Occasionally we have to take some tough decisions in life. Most of these decisions have to be taken with insufficient information and knowledge of consequences in the future. Moreover, some of these decisions could have long-term and life-long implications with serious consequences.
Here is a list of some tough decisions
1. Choosing a marriage partner
2. Choosing a career
4. Medical diagnosis
5. Choice of medical treatment
6. Stopping medical treatment
7. Choosing a job
8. Quitting a job
9. Ending a relationship
11. Changing religions
13. Trusting new people
14. Starting a new business
15. Selling a business
16. Giving a loan
17. Believing astrological predictions
18. Adopting a child
19. Political affiliation
20. Whistleblowing in public
22. Confronting powerful people
23. Choosing a house to buy
24. Quantum of punishment for an offense
25. Choice of a spiritual path
26. Choice of a retirement home
27. Forgiving the unforgivable
28. Forecasts and assumptions
29. Trusting intuition
30. To swim against the tide or submit to peer pressure
31. To wage a war
Some strategies when we have to make tough decisions.
1. Take wise counsel from those who have encountered such situations in their life. That does not mean you have to follow them. You may not be able to do what they do. Personalities differ. But you will be exposed to different perspectives.
2. Wise counsel should include professionals in the field. It need not be just friends, colleagues, or relatives. It could be paid-for advice.
3. Take considerable time deciding. No impulsive decisions. Sleep many days over it. Maybe months, if it can wait.
4. Write all your thoughts down. It has a different effect than thinking inside the head
5. List down all consequences far into the future: from worst case scenario to best case scenario. Decisions should be based on consequences.
6. List down all the people who will be affected and how they will be affected when you decide one way or the other.
7. Assess your ability to withstand the consequences in a worst-case scenario.
8. Assess who you are up against and who is more powerful. Situations involving powerful adversaries require more circumspection and less bravado.
9. List what qualities you need to cultivate and who you need to be to face the consequences. You will have to make the effort to transform your being to weather the consequences.
10. Assess the ability of others involved to withstand consequences
11. When assessing consequences, it has to be done comparatively- will the future be better or worse than the present
12. See how much emotion is surging up when you think about the situation. Decisions cannot be made when emotional. It has to be done during sober moments. Decisions based on revenge or out of anger can prove disastrous. It will also become a mental pattern for the future.
13. Enrol all those who can support you during the transition. Talk to them upfront. Having the support of people always helps.
14. See how much your ego has been hurt by the situation. If the ego gets involved in making tough decisions the consequences could be negative. One question we can ask to keep the ego at bay is: will my decision be for the good of all concerned? The ego is self-centered. By including the welfare of others, the ego’s impact can be reduced.
In spite of all precautions and strategies the decision we made could go wrong. Unexpected events could occur which could change everything. We just have to deal with the new situation and move along. We did our best. Life decided otherwise.