(From The Art of Charm podcast with Jordan Harbinger and his guest Cole Hatter of Thrive)
When was the last time you read or heard something that made you laugh out loud because you really needed to hear it in that exact moment? For me it was last night driving home from my chiro appointment listening to The Art of Charm podcast. For you, I hope it’s this blog post right now!
I’ve been faced with a lot of decisions lately…with my finances, my home, my business and career opportunities to name a few big ones. Honestly, I’m pretty uncomfortable right now with so many things happening at once. I used to be good at making decisions but the older I get, the harder it seems. Some of it is fear of making the wrong decision, some of it is thinking I need to have all the answers up front and some of it is that I’ve been consuming more information about things relating to the decisions I have to make, which causes paralysis by analysis; feeling stuck. I’m working on this! Some of it is telling myself I’m “listening to my gut,” which is usually just procrastination. I’m sure you can relate.
Cole Hatter has some solid advice for making decisions with absolute truths. He broke it down in these 5 steps –
1. Write your absolute truths
2. Identify the type of decision you’re making
3. Weigh the options
4. Consider all possible outcomes
5. Make your decision
It’s straightforward and for those of us who respond well to frameworks, it’s perfect!
The first step is writing your absolute truths – a.k.a your core values, non-negotiables – in the following 4 key categories –
Your absolute truths are things that must be in place in these 4 key areas for you to say yes to any decision. In my career box for example, I absolutely must have schedule flexibility before I’ll agree to do any work, no matter the pay or benefits. The job description and perks could be awesome but if I have to sit at a desk all day, it’s a no-go. For my health, I do not eat fast food, anything served from a window, no exceptions. If I want a burger, I’ll pay a higher price for a handmade patty at a restaurant or I’ll just make it at home. Some people use fast food as a “cheat meal” but personally, it’s just not worth wasting calories on fake “food” and feeling like crap afterward.
What are your absolute truths? Make a list of 3-5 things in each of those 4 categories. Remember, these are non-negotiable.
There are 2 types of decisions we’re faced with on a regular basis – inconsequential decisions and defining decisions. The second step is acknowledging which type you’re facing and focusing on the defining ones as they relate to your absolute truths. Weigh the options and possible outcomes (steps 3 and 4) and then make a decision (step 5) that is congruent with your absolute truths.
We make inconsequential decisions all day – what shirt to wear, what to watch on TV, what radio station to listen to – that we sometimes transfer that same thinking when faced with defining decisions – “I feel like wearing a red shirt today” versus, “I feel like quitting my job today.” Totally different! Making defining decisions with an inconsequential decision mindset can quickly turn you into someone you don’t even want to be – negative, regretful, whiny. Ugh.
This framework really comes in handy when you’re making decisions on your own. Everyone isn’t going to cheer for you and support your decisions, but once you self-check against your absolute truths, you can stand firm in your decisions regardless of what other people think and without their input. That’s a win-win!
The next time you’re faced with a decision that could potentially change the course of your life, check it against your absolute truths for your relationships, career, spirituality or health – and decide.
*I’m not affiliated with The Art of Charm website or podcast. I just love it!