Ramaratnam
3 min readSep 24, 2022

--

Tough decisions

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

3. Investing

4. Medical diagnosis

5. Choice of medical treatment

6. Stopping medical treatment

7. Choosing a job

8. Quitting a job

9. Ending a relationship

10. Relocating

11. Changing religions

12. Emigrating

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

21. Abortion

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.

--

--

Ramaratnam

Live in Chennai, India. Interested in life subjects and how the mind works. Articles attempt to give perspectives on life