The 3 Decisions We Make Every Day

So many decisions we make can be chalked up to “routine” that we don’t even think about them.

What do you want for lunch?

Is that an easy question for you to answer or does it take a little while to have a definitive response?

That’s a decision that we can call a simple decision.

1st— Simple decisions

The average person is said to make more than 30,000 decisions every day. How many do you remember making today?

You put socks on today — or you didn’t.

You drank coffee today — or you didn’t.

You ironed clothes today — or you didn’t.

You drove a car today — or you didn’t.

Maybe not all of those decisions are immediately relevant to you today but does that mean there wasn’t a decision made? Definitely not.

So many decisions we make can be chalked up to “routine” that we don’t even think about them.

When I first wake up in the morning, it’s not as though I need to make a conscious decision to write out a gratitude list, it’s something that is a daily discipline, I begin EVERY morning that way. Yet, it’s a simple decision. Pick up my phone, switch applications from alarm to journal, do not check notifications, and begin writing. How many? That’s yet another simple decision. I don’t think about that much, I just act. But, I know the underlying reasons for that decision that I make almost subconsciously every single morning.

How quickly do you make these decisions?

Realistically, if a decision like this needs more than 10–20 seconds of contemplation, it’s not a simple decision.

If you spend 10 minutes determining whether to go to the gas station next to you or the one across the street, that’s too much.

That decision — which gas station to go to — is going to have an incredibly minor impact on not only the remainder of your day but the remainder of your week, month, year, and lifetime.

Decide quicker.

If you want to gas station A last week and the pumps were dirty, the machines didn’t work, and your credit card got stolen, then that really should not be a consideration at all.

Why spend much time on this decision?

Again, these are the trivial decisions.

Maybe you spent 5 minutes this morning going between two different styles of shoes you could wear.

Here’s the truth. There was a study (numerous actually) done to determine the attention that people give to others. They had subjects wear bright orange to their classroom or office and guess what percentage of people in the room noticed their bright colors. Let me just say that they dramatically overestimated how many people noticed.

So let’s be real.

Whether you go to gas station A or gas station B, the consequences of that decision likely won’t have a lasting effect on your life.

Whether you were brown shoes or black shoes, most people won’t notice. If they do, own it — you made that decision.

When the decisions have minimal impact, some of the most successful people to ever live “automated” those decisions.

Steve Jobs maintained a personal chef — he did not decide when food was cooked enough, it was prepared for him.

Steve Jobs also wore his infamous black turtlenecks — again, no decision necessary on wardrobe when it’s the same each and every time.

What decisions are you spending extensive time on that could be (or should be) finalized quicker?

Next time someone asks you what you want for lunch — answer.

Make decisions, not suggestions.

2nd— The more complex, difficult, multi-faceted decisions that we make every day also.

Maybe it’s important to think about certain things like what type of tires to get for your car — and when to even get them.

How much tread is necessary? That’s different for everyone and especially different based upon the region that you live in.

What type of tires do you want? Will you spend $150 per tire or $300 per tire?

Maybe do a little research before a decision such as this.

This is a decision that is going to impact your life for weeks and months and most times — will need to be revisited again in the upcoming months.

Much like the decision about tires is a decision about vacations.

So let’s say you decide you’ll take your family of four to Montana for a nice peaceful getaway. That’s great.

But there are more facets and aspects to that decision.

Where do you live? So are you driving or are you flying? What about once you get there? Are you staying in a hotel or a cabin or somewhere else? Maybe an RV or a camper?

Even once you do decide those things, you’ll still need to determine when you’re going to leave and how much you’ll plan to spend on this trip, and numerous other things… and MANY of those other things that you need to determine are actually more simple decisions.

We can then conclude that the incredibly impactful decisions we will look at next are most often a result of the simple and multi-faceted decisions that we make day in and day out.

3rd— Incredibly impactful decisions

How do you decide which job to accept?
Which house to buy or rent?

What significant other to remain with?

When to have children?

For most people, these are not surprise decisions but rather quite well thought out.

These decisions are classified as such because of the irreversibility. When you accept a job, you face a moderate level of difficulty if you desire to switch roles after that acceptance. You must revisit much, if not all, of the same process again and go through the process of applying, seeking, inquiring, and interviewing.

But think about it for a moment.

You should know, as a result of your other decisions, precisely what you are seeking. Do an inventory regularly. Do you like where you are professionally? How did you get here? It was not just one decision or two or three.

Take a moment each day to reflect on what happened. Why did you do what you did?

There are ALWAYS decisions that we make, whether good ones or bad ones, we make decisions and they all have repercussions to some degree.

So why are you living the way you are?

Usually, our decisions put us in certain situations. Often, God redirects us because we make poor decisions. It’s important that we are aware of the decisions we make so we can best honor God with our decisions and lives as a whole.

Let’s decide to increase our decision awareness.

Deciding to stop here.

There are so many different areas that we could dive into and there are some great resources, such as Daniel Kahnemann’s Thinking Fast and Slow. That book is a must-read for anyone looking to improve their critical thinking and their capability to live well and on their own terms.

Everything we do in life has another option. We can continue, we can stop, we can go a different direction, or we can just be.

What are you doing with your waking moments?

Life could be looked at as a boat. You are the rudder, you are the captain, and the life around you is the current, the weather, and the other boats also in the vicinity.

As the saying goes, “if you want the tallest building in the city you can either build your building taller or knock other buildings down lower.”

There are people who make decisions that are menacing and will ultimately be threatening to you and your livelihood. Does that mean we should make our decisions differently? Maybe.

But what’s really important? Why do you do what you do? Today… why have you done what you’ve done so far?

Why did you reach this point in this writing? Why did you open it on the device you did? Why did you click on it from the website you did?

“The more clarity that you have with each of your decisions, the more awareness you will have regarding your life’s direction.”

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