The way you make decisions is essential. After all, your life is just the result of your decisions.
So how do you make the right decisions in life?
I found something interesting in the book summary of Reinvent Yourself. It says that in order to advance in life, you should make growth-oriented decisions instead of fear-based ones.
For example, let’s say that you are in a job that you don’t like. If you decided to stay because you are afraid that you can’t find another job, that’s a fear-based decision. It might make you feel safe in the short-term, but it would lead to regret in the long-term. The growth-oriented decision would be to take the risk and find another job that fits your potential.
Of course, this is easier said than done. But here are some tips to help you make growth-oriented decisions.
1. Ask the Right Question
Growth-oriented decisions and fear-based decisions have different questions behind them.
The question behind fear-based decisions is: “What if it doesn’t work?”
This question fills your mind with negative possibilities. It leads you to fear. It leads you to take the safe path.
The question behind growth-oriented decisions, on the other hand, is: “What if it does work?”
This question fills your mind with positive possibilities. It leads you to optimism. It leads you to take the risk necessary to reach your full potential.
2. Aim to Minimize Regret
As I’ve written above, fear-based decisions would lead to regret. So a good way to push yourself to make growth-oriented decisions is to use the regret-minimization framework.
Aim to minimize your regret in life. Aim not to have missed opportunities. You don’t want to look back at your life years from now and say, “I could have done that.”
What if you failed? Adam Grant has a good answer in Originals: “The regret of failing is less than the regret of not trying.”
3. Be Selective
While you should not miss opportunities, you should make sure that you take the right opportunities.
You see, your capacity is limited. If you use it for the wrong opportunities, you wouldn’t have enough left for the right ones. Rick Warren put it well, “Say no to good opportunities so that you can say yes to the great ones.”
4. Build a Cushion
Instead of taking risks blindly, you should take calculated risks. This requires you to build a cushion. That’s how you can take risks without being irresponsible.
Ask the right question, aim to minimize regret, be selective, and build a cushion. These will help you make growth-oriented decisions instead of fear-based ones.
Any thoughts? Feel free to share them in the comments.