3 Important Things You Can Do To Change The Course Of Your Life . . .

Would you give a known thief all of your hard earned cash or your credit card with the pin number and ask him/her to look after it for you? The question that follows, then, is why do we give anyone else the right or the power to make decisions on our behalf? The fact is there are times when our decisions work out and sometimes they don’t. But none of us is perfect. To me making mistakes is part of learning. How can we ever learn to make decisions if we don’t risk something in the process? Hopefully, people learn from their mistakes because they learn little by their successes. It is incumbent on each of us to take responsibility for making our own decisions and not to base those decisions on what someone else would or would not do. Unless they have ‘a dog in the fight’ meaning something to lose, most people around us are likely to be full of free advice none of which takes into consideration what will this mean to you if it all goes south.

I work as a counselor and a life coach. I don’t ‘fix’ people and I don’t dispense advice to my clients. I’m often asked, however, to offer a variety of viewpoints that can be thought about. With that in mind I put together 3 thoughts and ideas that I often use in my real life for your consideration and you do what you want with them. Use them or don’t use them. Consider them or don’t consider them. That would be your decision to make.

We spend most of our lives learning and applying what we have learned, or what we THINK we have learned, to our lives to see if we can be successful or more successful than the other guy. Truth be known we cannot apply data and facts that we don’t know if we are not aware of what it is we don’t know but need to be in order to make decisions. Sounds convoluted-I get that.

So to simplify this point:

  1. I began counting less on facts and data and more on my feelings, instincts, and emotions. I am careful to use only data that is fixed. For example by-laws or things that are written in stone. Most other data and facts are much more fluid these days, thanks to technology, and using them to apply to a particular context can be hazardous. Contexts change as well so how can we use what we know or think we know to be facts with any certainty.
  2. I cannot allow fear of what might happen to interfere with my opportunity to decide something of importance. There is a difference between being afraid and being respectful of something. Fear can paralyze me if I allow it to. Being respectful makes me slow down from making snap decisions that I cannot justify. I need to depend more on how I feel or have been thinking. It gives me an opportunity to become better informed before I decide. We are our own best experts on us. No one knows us better than we do. IF we pay attention to ‘us’ we will more often make the right choices or decisions.
  3. If I do approach a respected and experienced friend or colleague I need to prepare questions ahead of time so that I don’t get swayed, side-tracked or lose sight of what information I am seeking and why and how I might utilize the information to suit my particular set of circumstances. I need to distinguish between his/her points of view based on their success and not what they would do if they were me.

In order for me to feel good about what I have done, I need to have as few regrets as possible. I am more likely to feel that way if I am the ‘captain of my own ship’. That way I have no one to blame and I can take the credit as well.

Anyways, that’s how I see it. Thanks for stopping by

All the best, Jim

Comments are welcome–send them to:   jim.lifechoice@gmail.com  OR jimcloughley.com

Please pass this along to family, friends or neighbors.

Disclaimer: Photo resource used for education, criticism or research purposes only. I derive no financial gain from the use of this photo/quote

7 Keys To Making Your Best Decisions And Being Comfortable With Them.

“Greed Before Conscience Means Death To The Soul”–JC

Look at the man at the top of this page and then ask yourself who he reminds you of? How many times have we felt like this or been this guy? Decision making is one of the toughest things we do in our lives and we make them almost, if not, every day. No wonder some of us are a mess. No wonder some of us experience depression, mental health problems, irritability, sleepless nights and fatigue.

So I put together a list of 9 important considerations/thoughts that will help make your decision making a much more pleasant process and will leave you feeling pretty good about how you went about your business. Your family, business colleagues, workmates and your friends will all benefit.

1. NEVER make an emotional decision when in an emotional state of mind. They seldom work out well and we often pay dearly for them later. This of course changes when life or lives are immediately threatened.

2. We need to accept and understand that the important decisions we make each day have an impact on so many others around us and that we have an obligation to make our decisions with everyone’s best interest at heart, if that’s possible. I mention this not to add any pressure but to help us get the fact that we are not alone in the universe–that we are connected to many other human beings on the planet and we owe it to them to be sure we make our decisions as best we can.

3. Always try to make favourable decisions that others (those around you like-workmates, your employer, family or friends) are likely to benefit from as well. When that happens those others are likely to do the same thing in return when they consider how their decisions might impact us.

4. We put tremendous pressure on ourselves to always make the correct decision. More often than not we think about all the negative consequences if our decision goes south and end up either procrastinating or making a poor decision just to have it done. The honest facts are that we will NOT always make the right choices. It is impossible to always be right. There are too many variables that we have no control over to be 100% correct all the time. The best thing we can do is our due diligence and then make the best choice we can. At those times, when we are not as successful as we hoped, we need to look for the learning that comes from this experience so that we don’t make the same mistake next time. Being overly self critical serves no useful purpose and just gets in our way of the next major decision to be made. We cannot see the unforeseen.

5. We need to be sure to gather as much information as we can from knowledgeable sources be they articles, research documents or first hand accounts from reputable sources so that we can be as well informed as possible.

6. It is not enough to acknowledge that we ‘did some checking around first.’ If we are making a decision that is sure to impact others we also need to be sure that we sought out more than one source. If we only look for information that we want to find or hear that is not a solid basis from which to decide anything.

7. We need to be sure that the decision we might make is not just about our own well being. It is true that our decision will not benefit everyone and usually that can’t be helped. Like being an umpire in a ball game. The decision to declare the runner safe at home plate will be loved by some and hated by others. Such is the nature of decisions made. Go back and look at number 2 again. Has anything happened recently that could impact our decision before we make it? What often comes into play here is considering the greater good vs. my own greater good. Which one are we more concerned about?

No one likes to be criticized and no one enjoys seeing others suffer at their hand so to speak. However, if we choose to follow the above as best we can the probability is that we will be able to sleep at night and that we will be OK with the person who looks back at us when we are holding our toothbrush in the morning.

Anyways, that’s how I see it, all the best, Jim

Comments are always welcome and other suggestions that can be added to the list are welcomed as well.

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