Everyone has been there. You’re at a cross-road. There’s a deadline approaching, and you have to make a big decision that is going to affect your life. Examples include: which job to take, where to go to college, where to send your kids to school, which neighborhood you will live in, what to name your child (all children should have names), how many kids you should have, or which shoes to wear today (this one can be heart-wrenching).
Here’s the thing. Sometimes, we know exactly what we want and no matter the circumstances, the changes in weather, or the time of the month, our heart remains set on the same thing. But most of the time, people are pretty fickle, and while we think we know what we like, don’t like, want, don’t want, etc… well, the reality is that our desires can change as fast as the Texas weather.
I wanted to share some quick wisdom (learned in the school of life) to help you make good decisions when you aren’t sure exactly what you should do, or what you really want. Enjoy!
- Be willing to wait. UGH. I said it, and this is the.worst. because it means there will be unknowns. I like to have my mind made up, to make my decision and move on with my life. You know what waiting does? It proves your real desires- if not to anyone else, then to yourself. I remember hearing someone say that if you are shopping and you want to buy something impulsively, lets say a pair of sunglasses from Target, then you should wait, go home, sit on it, and if you are still thinking about the sunglasses in a few weeks and you have the money and you aren’t harming anyone, then by all means, buy the sunglasses. Waiting awhile neutralizes the emotions that sometimes make you do stupid things.
- Trust your gut, not your head. “I know because I know, not because you told me so.” You guys have to know this about me – I’m not a big feeler. Or maybe I am. But I am also extremely logical, so this one is also hard for me. However, I have enough life experience to know that if you are “in your head” and making yourself sick as you logically try to measure out ALL the pros and cons of your potential decision, then you are very likely off track. Most things in life are morally neutral. (People try to turn neutral things into moral things, and that is why we polarize over silly issues like Santa Clause and attachment parenting.) If you are having to talk yourself into something or out of something, then I hate to break it to you, it’s probably not right. Sometimes how much peace you feel is a decent indicator of what’s going on in your gut.
- Be willing to accept input from others. If you yourself are questioning/not at peace/etc. and then your mom and your best friends are telling you it’s wrong, LISTEN TO THEM. Other people are not always right. They don’t always know, and sometimes in general, they lack the compassion and listening ears that they need to be a good friend. Be wary of anyone who thinks they know exactly what YOU should do. But if you can’t make up your mind and someone else who loves you and is not emotionally involved in the decision can quickly discern how to behave, then listen to them.
- Get to a place where you don’t have a strong opinion. If you “HAVE” to do something, then I’m very suspicious of you. 🙂 Someone who is content in all circumstances can trust their gut, wait, and accept input. If you don’t think you can live without things ending up a certain way, then no amount of logic, no amount of advice, no amount of waiting will deter you, and you will probably do whatever you can, no matter how destructive, to get what you want. In that case – why are we having this conversation? You have to believe that you can be happy no matter what the outcome. And you can.
- Let Faith Rule Over Your Fears. This should be first and last and all the way in between, but I’m putting it last. When all of the above is said and done, and you have proved that your desires are real and you know what you should or should not do, then TRUST GOD. Don’t worry about what your best friend’s mom is going to think of you. Don’t worry about whether or not you will be misunderstood. Don’t worry about HOW you are going to get it done. Don’t worry about doing something (morally neutral) you said you would never do. Trust that ultimately no decision is completely up to you or anyone else, for “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9.