Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Five steps to making a decision

I have been reading a lot over the past couple years (thank you, bus system, for a long daily commute!). 

There was one book I was reading, although I can't remember the title, I do believe it was by Dale Carnegie, in which the steps to making a decision were outlined.

In a nutshell, and I am loosely paraphrasing what I remember reading, from a book I don't remember the title of (hope this is legal and not protected by some obscure copyright law...) :

1. Identify the problem/issue.

2. Gather data and facts about the problem/issue at hand.

3. Analyze the data.

4. Take action.

5. Don't look back.

Step number 5 is my favourite step in theory, and most difficult in practice!  So now I am hovering somewhere between steps number 4 and number 5.

Action has been taken (and I continue to 'patiently' wait), and am trying to keep looking ahead while not looking back toooooo much. :-)

I should probably add my own, extra step to this list.  I think this one should ideally appear somewhere between steps 3 and 4, and it should read, "Trust the gut."  The so-called 'gut feelings' also play a role in life, as I have repeatedly learned over the years.  Listen to your heart, too.  Heart, gut, whatever -- you pick the body part that speaks to you, and listen to it. 

Sometimes decisions are made based on logic, and these may not necessarily be the right decisions.  One must also take into consideration how one feels about a decision, not just making one based on analysis of data.  If something just feels right, or doesn't, that should be an important factor to consider too, even if it cannot be proven by data or validated scientifically. 

If I were to just follow the logical side of my mid-career change decision, I am certain I would stay put in my office until I retire, and be completely and utterly miserable.  My 'gut feeling' on this change says it is a good decision, even if my logical left brain copes with the impending huge change.

Getting back to why I remembered this decision making list, I just wanted to highlight step #5, which made me laugh -- "Don't look back."  So true, yet so difficult sometimes!

Future RN

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