Three Questions that Filter My Decision Making

I’ve heard the average person makes over 30,000 decisions in one day. I’m sure most of those decisions don’t make our radar as difficult or emotionally consuming. However, most of us will be faced with decisions that test our resolve and challenge our judgment on a somewhat regular basis. 

I have been collecting questions over the last few years to assist me with my decision making. While the circumstances to which I apply these questions might be specific and original to me, none of the questions themselves are original to me. 

I’m just passing along what I’ve collected. 

Question #1: What is the wise thing to do?

Not what is the smart thing to do. Not what is the most beneficial thing to do. And certainly don’t get caught up in a debate with yourself arguing that it’s legal so it must be ok. No, ask yourself what is the wise thing to do. Decisions become clear quite quickly when viewed through this filter. 

Question #2: Is this a problem to solve or a tension to manage?

Are there valid arguments on all sides? Does the problem keep coming up? This might not be a decision to make or problem to solve. It might be a tension to manage. Therefore, don’t make rules. Don’t make policy. Refer back to question number one, use your best judgement and move on. (Until the issue comes around again. And it will.)

Question #3: What’s the one thing I can do, such that by doing it, everything else will become easier or unnecessary?

With all your decisions to make and problems to solve laid out in front of you, what’s the one thing you could do, such that by doing it, would make all the other things easier or simply make them go away?

That’s it. Those are the three questions. Try them. In any order. Use them as needed individually or all together. 

What are your decision making aids? What questions do you use to filter your best thinking?

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