When contemplating risky life choices, it often helps to weigh the advantages and disadvantages. Yet some of the best experiences come after an agonizing, back and forth, decisional period. During this time, you will frequently write lists, ask yourself “What if…” and pace the hallways until you drive yourself certifiably insane.
To make things a bit easier, follow these tips. Ask yourself these questions before making any decision:
1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each choice?
Ahh…the good ol’ “Pros and Cons” list. This is the very first and most obvious question you should ask yourself because it forces you to sit down and consider every detail of each choice before you follow through with one. By doing so, you not only consider the most obvious benefits, but also the smaller perks that could eventually add up.
2. Do I have realistic expectations for myself?
Let’s be real: sometimes we just don’t think logically. While considering the advantages and disadvantages of each decision, also weigh how realistic your options are. Sometimes, we also make decisions based on impulses – dependent on how we are feeling during a particular time. If you’re starving, for example, there are obvious benefits of choosing a ridiculously oversized10lb meat platter over a small salad – but could you really finish it all?
3. What are the short-term and long-term benefits?
Circumstances change. People transform. Unpredictable things happen. This is why it’s important to consider short-term and long-term factors. Maybe that meat platter might sound irresistible right now, but in the long run, that salad might do wonders for your high blood pressure and soaring cholesterol levels.
4. What will I regret more if I don’t pursue?
Regret can consume your life if you don’t end up making the right decision. Consider the “once in a lifetime opportunity” factor. No matter how impractical an option is, is it something that absolutely cannot be done at another time or place? Will you never receive the same offer again? If so, I think you know which choice to follow through on.
And if all else fails, you can always flip a coin. This works 100% of the time. As it’s spinning in midair, you’ll already know which side you’re hoping it lands on.