“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”- Tony Robbins

We are each faced with numerous choices each day. Some are seemingly inconsequential while others carry with them the power to change our lives immeasurably. They range from what you have for breakfast to what route you take to work, from what house you buy to your inner circle of friends. Why is the power of decision so incredibly important? Because our present-moment decisions shape every aspect of our future.

Think of your decisions like ripples in a pond that are formed when a stone is cast into it. If you haphazardly toss out your desires, then random results are what might occur; conversely, if you make conscious, measured choices, there is a greater likelihood of predictable results.

Decisions begin with an inspiration to take a thought and morph it into physical form. Unfortunately, some decisions are not in your best interest; an old adage tells us, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

In the 2013 release, “Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work”, brothers Chip and Dan Heath highlight the various factors that go into decision making. They speak of one method that involves following your intuition…aka. the proverbial ‘trusting your gut.’

“Consider the Ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory, a truly delicious dessert—and one that clocks in at 1,540 calories, which is the equivalent of three McDonald’s double cheeseburgers plus a pack of Skittles. This is something that you are supposed to eat after you are finished with your real meal. The Ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake is exactly the kind of thing that our guts get excited about. Yet no one would mistake this guidance for wisdom.”

What would happen if all your evaluations were made using that method? Likely (because humans tend to prefer the short-term benefits of immediate gratification) major weight gain, high-risk behaviors, and dysfunctional relationships!

Instead, recall what occurred in your past when you used well-reasoned logic sprinkled with intuition. You were more inclined to have had greater success of seeing your desires become a reality. Not sure what you can do to improve your decision making skills? Here are some tips that will help you make the best possible decisions in your life:

  • Be informed and ask questions
  • Look at all sides of the situation
  • Do a cost/benefit analysis
  • Use both your mind and your instincts
  • Consult people you trust
  • Go for the win-win in every encounter
  • Steer clear of impulsive decisions based on short term gratification
  • Avoid analysis paralysis by refraining from ruminating over every decision
  • Be willing to take calculated risks
  • Visualize the best possible outcome
  • Be willing to make new decisions
  • Know that some things will, simply, not work out in the way you prefer

It is both your right and your responsibility to make decisions in a way that is thoughtful and balanced. Choose wisely! Your future is hanging in the balance.

When’s the last time that you let an impulsive decision get the best of you? Did it work out in the end?