One of the things that separates successful people from those who only strive for success is their ability to make good decisions, and then make those decisions work.
If you’ve ever thought about how to make a good decision, here are 5 questions that you can ask yourself on the way to a great decision:
- Does this decision promote the good? Does it lead to good things? Can you see the ways in which the ripple effect will bring about more good down the road? Or is it just something you do for the moment? A quick decision to relieve the pain?
- Is this decision helpful? How many people would this help? Would this help people have better marriages, get out of debt, get closer to God, get a job, find the right mate, get healed, get help, get justice? If what you’re deciding to do can’t start with the infinitive “to help,” then you need to rethink it. If it’s not helpful, and hopeful, you won’t have passion for it over the long-term.
- Is this decision wise? Making sure this decision is a wise decision is the ability to make a long-term decision. Is this sustainable? Is it moral and ethical? Is it the right place, the right time, the right people? Does it feel like the wise thing to do? Oftentimes the wise thing to do in the moment bears fruit further down the road. It’s like putting in upstream what you want to get downstream. And the temptation is to go for the quick dollar or the quick fix. Wisdom says, “wait, you reap what you sow.”
- Is this decision transferable? Is it beyond just a time-sensitive issue? Many decisions are. But there are decisions that need to be able to transfer into many different settings: family, work, relational environments. Is it transferable in all of those environments and places? Is it a decision based on transcendent truths? Is it a timeless way of doing a timely thing?
- Is this decision me? Does it fit you? Does it help you shine? Is it in keeping with your gifts, talents, and abilities? And most of all, is it the core of your passion? What you’re passionate about you will be able to sustain over time. Often we make decisions based on the pressures of others rather than simply saying, “Is this me? Does it fit me? Do I have the skills, and if I don’t have the skills, do I have the desire to go get the skills it’s going to take to make this a great decision over time?”
Your life is made up of the choices that you make; the small decisions and the big ones that you make over time. The ability to make them well means that your life will not only be bigger and richer, but it will expand its influence to those who need it most.