How to make hard decisions

Simple things like choosing what to wear can sometimes take up too much mind space while they have no real consequences. However the real problem arises when you have to make decisions that will impact your life and lives of others. Imagine the magnitude of decision making that people like presidents and prime ministers go through.

There are a few ways to make hard decisions. Hard decisions could be things along the lines of choosing college courses, making career choices and lifelong choices like marriage and kids. Although we should consult our near and dear ones, people who went through the same, and professionals; the ultimate decision will finally rest on your shoulders.

Besides, there is only so much data you can gather. In the end you will have to decide which of these pros and cons apply to your case and whether you can mitigate them. Then the true weight of the decision comes on your shoulder. What do you do? I’ll tell you how I make all of my decisions, small and large at this point in my life.

Enter journaling. Just write down everything you have gathered so far. It is important to do this on physical pen and paper. Write down your problem in great detail, all the research you have made with detailed pros and cons. Write down all the probable consequences of all choices and whether you can change your choice later on. You don’t have to do it all in one day, take your time and take a few days as needed to come to a conclusion, after considering all paths.

There’s something about putting your thoughts on paper that brings a certain mental clarity. Some people rightly call this process brain dumping because you are essentially pulling out the tangled mess from your brain and putting it on paper. It actually frees up those tangles in your mind and arranges it out in tangible form.

There is one more optional step you can go to, that is meditation. Just sit down, close eyes and think about the problem deeply for an extended period of time. Then write it down. This doesn’t even have to be sitting or eyes closed. Just notice when your mind drifts and gently bring it back to the problem at hand. It could be done while walking, commuting or even before going to bed but best results come to me if I’m sitting down, eyes closed. Some people are able to figure out stuff just by meditation, some people use a combination of both. I prefer journaling for the most part, but meditation does help at times.

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