How do I make a rational decision... Part II

Last week I spoke about the delay tactic to make an urgent decision feel more rational rather than emotional. The second problem to tackle is to work out how to make the more long-term life-impacting decisions when they are emotion-laden. Such examples being marriage, divorce, putting your parents in a home, or going into business. Once again, you cannot discard your emotions as a useful source of information for making a more considered decision. If the emotions overwhelm you every time you think of the decision then it is usually a good idea to wait until that emotion subsides. Be comfortable with saying it out loud before you make the final call. 

The most important guiding principle here is context. How might you feel in two days, how might you feel in five years (especially considering how you feel right now)? How would others feel about this decision (really put yourself into their shoes, try arguing in their defence)? How is this decision not mine to make (should other people be involved in the decision, how am I cheating someone else out of a say)? Finally, if it is appropriate, ask yourself how you might feel in the different environment that might come about from that decision. All of these questions offer important context, put them into the categories "I vs. You", "Now vs. Then", "Here vs. There".

Also, for all my indecisive brothers and sisters out there, one great question to ask is "Am I struggling because either option is actually no better than the other?". In that case, you will be very surprised at how clever your mind is at helping you feel "at home" with the decision once it is made. Meaning that a lot of people make decisions, but decide afterward why it was the right choice. This is because the experience of your decision is beyond your ability to rationalise. Time to ask the final question, "Are you not making a particular decision ONLY because you're scared". If there is no danger, then perhaps a leap of faith is required. That faith doesn't need to be divine, it can be a belief in your own judgement.

There is one last thing I would like to say about trusting your judgment and it is probably the most useful "compass" when navigating these oceans.