Decisions: the concrete version

September 22, 2014


After re-reading what I wrote last week on decisions, I pictured someone getting to the end of it and saying "uh, Laura? So, um...how does one make decisions?" 

Here are some concrete ways I've gone about decision making:
  • For life decisions: I find that it's helpful to make a list of my values, and see if the decision feels in line with those values: This is what's the absolute most important to me, come hell or high water.  I like this list of values that Kate O'Reilly shared here
  • For project/work decisions: When I'm trying to decide whether or not to take on a new project, I ask myself...
           -Will I still have time to make those values-y things a priority?
           -Does this fall in line with my creative mission statement/manifesto? 
           -Will it set me up to create my best work (see above) or teach me something I need to   
            know/get better at in order to create my best work?
           -Is this going to allow me to work with someone that I've been dying to work with?
           -Is this going to pay me well, helping me meet some other goal I'm working on?
           -Am I crazy passionate about this project?
           -Will this give me some helpful street cred?
           -Does my work on this project support a cause or person I care deeply about?
          (Said project needs to meet a minimum of 3 out of these 9)
  • For idea decisions: I wrote this post on How to Choose the Ideas that Push You Forward, which sums up some ways I've gone about choosing creative ideas. Sometimes, I don't need to be "pushed forward"-- I need to follow the idea that makes my heart thud the most. Which brings me to my final thought...
  • Ask yourself a few deceptively simple questions: There's lots to be gained by asking yourself the following (go on a short walk why you're mulling these over-- the movement is helpful to avoid getting too brainy about it-- bodies are smart):
         -What do I need? 
         -What do I want?
         -Am I making this decision out of some kind of fear? Is that real or made up?
         -What am I trying to do? (more big picture)
         -What's in my way/where do I feel stuck?
        -How do I want to feel?
(...which, I know, sounds hippie dippy, but can be surprisingly helpful. If you want to, for instance, feel busy and prolific, maybe you do want to take one more thing on. If you want to feel connected to people, maybe you want to choose the project that brings you into contact with more people, versus the one you do alone, etc..)

None of these are absolute rules (I'm doubtful of absolutes), but they are good starting guidelines. I've talked to others who have their own guidelines, which I love hearing about. 

How do you make decisions that leave you feeling good afterwards? 

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