How to know when you’ve made the right decision

It’s all in how it feels.

When you find yourself with a choice to make between A and B, the main challenge will be wanting to make the right decision.

You don’t want to pick an option that you might later regret. But the truth is most of the time, you never really know how you’ll feel a month or a year down the line.

And as much as you can go back and forth, at the end of the day you have to choose.

I find that that it helps to put as little pressure on the decision as possible. Sometimes even make a game of it, put your options into an online hat that will pick for you or pick flower petals.

Whatever you end up choosing if you feel calm and at peace granted part of that will come from no longer having the burden of deciding on your shoulders but the feeling of peace will also be from having made the right choice for you.

Disappointing yourself

When you hold yourself to certain expectations it’s likely you’ll end up disappointed if you can’t meet them.

That tends to happen when you put too much pressure on yourself.

Furthermore, how you feel toward yourself will override how anyone else may feel about you falling short.

You could be told that ‘it’s alright, you did your best’, or even ‘it was good, you have nothing to worry about’. But the thing is when you hold yourself to a standard of ‘nothing less than perfection’ it becomes difficult to be comforted by the reassurance of other.

It’s hard disappointing yourself, feeling let down and having no one else to blame. But it gives you a great opportunity to think about what can do better next time.

Short-term pressure

In the right environment pressure can be a really good thing. For example when you’re focused and working hard a couple days (or hours) before a deadline.

But that feeling isn’t something we should rely on to get things done or have in our life on a daily basis.

Although it can be helpful in the short-term, the long-term effects are best avoided.

Things like low energy, insomnia, chest pain, headaches and tense muscles can all come as a result of pressure.

But a little pressure here and there isn’t so bad if you know how to make use of it.

As soon as possible

In you life you might find that there are people who will create a false sense of urgency. They’ll give you something to do and give you a deadline like ‘as soon as possible’.

So, you put your blinders on because it’s urgent and you don’t want to contribute to something being finished late.

But when you let the other person know you’re done and they appear nonchalant, that’s when you realise the urgency was fake.

Perhaps they couldn’t trust you’d do it within a suitable time without the extra pressure.

Whatever the case it’s important to not allow yourself to get swept up in it all.

As soon as possible might really mean by the end of the day, not right now.

The way that things should be

We often go around with this idea in our heads of the way that things should be, in some ways it’s a good thing. When you know what you want you’re much less likely to let life pass you by.

On the other hand when you’re so fixated on the way that things should be you don’t give room for organic growth and development.

Lets say you applied for what you think will be your dream job but when you get there it’s not quite what you thought it would be. If you’re dead set on your ‘dream job’ you might end up leaving after a few months or staying put but hating it because it’s not what you wanted.

But if you take your foot off the gas and let go of the rigid plan created you might find that in this job you’re able to discover something that you’re actually interested in. It might be be even better than what you thought you wanted.

Letting go of expectations and letting things be isn’t always easy to put into practice. It requires patience and the ability to trust that things will turn out okay.

Procrastination pleasure

There must be some explanation for why we do it.

When you don’t want to do something or you know it won’t be easy, putting it off feels good. There’s pleasure in indulging in the freedom of future deadlines, future work or future responsibilities.

But that doesn’t mean that you can avoid them forever. That pleasurable feeling of freedom and not doing what you “posed to do” can’t last. You see the thing is whether you do it now or later you still have to get it done.

Instead of indulging in procrastination pleasure followed by an intense stressful period, choose to indulge in productivity pleasure and give yourself as much time as you can in order to do things well.

Sure pressure creates diamonds but constantly putting yourself through stress when you don’t need to could result in insomnia, chest pain and diarrhoea.

You might be used to doing things one way but that’s no reason not to try something new.

Taking risks in your twenties

Apparently, to quote TLC ‘This is how it should be done’.

People often say that your twenties are the best time to take risks and explore life.

You’re young, for many you don’t have as many responsibilities like a mortgage, home repairs and children, you might still live at home so you have a lot of expendable cash etc.

People say that your twenties are the time to do things like travel, try different jobs, move to a new city, start a business, basically just go out, find yourself and figure out who you want to be and how you wan to live.

In some ways it’s a lot of pressure and being in that age group, I ended up taking the opposite approach.

I’m almost half way into my twenties and so far I’ve been focused on things beginning with the letter S like saving, structure and stability.

In a lot of ways that’s great but on the flip-side it’s meant that I don’t often have room to take risks and explore.

But I’ve noticed my desire for those things growing and so the balancing act begins.

Finding solutions

When you’re so focused and set on finding a solution to a problem it probably won’t come to you.

The answer will go over your head because you’re putting too much pressure on it. Imagine you have a container of water, if you put too much pressure on the water it’ll go up (as in over your head).

It usually works much better to remain calm, give yourself time and know that the answer will come.

And when you put too much pressure on the solution and try to figure it out before you’re ready you end up doing the ‘wrong thing’.

Whereas if you give yourself time the solution will just come to you in a moment of spontaneity when you least expect it.

You’ll be doing something like brushing your teeth, buttoning your shirt or eating lunch.

Then all of a sudden ta-da, there it is.