How to Make the Best Decision
What is the wise thing to do based on:
1) Past experiences
2) Current situation
3) future hopes and dreams
What is the Wise thing to do? In life and business we face many important decisions or choices everyday. Some decisions are fairly simple and don’t have a significant impact others are far more meaningful and could effect years to come.
I was watching a talk given by Andy Stanley the other day. He is someone I admire and respect as a teacher/leader/husband. His talk was based around decision making. His premise helped simplify the often complex and challenging decision making process down to a single philosophy. He proposed that in any decision, large or small. to achieve the greatest outcome and best result ask yourself this simple question from 3 basic perspectives.
The question to ask yourself is: “What is the wise thing to do?” It sounds so simple, but upon reflection how many past decisions could have played out better if only this question was considered? When we consider the word “wise” it doesn’t mean what is right or wrong as so often there are no black and white clear answers when faced with a decisive moment. “Wise” means exactly what it says, “what is the wise thing to do”. To take it to the next level he considers 3 perspectives to analyze based on this perspective as every individual is different and never decision has a different result.
The 3 perspectives to consider are: 1) What is the wise thing to do based on my past experience; 2) What is the wise thing to do based on my current situation; and 3) What is the wise decision based on my future hopes and dreams.
Each of these perspectives should have a significant impact on the direction of your response to the decision in front of you.
Let’s take a closer look. We have all learned things from past experiences whether good or bad. “Wow that time I did this it worked out so well” or “I remember when I did that, I would never make that same mistake twice”.
This first prospective reveals growth and learning from the consequences, either good or bad. A quick reflection on consequences can help you quickly identify the “wise” thing based on past experience.
The wise thing to do based on the current situation grounds the decision in the present. The current situation may allow you to realize your capacity at the moment to either say “Yes” and take something else on or “no”. From this perspective you may have had positive consequences in the past and an opportunity looks to good to pass up; however, due to life circumstances, family, work, financial obligations the wise thing might be to pass.
The final lens to look through when making a decision is “what is the wise thing to do based on your future hopes and dreams”. This perspective goes far beyond the satisfaction that something in the present may bring. When analyzing from this perspective you can used the word “alignment”. Is this decision in line with where I hope to be a year from now or 5 years from now. Will it help or hinder me? The future is often the result of the compound effect on a whole lot of small decisions, habits, and actions.
Whether you are faced with a large decision or something with little consequence, each of these three perspectives should be taken into consideration. The “wise” thing to do should in most scenarios become much more clear.
Experiencing positive consequences and achieving the results you were hoping for are completely available to us. Just ask yourself “what is the wise thing to do?”