In our life, we have to make numerous decisions. Some decisions are for shorter period or for smaller thing e.g. what to wear today, what we will have for lunch or dinner and so on. As these kinds of decisions are for shorter period we normally make such decisions without paying much attention to them and we are not afraid of while making such decision.  On the other hand, few decisions are life changing and having great impact on our lives e.g. getting married or divorce, changing a job, moving to other city etc.  We are afraid of to make such decisions and always try to avoid making such decisions as such decision involved some risks.  We are not ready to take responsibility for such decisions.

What is decision making? How do we make decisions? In simple words, decision making is the act of choosing one alternative from among a set of alternatives.  We have to fist decide (here also making a decision is involved!) that a decision has to be made and then secondly identify a set of feasible alternatives before we select one. While choosing one alternative from a set of alternatives; time place, our state of mind, circumstances, our emotions, our past experience about the situation, our beliefs have great impact on our decisions.

While I was interviewing people about how they make their decisions, most of them answered that they have not made a decision, decisions were forced to them.  For few of them circumstances, for few family member/s and for few their emotions forced the decisions.  According to them some outer forces are acting or forcing them to make the decision.  Is it true? And the answer of the question is ‘NO’.  Our decisions, always, are based on our beliefs in our conscious or subconscious mind or our mindset.

As per our mindset we prioritise the things, situations and according to the priorities we make decisions. What are our priorities and how do they affect our decisions, what emotion is most dominant to make our decision? I will explain through a story which I use as an assignment in my coaching programme (Recreate Yourself with Pratibha Badurkar) to understand that what are your priorities and how they will affect decisions you are going to make?

Sometimes in life, you have to make decisions that are best for you not for everyone else.

A girl ‘L’ and a boy ‘P’ were in love. L ran away from home to marry P as their parents were not in favour of them. She was carrying no money. To reach P, she asked a cab driver – ‘M’ whether he will take her to desired place? He agreed for the same if she pays charges. She told her story requested him not to charge anything. M refused to do so. Disappointed L started looking around whether anyone can help her and she saw a man ‘O’ was passing by.  She requested O to give some money. O listened her story, agrees to give some money with a condition that she should spend a night with him. L agrees for the same and spent a night with him.  Next day she took money from O, gave the money to M and reached to P. She tells whatever happened with her after leaving home up to reaching him.  After listening her, P refuses to marry her as she spent night with O. Disheartened L decides to commit a suicide by jumping off a river. A man – ‘S’ sitting besides the shore, caught her and asked what made her to commit suicide. After listening her story he offers her to marry him.  L agrees to marry S.  They got married and lived together.

Five characters of the story represent five most powerful emotions which drive us to make any decision.

  • LOVE – L represents Love: The person in love is always ready to do anything for love.
  • POWER – P represents Power: Power has nothing to do with Love or emotions.
  • MONEY – M represents Money: Money will never think about emotions, feelings or love.
  • OPORTUNITY – O represents Opportunity: An opportunity never cares for love and doesn’t need any power too. An opportunist can never let go any opportunity.
  • SENTIMENTS – S represents Sentiments: A sentimental person always take decisions emotionally.

While making decisions we have to –

  • Think about desired outcome of the decision
  • Put all emotions aside
  • List down all the options available
  • Prioritise the things/emotions
  • Then decide

 

While making decisions I follow the above stapes and see a quote: Emotions are temporary states of mind.  Don’t let them permanently destroy you.  Indeed, very true for me ! What about you?

– Pratibha Badurkar