Have you ever made a decision that you lived to regret? Was it a decision made in a rush? Did you fail to think it through? Were you feeling pressured? Were you ill informed? Was it an impulse? Was it a decision made for immediate satisfaction or gratification? Did you think with your heart and not your head? Hindsight is always 20/20. When a poor decision leads to an unfavorable or undesirable outcome, it is then that you take the time to reflect. Unfortunately, it can be too late as the harm may be irreparable.
Here are tips that you can use when making major life decisions:
1. Be mindful and be present. Think a decision through. Put your mind before your heart. Weigh the pros against the cons.
2. Consult with a trusted friend or family member. It’s important to have an objective opinion. A friend or family member can be a voice of reason. They may offer a perspective that you may not have thought of.
3. Along the same line as point number 2, if you have several people who are of the same opinion, you probably need to listen to them.
4. If you can identify that you are anxious or depressed, you should not be making major life decisions. When you are anxious or depressed, your ability to think clearly may be impaired.
5. If you are feeling emotional or insecure, pause. You likely will make a mistake.
6. Don’t make a decision because you were hurt and you want to teach someone a lesson.
7. Consult with a spiritual counselor, a pastor or priest. If you trust this person, they too can be a voice of reason. At the very least, they can pray for you.
8. Consult with a professional. A psychologist or therapist can be of great value as they can be completely objective. A psychologist or therapist won’t tell you what to do, but they can help guide you.
9. Take your time. If the decision isn’t pressing and it can wait, then wait. The worse thing you can do is rush.
10. Sometimes, decisions have to be made when time is a factor. This is the time when it is most important to pray. Also, this is the time to seek guidance from loved ones. In addition, seeking guidance from those who had to make similar decisions can be helpful.
11. Listen to your inner voice. If something doesn’t seem quite right to you, that probably means that it isn’t. If there is any hint of hesitation, that is your inner voice speaking to you. Your inner voice is telling you to pause and reflect.
12. Pray. I cannot stress how important this is. In order to live the life God has planned for you, you need to be still and listen to Him.
You owe it to yourself to take your time when making major life decisions. Remember, your life may depend it. You don’t want to live your life in a constant state of regret. In the next issue of Sunday Peace, we will look at living with regret.