Let’s face it, making important decisions is hard. The little decisions—what to wear, what to have for lunch, what to watch on Netflix—are pretty easy. But the ones that matter, the questions about the directions you’re taking your life, can be hard.
But they don’t have to be! Or, at least, there are resources you can use to help make them much easier.
In today’s post, I’m going to take you through two frameworks to help you look at your decision from different angles and give you a bit of perspective to help you know that the decision you make is the best one for you.
Framework 1: How does this stack up against your goal?
If you haven’t yet guessed, the first step is to identify the goal associated with whatever you’re trying to decide. Completely outside of this decision, what is your ideal end scenario? For example, if the decision is regarding your career, what would you be doing, how much would you be making, and what would your ideal day look like?
Once you have your goal in mind, you have one key question to ask yourself regarding your decision: Does this move me closer to my goal, or further away?
For example, let’s say you’re studying to become a professional copywriting. You’re taking our course, you’re mastering your skills, and you’re starting to get out there and look for clients. Then, you get an offer to do some low-paying content writing work (click here for the difference between content and copy). You’re torn because it would be a little bit of money coming in and you’ve certainly never said “no” to money before.
But, does it move you closer to your goal of becoming a professional copywriter? No, it doesn’t. In fact, it takes you further away from it by taking up valuable time that you could be spending practicing your skills and landing high-paying copy work.
Taking the content work would be a decision motivated by fear and staying in your comfort zone; saying “no” would be a decision motivated by your commitment to attaining your goal.
Framework 2: The 3 Key Questions
As Tony Robbins says, “Successful people ask better questions and, as a result, get better answers.” The next framework, these three questions, are designed to help you decide with more clarity and more confidence.
Now, to be clear, I didn’t come up with these questions myself. They come from a book called The Right Questions by Debbie Ford. (If you’re interested, I highly suggest you read the book too. It’s good.)
But they’re so valuable that I had to make sure you had three of those questions at your disposal as your second framework.
As you’re evaluating a decision, ask yourself:
“Will this choice propel me toward a compelling future or will it keep me stuck in the past?”
“Will I use this situation as a catalyst to grow and evolve or will I use it to beat myself up?”
“Am I choosing from my divinity or am I choosing from my humanity?”
For that last one, you don’t have to think of “divinity” in a religious sense if that’s not your bag. Think of choosing from your “divinity” as choosing from your highest self and the best person you’re capable of being while choosing from your “humanity” is making choices out of narrow thinking and out of fear.
Any time we have any big decisions to make, our brains work very hard to keep us in our comfort zones—even if that’s against our better and greater interests.
These questions are designed to help you put fear aside and weigh your decision objectively against who you are and who you want to become. And, of course, the last question is helping you figure out whether your decision is coming from that fearful, comfort-zone-preferring part of your brain, or the part of you that knows you’re capable of more.
The biggest and most challenging decisions we have to make are the ones that are usually calling on us to get out of our comfort zones. These questions help you think all of that through.
Your turn! Was one of these frameworks especially eye-opening for you? Why? Let me know in the comments below.