Ever had a really tough decision to make? Leave your current job for a new, more challenging one. Be a stay-at-home dad or keep working that job that guarantees overtime but less family time. Say something out of character because it made you feel better at the time, but have consequences to deal with later.
We’ve all been there.
But what is that process that one goes through when trying to decide which decision is the right one? Some make lists. Others talk to friends or family. Some pray or look for signs. Others don’t have a process, so they make decisions without giving themselves time to think, which sometimes doesn’t lead to the best outcomes.
According to St. Ignatius, decisions are made in the following circumstances:
When there is no doubt
Sometimes the decision we need to make is very clear, and we know it in our gut. That’s definitely a gift. When we don’t have doubt, we are able to act on what we know to be the right decision. But that doesn’t always mean it’s a quick one.
When feelings are unsettled
When we consider alternatives to our choices, our emotions are sometimes thrown for a loop. Fear, confusion, hope, sadness can set in. Take time to observe those feelings and understand what they mean.
When emotions are calm
The right choice may not immediately come to us, but if we approach a decision with a calm state of mind, we are able to clarify our options.
So before you make a decision, it may do you good to pause and check the state of your head and heart. What do tools or exercises do you turn to when you have an important decision to make?