Decision making is such a beautiful process in human beings. I’m honored to help people make decisions that they feel good about.
Here I’ve collected some ideas and tools that make it easier to be happier with your decisions. Because that’s really what we’re all looking for — not just a decision that we’re happy with in the moment, but a decision that we feel happy with tomorrow and the next day and the next.
Warren Buffet’s 10-10-10 Rule
Billionaire investor Warren Buffet’s asks three questions before he makes any decision, which he calls the 10/10/10 rule. He asks, “How will I feel about this decision in 10 seconds? In 10 months? In 10 years?”
In 10 seconds you’re getting in touch with your immediate gratification and why you really want to say yes to something. Thinking ahead 10 months, you’re asking, how is this going impact me in this next year of my life? A year is a time period that we can really see the impact on. Looking forward 10 years forces us to take a look at our long range goals and to see how our decision is going to impact them.
Choices Along The Road
Decisions that come up are like possible exits along your road in life. You have a destination you want to get to and a new opportunity comes up. For me, I’m often offered work that’s not really in alignment with my goals for myself and my business, but the work is really interesting. And I have to think about whether it’s worth the detour. Is that exit going to be a shortcut to my long term goals for myself and my business? Is that exit going to be a rabbit hole that I’m just gonna go down and get lost in?
Let’s say, for instance, you have a long term goal of saving a certain amount of money to put down on a house. Someone offers you the opportunity to go in on a business with them. They’re going to start a business in something you really love and you’re really tempted. But it’s going to cost you all the money that you’ve set aside and all the money that you would be setting aside in the next year or two. You have to say no to putting money aside to putting a down payment on a house to do the business.
Maybe it will bring you closer to your goal more quickly. Or bring you a lot more fun. But it could also mean that you’re going backwards on your movement forward toward your own goals.
Assuming you have that long term vision, then it’s easy to weigh decisions and ask is this taking me closer to that, is it a short cut, or is it a detour? If it’s a detour, is it going to be worth it for you? Always consider your decisions in light of your long term goals.
Timing Is Important
Decisions should also be looked at in light of their timing. Let’s take the example of the house. You happen to be driving down a country lane, if you want to live in the country, and you see house for sale by owner. And you stop and the owner is out there cleaning up the yard and they say, “Oh come in, take a look.” And you absolutely fall in love with this house. Could be a no brainer that you buy that house right then. But I think the question has to be asked, is this the right house at the wrong time? Because the right house at the wrong time is the wrong house. Even if the house itself is perfect, perhaps it’s not possible or very stressful for you to buy it now.
Because any decision causes a cascade of results. Buying a house is a lot of work and there’s stress involved. And then once you’ve bought the house you have to pack up and move. And maybe sell the house you were already in. So you want to think about the wider ramifications of any decision and whether it’s the right time. Maybe you just took a new job and you really need to focus your attention for the next year on getting up to speed in the job. Or buying the house would put you into a lot of debt. So timing is also important.
Remember that the right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.
Tools For Decisions You’ll Love Tomorrow
- Make a pro/con list. It’s a cliché, but it works.
- Talk over big decisions with trusted friends or advisors. Especially those who might have insights into, and will advocate for, your long term goals. Talk with someone that’s going to give you honest feedback on what they’re hearing underneath what you’re saying. They can help you get to a calmer place and see the bigger picture. That’s what I do with people when I help them make decisions in a life or business coaching session.
- Make decisions from a very quiet, centered place, as opposed to out of immediate infatuation. I get into that quiet, centered place, by sitting for 20 minutes in silent meditation. You might go to a yoga class or do yoga at home with the intention of getting really quiet and still inside so that the answer can come from your deepest wisdom. Perhaps going outside for a walk in nature clears your head. Hold the intention, not for making a “good” decision, but making a decision that comes from your deepest knowing and your deepest intuition.
Decide And Move On
Once you make a decision, don’t make yourself crazy making it 100 more times. Make the decision and then step into it fully. Don’t drive yourself crazy making the same decision over and over and over again. Step in fully to the place that says ‘this is who I am now.’ I am this person who has made this decision. And go from there.
You absolutely can learn to make decisions that you’ll love now, and tomorrow. I’m here if you need help doing just that.
All My best,