Posts Tagged ‘decision making’

I am one that struggles with decision making.

One of my strengths is my ability to see the big picture.

Imagining possibilities is exhilarating.  Nothing gives me greater pleasure than sitting down and brainstorming all of the possibilities to solve a problem, either by myself, with my husband, or with others at work.

I can easily come up with a fistful of solutions to most of the problems that come my way in life.

But, one of my weaknesses is my ability to see the big picture.

Life is many shades of gray to me.

I seldom see black and white answers to problems.  I can see the positives and negatives in those solutions, but when trying to weigh my options, they all seem to carry the same weight to me.

By saying “yes” to one possibility, I am saying “no” to another, and it feels like I am closing the door on that idea forever.  Indeed, sometimes the “yes” really is closing that possibility forever.

Sunday, my husband and I went to church for the first time in a long while.  The message was about listening for God’s call.  The man that spoke was a physicist, I’m guessing by his story that he was in his eighties.  He spoke of the times in his life when he had to make the tough decisions: take a fellowship; accept a job at a prestigious Ivy League school or a small religious college; complete his PhD or go overseas to serve in a religious ministry.

At some of his decision making times, the answer was clear, in other instances, it was difficult to separate the call from his own desire.

Sometimes it is difficult to sort out the best of two really good choices, or conversely two really bad choices.

He closed with,

“Whatever you do, make sure that you are living life intentionally.”

Those of you that read my blog regularly know that is the core of what I am personally working toward.

Another wise and experienced man, after the sermon said,

“If we are trying to live an intentional life, then we cannot let gravity guide us through the life of least resistance.”

I love that.

For so long, I was living the life of least resistance.  In many respects I still am.  Most of us let the gravity of life pull us through and make decisions for us.

Least resistance could mean staying in a job that is unsatisfying, staying in a major because you are almost done (guilty!), marrying someone just because you’ve been together so long, staying in an abusive marriage, giving up on a relationship because it take work to fix, watching too much television, letting our kids go with the cultural flow and grow up too soon, or buying the latest and greatest (fill-in-the-blank) just because that’s what everyone’s doing.

Sometimes least resistance is in the shape of putting off or avoiding decisions.  In which case, our decisions are made for us.

On ocassion, our ability to choose certain solutions is limited by our circumstances.  As a divorced and remarried person, my decisions and solutions must also consider the kids’ two other families.  Perhaps your decision making is limited by finances or a lack of support from your spouse.  Maybe your decision making is limited by location or education.  Maybe the solution you’ve envisioned, or feel called to has not presented itself yet.

What opportunities, calls, decisions will shape your life into what it is supposed to be?

For myself, I’m not sure what the next big decision will be.  In the meantime, I will continue working toward making small intentional decisions daily.  Hopefully that will help shape my life and prepare it for the next big decision making opportunity.

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When was the last time you were feeling torn?  When there was something you could do that would be good for you personally, and maybe even professionally? That might make your family life a little easier in the long run, but more difficult in the short run?

The last nine years and loads of energy have been spent trying to eek out a better future, and sacrificing the present with poor results.  I tried to save money, make good financial decisions, be responsible, be creative with a low amount of risk, and think ahead to plan a more flexible career. 

I haven’t gambled away my earnings, bought a new car, wasted money on shopping sprees, or married someone after only a short time (wait, so I did that one, but it worked out).

I’ve ended up with time wasted chasing after dreams; debt from what should have been a safe real estate investment; and time down the drain that could have been spent with my kid. 

Hard work pays off for some.  Investments help some people save.  And some people do end up with lucky breaks every now and again.

I am not bitter or resentful.  I just don’t trust my own judgement and need to figure out how to read a crystal ball to make better decisions.  How does one get a step ahead without having to take two steps back each and every time?

Maybe I just need to think less about the future and more about the present.

Like, I am seven minutes past my deadline.

Good night.

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