Who we will marry, how many kids we will have, where we will live, what house we will live in, what schools to go to, what career to pursue, what restaurant to eat at, what brand of laundry detergent to use, what car to drive, do we want to buy skim milk or 2%….the list of decisions we have to make in life goes on and on and on. Some decisions we need to make are small and meaningless, while other decisions are life altering with consequences that go on for years. And while it would be nice to make our decisions by simply playing a game of eeny, meeny, miny, moe, would we really want our success in life left to the chance of a childhood game?
As the CEO of a big company with thousands of employees I was forced to become good at making decisions because all those employees were counting on me to make the right decisions quickly. And not just once, but day after day after day. So while I wasn’t born good at making decisions, I didn’t have the option not to be good at it if I didn’t want to let a lot of people down. So I relied heavily on the advice my father had given me when I was young about the way he went about making his decisions:
Look at the facts of the situation without letting any emotion or fear come into it. Just gather and study the facts to determine which appears to be the right answer to your decision. Don’t base the decision on the consequence that might follow, base it on what is the RIGHT thing to do given all the facts. Then choose that decision and then pray that if in any way it’s wrong that God will intervene and keep you from making a bad choice. Then move confidently forward with the decision you made, having faith that if it isn’t right that God will find a way to stop you.
His advice was exactly the formula I used as a leader and without it I never could have had the success in business that I did. It works like magic every time.
We are all faced with so many decisions that we need to make each day – some small, some big, and some so ginormous they scare the living bajeebeez out of us. No matter the size of a decision, the way to handle it remains the same – base decisions on facts putting the fear and emotions aside while you do, then move forward in faith that it will work out the way it should because you have done your part.
Never play eeny, meeny, miny, moe to make decisions in life. Having agency to make our own decisions is a gift – arguably the biggest gift God’s given us – so we shouldn’t ever take it for granted or avoid using it. Plus there are people in our life counting on us to not only make decisions, but to make the right ones, so let’s do our best to not let them down.
~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )