Many think that the key to success and happiness is to make all the “right” decisions. Making good decisions is crucially important to getting what you want in life. That’s a fact.
But there’s something else that’s equally as important…
Avoiding really bad decisions.
As Warren Buffett has said many times, he aims to be generally right, or directionally correct, but he also puts a big emphasis on avoiding being precisely wrong.
There are times when everyone must make big decisions. Hard decisions. And those tend to have the biggest consequences. Consequences that will haunt a person for decades if they screw up.
Should you marry that person?
Should you change jobs?
Should you buy that house?
Should you invest in that opportunity?
So, how do we ensure that we make the best choices in crucial decisions like these?
I have three words of advice – take your time.
Sounds simple I know.
But in our microwave-fast (and getting faster by the moment) world, it’s easy to be consumed with action, with doing stuff all the time. That’s a good habit when it comes to working on your goals. It makes you productive. But that same “action” mindset typically comes at the cost of something important – Reflection. Sitting. Thinking. Marinating. Pondering. Being mindful.
Mindfulness means taking your time. It means to take the time you need to reflect on your priorities, your goals, and your values. It means to let options percolate in your mind as you take stock of your true interests and desires. Slow, deliberate reflection grants clarity.
And clarity can be hard to come by.
It’s constantly under attack.
From well-meaning people.
From not so well-meaning people.
From people who want you to do what they want you to do.
From societal pressure to conform.
From advertising messages that suggest we act, and act now!
But here’s the thing friends…
It’s your life.
You have to live with the consequences of your decisions.
One of the very best things I learned long ago was to slow down on the big decisions.
Yes, that meant that I upset people who wanted me to act on their time schedule.
Yes, that meant that I took a pass on some opportunities.
Yes, that meant that I was slow to move on some things.
And yes, it meant that I dodged a lot of bullets. I avoided a lot of bad decisions by taking my time and thinking thru the situations.
And if you need motivation for avoiding being precisely wrong, there’s a tremendous amount of it out there….
-Half of the marriages in this country end in divorce.
-Nearly 80% of the population would struggle to come up with $400 in an emergency.
-Depression is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15 to 44.
-Obesity affects about 40% of the population.
-The number of people in America participating in illicit drug use is at an all-time high.
Slow down my friends.
Contemplate. Don’t give in to social pressure. Or guilt manipulation from family or friends. Ponder those big decisions in life and give yourself plenty of time to make them. When faced with a life-changing decision, don’t rush into an unexamined solution.
Take your time.
Remember, a good life is the result of good decisions.
Be free. Nothing else is worth it.
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Ready for more tips on how to achieve the free life? Check-out more articles from the blog archives below: