Making Choices

Last Thursday my mom called me up to see if my wife and I would be interested in taking her up to see my uncle that Saturday, who lives about 3 hours away. We already had plans on Saturday, so I told my mom that we had something going on. She understood and realized it was short notice. Shortly after I hung up, I got to thinking.

I have been wanting to connect with this uncle via a phone call or in person, but simply haven’t done it. (You know the lame, “I’ve been really busy” excuse, right?) My mom’s invitation/request seemed like a great and unexpected opportunity to connect with family. I thought more about what we had planned for Saturday and realized that on the “Importance Scale”, our current plans didn’t measure up to building relationships with family. So I talked with my wife and we decided to change our plans and take my mom to see this uncle.

When I am faced with similar decisions like this (decisions between 2 good things) I ask myself the following questions:

  • What choice will I remember in 5 years?
  • Which choice will positively impact others?
  • Which choice has the greatest probability of building relationships?
  • Is there one choice I’ll wish I would have made 5 years from now?

When I have a grid like this to run choices through (especially 2 good choices), they often become easy to make. A grid like this helps me determine what’s important and what I want to be spending my time doing. It’s a great tool to help us be mindful about the choices we make.

The next time you have a choice between multiple good options, stop and think about what’s important to you and how you want to live your life. Then make decisions that move you in that direction.

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