Who Are You?
In order to make a wise decision, you need to know as much about yourself as possible. Knowing yourself is the foundation of a wise decision and is vital when taking the first decision making step: “Be clear about what to decide.” There are a number of good assessments, DISC tests, interest and skill inventories, etc. on the market and each can provide a tile of the mosaic of who you are. Separately they are are only pieces but put together they form a pretty good picture of you. In addition, there are two areas where, for decision making purposes, it is especially important to know yourself:
Values – Simply put, values are what is important to you. They are not what “should” be important to you or what you think others want you to have as values. Rather, your values are what you identify with, what you admire, what you aspire to. The Values List-Personal is a good exercise to discover your top values. Using the list as a non-exclusive guide only, make a list of your top dozen values. Take your time. Use your values as a guide and a resource in making decisions.
Objectives – Objectives are what you want out of your life, both from your career and your personal life. Objectives are, in essence, long term goals. In decision making it is important to know your long term goals, your objectives, in order to be sure that the decision you are making will help you progress toward these objectives. The problem is that we want so much out of life that its hard to focus on the most important objectives. Here is an exercise that can help: Twenty-Five Pieces of Your Ideal Life.
First, list the top twenty-five pieces you must have for your life to be ideal. These pieces can be tangible, intangible, specific or general… whatever you choose, its totally up to you. Be realistic, if you’re 55, being a pro quarterback probably isn’t achievable. The trick is that you can only have twenty-five pieces and, if you don’t name something you already have in your life, you lose it.
Next, after you have listed your top twenty-five pieces, fill in the remaining columns. Be honest with yourself. You now have a guide as to what the top pieces of your ideal life are, which ones are more important to you, your progress toward them and how hard you are working. Now that you know what you really want, be sure that both what you choose to decide and decisions you make further you toward your ideal life.
When you know yourself, your values and what you want out of life, decisions are a lot easier to make. You are also much more likely to make a wise decision.