Question # 4: The Maturity question:

What is the wise thing to do?

Decision # 4, I will take the past, present, and future into consideration.

Question # 5, The Relationship question:

What does love require of me?

Decision # 5, I will decide with the interest of others in mind.

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