Making Wise Decisions in Uncertain Times

1. Determine, as specifically as possible, what the decision is that needs to be made.

Ask yourself – Is this really my decision or someone else’s? and Do I really even need to make a decision right now? The bottom line is this – if you don’t have at least two options, there really is no decision to be made. So also ask yourself – Why is this decision important to me, and what values does this decision really involve for me?

2. Detail on paper as many alternatives as you can think of.

It’s always a good idea to brainstorm as many different alternatives as you can imagine…and don’t put any limitations on that imagination! Decision time is not the time to be judgmental. Just be sure to write down every possibility that comes into your mind.

3. Discover as much information as you can about possible alternatives.

If, after brainstorming, you only come up with a few alternatives, you’ll want to get more information. Ask your friends…talk to your family…reach out to your co-workers and fellow church members…check out state and federal agencies, professional organizations, and online services…read newspapers, magazines, books…if nothing is happening, make some waves…knowledge is power…use it to create a new reality.

4. Delve into a thorough investigation of those alternatives.

When your list of alternatives is complete, use the same sources of information to find out more about the specifics of each option. The more information you gather, the more ideas will probably pop into your head. Be sure to write these down and check them out, too, because one thing can lead to something else, entirely.

5. Dispose of any alternatives which do not fit into your personal value framework.

Now that you have your list of alternatives, evaluate them to see which ones really work for you. Write down the values that would come into play for each alternative. Then, look for the alternatives which would allow you to use the greatest number of those values. As you sort through your options, and are honest with yourself, these things will become clear to you.

6. Do a reality check.

As you visualize the outcome of each alternative, ask yourself – Which of my remaining alternatives are most likely to happen? Cross off those alternatives that most likely will not happen to you, then review your remaining alternatives and decide which ones feel most comfortable to you. For each remaining alternative on your list, picture what the outcome of that alternative will look like. Here, too, it helps if you write out your impressions.

7. Dare to commit to your decision, once you have made it.

No decision is set in stone, but at least allow for a reasonable amount of time to even know that you’ve made the right decision before second-guessing it.

6 Responses to “Making Wise Decisions in Uncertain Times”

  1. Good stuff Bishop.

  2. Less than 1/2 hour before service last night I used the words, “we need to make a decision on this before tomorrow at midnght:”. Then I streamed in and the first thing you talk about is making a decision! There were four components to it, and three seemed to be possible and in line. The fourth one has “possibilities”, but wasn’t able to be solved in 24 hours. WELL>>> the decision was made to go forward with the “trip” and now I am believing for the final piece to fit in place.


    Peace & another GOOD word in LifeSkills !
    Northern Light

  3. Last night was the bomb I got so much out of that. I’m the world’s worse about stewing over making a decision, but thanks to the teaching last night I have the tools to make the process less painful. Thanks for sharing that story at the end because I relate to that and it feels good to know I’m not the only one to have had that experience. Sometimes I must say I want to turn back but each time when I don’t I say I’m glad I didn’t.

  4. #5. You know how God brings things into your life that you didn’t know you were “missing” until it found you? Knowledge of my “personal values framework” [something about the word “framework” is important for some reason] and its effect on decision making has been one of those things for me. It’s also revealing that some of the unmade decisions I’ve tabled are because of two or more values that have heretofore been equal…and the struggle is forcing one of the values to take the lead, which then makes the decision seem so much easier. Wow…how good it is to be clear on what the question actually is! I sowed a seed into this word…Thank you so very much, Bishop!

  5. I am in the process of writing a Life Skills workbook for teens and decision making is definitely one of the topics in the table of contents. For teenagers as well as adults, our decisions can break or make our situations and have very far reaching effects. You are always in the flow. I will get the CD. Thank you

  6. This will greatly help me over the next few weeks in decision-making about work and business. Thanks greatly, Bishop.

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