Making hard decisions.
No one escapes this life without having to make hard decisions. They can come in many forms. They may be career decisions, money decisions, health decisions, or life and death decisions. They may be game-changing or just day-changing.
I’m posting this one today because we are facing a very hard decision. Our beloved almost 15-year-old lab Mia is really struggling. We’ve known for a while now that the day was coming, if nature didn’t take its course, that we would have to make a gut-wrenching decision. We don’t know, even as I write this, whether we’re there yet, but we may know in the next few days. She’s an amazing dog and I have to say she’s had an amazing life. That won’t make the decision any easier.
Making decisions like this can pull at the very core of our being and put all we think we’ve learned to the test. Do you take the job in California or stay close to family in the midwest? Do you marry this person or that person? Our lives are a constant procession of decisions that create our lives.
Here are a few tips I’ve learned in making hard decisions in the past.
- There is no right answer. Life is not a paint-by-numbers affair. We can make any choice we like as long as we’re willing to deal with the consequences.
- Be bold. The world (or your life) was never changed by playing it safe.
- Consider ALL the options. We may believe we know right off the bat what we should do in a situation. Give all the options a fair hearing.
- Trust your gut. This may sound like the opposite of the last bullet point. It’s not. Once you’ve considered all the options, trust your gut. Your decisions are a reflection of who you are, who you’re becoming, and who you’ll eventually be.
- There are no mistakes. There’s not a “wrong” decision. There’s only decisions that will lead to different experiences.
- No regrets. Once you choose, you’ve chosen. That decision may yield great things or challenge, but own that you made the decision and that it’s all about the journey.
- You can make different choices. When a decision that once was right no longer is, you have complete freedom to make a different decision.
Our lives are built on choices and our results come from the decisions we make.
None of this makes it easy. If we have to make a hard decision with Mia, it will be one of the hardest days of my life and there will be a hole there that will never be filled. However, we cannot avoid such decisions. They are a part of the human condition and we are, after all, human.
Have a GREAT day!