This is a story, a pattern which comes up very frequently when talking with my (expat) clients, but also with people from my environment.
Let us consider two different people making the same decision. No one knows if it's right or wrong. Both move to a new country for an unspecified period. The first one struggles with life there: doesn't like the place, the weather, the system, the people, the traditions, the mentality. And when comparing the new life with the former one, the latter is always the winner. At the same time, he keeps asking himself: “Did I make the right decision?" In the end, he moves back to his home country with a feeling of relief, but also bitterness regarding the time “wasted” there.
On the other hand, the other person adjusts pretty well to the new place. He anticipated there would be difficulties in the beginning, but is ready to compromise and to try. And above all, never asks himself if he made the right decision.
The thing is, there is no absolute right or wrong. To put it in another way,
>>The right decision is the one you choose to defend. <<
There is no win-win situation.
You have to give something, to gain something else, whichever choice you make.
For the same situation, one can choose one way and another the other; both make the right decision, depending on the choices they defend. This can apply to many aspects of our life:
In relationships: One may choose to leave a worn-out relationship and win from that; another chooses to fight for the relationship and also wins.
In workplaces: One may choose to see all the opportunities in the job and stay even when discouraged; another may choose to change jobs and go for something more. Both choices can be defended.
No point system will help you make the decision.
If you think that a checklist with pros and cons will help, you are partly right, but also partly wrong. Life cannot be put into numbers. That comes from the fact we make decisions not only with our minds but also with our emotions, with our instincts, with our hearts. So if it seems right, but it doesn't feel right, then why go for it?
Moreover, each "point" doesn't have the same gravity with the next one. Maybe there is only one "con" in our list, but that one can be very important for our life and our values. So the comparison can turn out to be unfair in the end.
You end up there where you are looking.
If you keep saying to yourself that you made the wrong decision, then probably many negative things will keep popping up, "confirming" your claim. In the end everything goes wrong, just as you "predicted" (it is also called "self-fulfilling prophecy"). On the other hand, if you adopt a more optimistic, but still realistic perspective, expecting some obstacles, but also believing in your goal and appreciating what you gain through this decision, then your chances of making the most out of it, are huge!
The choice is yours.
You made the decision, so you cannot blame anyone else for it. If you believe that you did it for someone else, this will make you feel powerless and place you in the role of a victim. This will end up making you feel angry and bitter. Avoid prioritizing first what others want, but focus on what you want to achieve in the end. Remove the bias from your decision-making.
Is it the best decision I can come up with?
This is difficult to say, because you don't know what is going to be the result of your efforts. It is possible that the more you try, the more satisfied you will be with your decision. However at some point you need to decide. So rather than waiting forever for the best decision, you could start with good enough. And that leads to the next point:
This decision is the right one ONLY for the present time.
No one is in the position to tell or predict what is going to happen in the future. Maybe you change your mind. Maybe you will have different needs and desires and goals and values and perspectives and priorities. You are not going to be the same person for the rest of your life. But for now, this decision is great, and that's OK.
What if I regret it? You shouldn't. If you took that decision, then it was the right one at that time based on specific needs and specific goals. If you regret that decision, you regret who you were back then when you made the decision. And, no, you don't regret that, it is part of the process, of your development.
*LOOKING FOR SOME EXTRA INSPIRATION? I did some web searching about decision-making, and I found this post really inspiring: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-to-make-a-difficult-decision-30-tips-to-help-you-choose/
Do you need some help with defending your decisions? Mail me or contact me to arrange some meeting, in person or online. I would be glad to help! :-)
Keep in touch with our posts through our Facebook page.
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE.