Do you know someone who doesn’t seem to be able to make decisions based on common sense? No matter what good council they’ve been given, they tend to go wander down the most illogical paths when it comes to making decisions in their life? It could be a close friend or family member and it’s painful to watch.
The wonderful thing about being all grown-up is that you can make your own decisions. You’re free to do what you want right? Well, not exactly as most of us know.
According to the Merriam-Websters Dictionary, the definition of common sense is sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts. Seems simple enough. No higher education needed just the ability to discern wise from unwise by weighing facts.
Well it’s not always that easy. Why? Because we’re human beings with emotions and desires that if not kept in check can lead us to make poor decisions.
Everyone makes a bad decision from time to time. Everyone! Like putting more money in a slot machine when you’re down to the last $10 in your wallet for the week. Yup, I’ve done that. Common sense would say to stop shoving coins in the machine and save that money for gas right?
If you’re a person who struggles with decision making and have made a few bonehead decisions (again, we all have!), here’s a few ways to get back on track…
Slow down and think things through.
Yes, even the small stuff. I notice that when I rush a decision (especially financial ones), I tend to make bad decisions. I’ll buy something for the house we didn’t need when our budget is already tight or yell at my kids because I didn’t slow down and take a deep breath.
We’ve all been in the situation where we’ve felt forced to make an immediate decision. Like a sale that ends Today! When I stop and think things through I always feel more in control and make better decisions.
Ask for advice from people who make good decisions.
I’m very fortunate to have family and friends in my life that continually make smart decisions. I can talk through even the most difficult situations with them and they will give me sound advice. Sometimes their advice doesn’t exactly fit my situation but I usually come away with a new perspective. Surround yourself with family and friends that have it together and you’ll start to make better decisions.
Keep it simple.
My brain always throws up a red flag when a situation becomes overly complicated. If you have to jump through many hoops and do mental gymnastics, you could be heading toward making a bad decision. I’m not saying everything is black and white but common sense decisions are based on simple perception of facts. Sometimes people or a complicated situation can trip you up. Just think about the car dealership. Nothing in my opinion is more complicated than buying a new car! There are so many options, fees and accessories on top of the taxes. Understand the facts and asking lots of question is the only way to boil a complicated situation down.
Think logically, not emotionally.
I always make better decisions when I’m not tired, hungry or emotional. Hold off on making big decisions until after you’ve eaten and had a good nights sleep. I promise you’ll make a better judgment call. And emotional situations are the same. Sometimes you need to step away from intensely emotional situations in order to weigh things logically.
I’ll never forget the emotional struggle my husband and I went through when we were looking to buy our first home. We almost bought the money pit (we called it the gingerbread house) because we we wanted a house so badly. We had looked at over twenty houses and our emotions said “You’ll never find the right house so just buy this one!”. Thankfully we didn’t let our emotions get the best of us and we did eventually find the right house for our family.
Don’t just focus on today.
I’m a planner so I like to think beyond today. When I’m making a decision, I tend to ask myself “How will this affect my future?” This comes in handy when you get your tax refund and want to spend it on a vacation instead of paying off debt. Common sense says that you don’t get a big windfall of money everyday and that Disney World will be there next year!
Give yourself a little grace.
We all make decisions that go against common sense at one point or another but it’s getting back on track that matters. Slow down, listen more and take control of your life.
Do you have any words of wisdom when I comes to making good decisions in life? I’d love to hear from you. If you liked this post, please share or leave a comment below.