How to Make Difficult Decisions: Five Tips from Life’s Experts

There are times in life when we have to make decisions that may have profound effects on the course of our lives. As we go through life, the priorities and foci of our efforts naturally vary.

These decisions might affect not just our own lives, but also that of our neighbors and community members. These are not inconsequential choices like what to name the dog or which shower curtain to buy; rather, they are crossroads in our lives when we must weigh the benefits and risks of many options. Examples of decisions that individuals must make include: changing jobs, moving, buying or selling a house, ending or beginning a relationship, electing to put a loved one in a full-time care facility, deciding to adopt a child, retiring, and many other life events. For the hard choices this is an essential option. You may get worry and confusion just by considering such examples. These life choices need serious consideration. Here are some suggestions that might help you decide between two undesirable options:

Think about where we may go from here.

Lack of maturity is seen when choices are made only in response to immediate stimuli. When making a tough decision, it’s important to think about both the immediate and future rewards that might come from each possible course of action. There are times when we have to make sacrifices today, but the potential gains over time might easily outweigh those costs. Envision a child who, instead of spending his allowance on treats like candy and movies whenever the need strikes, chooses to save up for a bike.

Explain why you think a “heart choice” is better than a “head choice.”

A “heart choice” is one that you make from the depths of your being to fulfill a need or want, whereas a “head choice” is one that you come to after careful consideration and analysis. Your passion and emotion inform the choices you make from the heart.

These choices are often chosen impulsively and without much thought since they are enjoyable in the moment and give a momentary emotional high. When entering a relationship, it’s easy to make a huge mistake if all you can see are the short-term benefits. Those who choose a spouse only on the basis of rational considerations (the “head choice” perspective) do so with the goal of checking off a set of desirable traits and principles while disregarding the importance of a genuine emotional and spiritual bond. The best decisions are often the ones that provide both intellectual and emotional satisfaction.

Think about how you might react if your hopes were dashed.

What if you decide on a course of action and pursue it wholeheartedly, only to realize that it was the incorrect one? Is it possible for you to go on if you feel like a failure? Consider not just the monetary loss but also the mental and emotional agony, in addition to the time and effort lost, when determining the cost of failure.


It’s important to take stock of how well we recover from setbacks and develop healthy strategies to deal with the disappointment that accompanies many of our decisions. If taking that path would leave you in ruins if it doesn’t work out, it’s probably not the greatest option. It’s necessary to think about the “what if” scenarios before going forward.

Related Articles

Back to top button