Life is a journey filled with countless crossroads, each demanding a decision that can alter the course of your existence. From career choices to relationships, where you live to how you live, these big life decisions carry the weight of uncertainty and opportunity. But fear not, for with the right approach, you can make these choices with unwavering confidence.
Let's embark on a journey to master the art of making big life decisions, one step at a time.
Step 1: Self-Reflection - Know Thyself
Before diving into any major decision, start by looking within. Understand your values, passions, and long-term goals. What makes you tick? What brings you joy and fulfillment? When you are in tune with your inner compass, you'll find it easier to navigate the path ahead.
At Next Dimension Story, we use the art & science of storytelling to help you to discover yourself with immense clarity. Using the power of metaphors and powerful imagery from your life, we gently guide you to reflect and tap into your strengths via your personal victory moments. Leaning on your strengths is a great steppingstone to know your inner-self – It establishes a strong foundation for you to make sound, good decisions in life.
Step 2: Define Your Priorities - What Truly Matters?
In the hustle and bustle of life, it's easy to lose sight of your priorities. Take the time to list and rank what truly matters to you. Is it family, career, adventure, or personal growth? This clarity will help you filter out options that don't align with your core values.
Once you’ve gone through the powerful self-discovery of getting to know and celebrate your inner self via the Next Dimension Story approach, we then guide you to list out your passion points and pain points to help you prioritize what truly matters to you.
Passion points are attributes (e.g., Wanting to do something new every day) that help you to get out of bed every day and instinctively enjoy doing the things you like doing, whether it is directed towards personal or professional goals. Pain points are attributes (e.g., a boss who micromanages monotonous routines) that drive negative energy, resulting in you actively avoiding those priorities/tasks/environments.
Step 3: Gather Information - Knowledge is Power
Make informed decisions by researching your options. Read, seek advice, and gather as much information as possible. Whether it's exploring job opportunities or choosing a new city to live in, knowledge empowers you to make choices that align with your goals.
After you map out your passion points and pain points, at Next Dimension Story, we coach you to research the deeper WHY behind your passion points and pain points, from a personal and professional point of view. This approach enables you to then list our potential choices and carefully weigh the pros and cons of each choice against your passion points and pain points.
Step 4: Weigh Pros and Cons - The Balanced Scale
Create a pros and cons list for each option/choice. Visualizing the advantages and disadvantages of each choice provides clarity. Remember, though, that not all pros and cons are equal. Some may be deal-breakers while others are minor inconveniences.
Within the choices/options that you are considering, we guide you to weigh each choice against your passion points and pain points. At the end of the day, if a choice has more passion points than pain points, it is a strong signal that you will be playing to your strengths if you decide to go ahead with that choice vs. trying to constantly mitigate the pain points associated with a choice.
Step 5: Assess Risk Tolerance - How Bold Are You?
Consider your appetite for risk. Are you the adventurous type who thrives on taking chances, or do you prefer a more conservative approach? Understanding your risk tolerance will help you make decisions that you can stand firmly behind.
Once you’ve stacked the choices against your passion points and pain points, it is time to do a heart and mind check on the choice that is ranked above other options. A mind check will seek to confirm if that choice is tapping into your skills and expertise. A heart check will look to verify if that option is consistent with your values and beliefs. Performing a personal mind & heart check is crucial before you seek advice and perspective from others.
Step 6: Seek Advice and Perspective - Talk it Out
Don't be afraid to seek counsel from trusted friends, family members, or mentors. Different perspectives can shed light on aspects you might have overlooked. However, remember that the final decision should always be yours.
That’s why it is important to do a personal heart & mind check of the choice before expanding your perspectives via family, friends, and mentors.
Now, before you proceed with the choice, there is another crucial step to complete before launching ahead. Read on!
Step 7: Listen to Your Gut - Trust Your Intuition
Intuition is a powerful tool often underestimated in decision-making. After thorough analysis, take a moment to listen to your gut feeling. Your subconscious mind often knows what's best for you even before your rational mind catches up.
Heart & mind checks on your choice are super important. However, even above heart & mind checks, gut checks are even more important. Your gut feel/intuition will be an extremely strong signal that validates whether you should proceed ahead or look for other options/alternate choices.
Step 8: Visualize the Outcome - Imagine Your Future
Take a mental journey into the future and envision the consequences of the leading choice. Picture yourself living with the consequences of your decision. Which future scenario excites you the most? Which one aligns with your long-term goals?
Visualise the outcome and ensure it aligns with your heart, mind, and gut checks.
Step 9: Set a Deadline - Avoid Analysis Paralysis
Procrastination can be the enemy of progress. Set a reasonable deadline for making your decision. This keeps you from overthinking and allows you to move forward confidently.
Once you decide to proceed ahead with a choice, establish a project plan with 4 key indicators – steps, timelines, resources, and goals. That way you bring the choice and the visualisation of the outcome into reality.
Step 10: Embrace Uncertainty - Accept Imperfection
Finally, remember that no decision is perfect. Life is a dynamic journey, and even the best-laid plans can encounter unexpected twists. Embrace uncertainty as an opportunity for growth and adaptation.
Making big life decisions can be intimidating, but it's also a thrilling part of the human experience. With self-reflection, prioritization, information, and intuition as your allies, you can confidently step onto the path that aligns with your true self and aspirations. Remember, it's not about making the "right" decision; it's about deciding what's right for you.
At Next Dimension Story, our guided approach to make sound, good decisions, can give you the necessary support, guidance, and tools, to move forward in life with good decision making. Through our online video courses on smart, good decision making or via our 1 to 1 coaching session with our life-coach, George Eapen, you get the appropriate level of support based on your style of getting guidance and support to move boldly through life.
So go ahead, step forward with confidence and embrace the adventure that awaits. Your future self will thank you for it.