If it feels like jumping off a cliff, it may not be time to jump

  • By Paramananda Ponnaiyan
  • 06 Jun, 2020
If it feels like jumping off a cliff, it may not be time to jump

“Taking the plunge” is a commonly used phrase when it comes to large lifestyle changes.

“We have decided to take the plunge" – on a marriage card.

“The situation seemed ripe, so we took the plunge" – about starting a start up.

How to make the best decision possible

At critical junctures in our life, we are faced with these life changing decisions, the advice here is that you should make sure your emotional situation is on an even keel at those moments so that you can take the best decision possible.

This is, ofcourse, easier said than done. At such moments, our emotions are usually driving us rather than the other way around. It makes sense, then, to pause decision making and wait for your emotions to settle down before committing to anything.

Study both sides

So, now that you have cooled down, how do you go about making a good decision? The first thing you need to do is study. What are the pros and cons of this decision? How far-reaching is this going to be ? Is it changeable at a later stage ? What will be the cost of changing ?

Most importantly, you need to be unbiased in this study. Again easy to say, but impossible in practice. I usually use physical metrics to keep my bias under control. For example, when I write pros and cons, I try to write the same number of pros and cons for each choice. For example, I must find 5 pros and cons for each choice.

External input

Whatever you do, some element of bias will come in. This is why you need to ask for advice from external sources. These sources should be people who care about you. They should only care about how the choices will effect your life OR should not care about either of the choices.

Parents and spouses are usually the best in the category, as your choices will affect their lives as well. You need to consider that disregarding advice from some people will be construed as lack of respect and may affect the relationship. So be very careful who you choose here.

It is important to be able to listen to negative feedback about your idea without losing your head. Also you must be able to relate to the ideas suggested on their merits and NOT on the basis of who is saying them. The contrary side of this is that you need to make sure you dont get brain-washed.

Passion

Ultimately, you must make sure that the choice excites you.

The best course of action, if pursued without passion will fall short of its goals.

The important thing to note is that the result of a decision is a journey. Every decision is a branch in the multi-trie of your life and will lead to a goal in the future. It is not only the goal that is important. The time spent on the branch until you reach the goal needs to be satisfying. If not, you may never reach! You may die of the challenges on the way, or just give up altogether.

TL;DR

Make sure you have your emotions in control when you make a decisions, study your options and ask for external feedback but choose only that which excites you and promises a journey you can be satisfied with.