A few times in my life I have encountered a major personal dilemma. In each case, I had to choose a path that would have a major impact on my future.
I was lucky to receive some good advice that first time – a wise family friend told me:
“Step 1: Make a decision in your mind to choose Alternative A. Walk around for a few days, paying attention to how your gut feels. Assume that Alternative A is going to happen, imagine how that will play out for you. Notice how good (or not so good) you feel. Notice how well you sleep. Notice what your thought patterns are.”
This is the important part – tuning in to that inside gut instinct of “What feels right”. If the decision isn’t clear yet, don’t worry. Just keep on with the process.
“Step 2: Flip your mind to assume your decision moves to choose Alternative B. Now walk around for a few more days, paying attention to how your gut feels. Assume that Alternative B is going to happen, imagine how that will play out for you. Notice how good (or not so good) you feel. Notice how well you sleep. Notice what your thought patterns are.”
By this point in the process, you should be leaning toward one choice or the other, and your inner voice should be helping you make a decision.
Step 3: Ask your spouse for an opinion, or those who you trust to be fair and honest with you.”
Often, the spouse or trusted friend/family member will confirm your instinctive choice. I have recommended this strategy to friends and colleagues, and a few have even come back to me within 24 hours of our conversation with a clear decision and great sense of relief.
Trust your inner voice, pay attention and let the “mulling” of the facts and options help you make your best choice!