Wednesday, March 21, 2012

effective decisions

How do you make a difficult decision? What is your process?

My process for making a difficult decision has improved through the years. Typically in the past, I didn't have much of a process. Or let me rephrase that, to say that I didn't always have an effective process. Or maybe I just wasn't aware of my process?  No, I'm pretty sure that my process has improved with age and experience.

The first stage in most difficult decisions will involve a time of reflection, maybe over a piece of chocolate cake and a cold glass of milk. This stage might be misconstrued as procrastination, but I prefer to call it reflection.

The second stage is the seeking side, where I seek to find out all that I can about my decision. I want to know "both" sides, all the options, all the consequences. Upon being diagnosed with breast cancer March 2011, I sought all the information that I could find in making a treatment decision.

The third stage involves getting input from other trusted sources. This step has evolved through the years. Years ago, I would approach this step like a telemarketer calling everyone that I could think of that might have an opinion on the subject, whether they had any experience or not. Particularly those who I thought would take my side or tell me what I preferred to hear. I've whittled this list down, and my intentions for seeking outside opinions has changed also. I now only contact the sources that I know will tell me the truth or the actual consequences of my choices, whether it is what I want to hear or not. In making my treatment decisions, I was blessed with a large network of women who had had a similar experience, and the assistance they provided was invaluable in helping me to make a decision.

The most important part of this process is prayer. This is where I believe any difficult decision should actually begin. This is where my process has changed tremendously in my growth. At one time in my life, I thought I was in control, and ruled all the decisions. After several years of experiences, I now know who the most important consultant is in my life.  I now have a more effective process of decision making.

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