The world we live in is full of decision challenges.

We are constantly faced with many options. This is a great thing, and a symptom of our prosperous lives, but it can be overwhelming. If we want to make a change in our lives, considering all the paths we could take can be overwhelming.

question marksThe magic is in defining 3’s. Simply focus on considering 3 major things that are easy to define. Thinking about 3 options is easier than the 15 or 20 bouncing around in our heads. If we consciously sit down and figure out 3 possible scenarios, it creates a project to work on.

Here’s a decision challenge:  A client who is working in a craft really wants to be a helicopter pilot. His job is going well and he is learning an important set of skills—skills that could take him to a number of higher-paying jobs. He also has a few hours of college work, and thinks he might want to pursue an engineering degree. He doesn’t know how he would do that, given that he’s independent of his parents and needs to work. Add in a girlfriend, and the prospect of marriage, and it all becomes overwhelming.

When you feel overwhelmed by decision making, gather more data. Focus on getting information about 3 possible choices. In our example:

  1. Research degree programs, determine what credits you have, and what you need.
  2. Learn what it takes to become a pilot; discover the time, costs and commitment.
  3. Investigate jobs that could come out of your current “learn-at-work” skills.

You might discover that all three scenarios have faults. That’s OK, simply create a 4th, 5th, or 6th scenario and compare it to the ones most viable. If you are really analytical, make a matrix and score the qualities numerically. Those who are more intuitive will usually make the decision quickly, based on how it feels.

Determine three qualities that are important to you. I recently had to replace my car—within a week. After some dealer shopping, I realized that luxury, a sporty look, and a 100,000-mile warranty were the most important features for me. I settled on 3 models – the Acura TL, the Nissan Maxima and the Lincoln MKZ. Shopping for a good used car online quickly showed me which model I could afford. I fell in love with my decision, because I knew what qualities were most important to me.

Decide when you will decide. Rather than stress about a decision, give yourself a realistic deadline—say a week, a month, or maybe 6 months—and then promise yourself that you will make some decision at that time. Even if you create many scenarios, you are making progress toward the right choice for you.

Got a big career decision? I would be happy to help. You can use this link to schedule a complimentary Career Review. In that session, we will work together to create 3 scenarios for you to consider. Sound simple? Schedule yours today.

PS: I got the Lincoln MKZ. She’s RED.

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