All of us have struggled at some point in life in taking decisions; haven’t we? In this short speech let me outline a few simple practical steps to take decisions.
First you need information. Collect it from as many sources as possible. When collecting information from the internet make sure it is credible. Then list out information that is most compelling which you cannot ignore.
Secondly list out the positives and negatives. Know that every decision has consequences. Try to think through all that can happen in favour of your decision and against.
Next you have to assess time available. To take some decisions you get days or even months. For some other decisions like applying sudden brake while driving; you get hardly a split second.
Having collected information, listed out pros and cons, and assessed time available; you need to start eliminating choices. There are obvious items in your list that you now know can be discarded easily. Once this is done, you are left with toughly competing choices.
It is at this time courage fails. The voices of your critics and people who constantly advice against your dreams and ambitions will sound loud in your mind. And you will feel like being pulled apart in all directions.
At this time asking friends and experienced people might be helpful. Sometimes such conversations can throw light on some grey areas. That will ease your struggle a bit and give you peace of mind.
Then there is the question of motives. Are you taking a particular decision because you have some hidden agenda? For example you might say that you want to study at a far away reputed University. But the real motive might be to enjoy independence and be away from home. Examples like this are many. So find out your true motives before you decide.
Equally important is what to do when you are put under pressure. Let me tell you point blank that when people put pressure on you to take decisions; the safe answer is a bold NO! In case it is a mistaken decision you can easily change that to an Yes; can’t you?
Now it is time to understand that you should learn to discern between major and minor decisions. If you are someone who spent a lot of time analyzing what to eat for breakfast or whether to carry an umbrella with you; then you have a problem. Be decisive in taking decisions; and start that habit with the simple decisions you make each day. That will help you make a clear decision for a major choice someday.
Finally, I cannot emphasize enough about trust and dependence on God in taking decisions. The Bible says,
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.”*
In no way does it minimize or do away with all the intelligent thinking you have to do. But a pilot of an aeroplane finds safety in being guided by instructions from the control tower. All you need is a listening ear and willingness to obey.
And at the end of the day some decisions affect you; some others. A few decisions affect the present time and your future; while certain decisions affect eternity. Make sure that you don’t sacrifice your future by making a wrong decision for a momentary pleasure today.
*Proverbs 3:5, 6 Bible NASB