Never underestimate the impact a single decision can have: one wrong move can ruin a relationship, a career, a life, etc. We must choose wisely to generate joy in our lives. But when the road forks, confusion suddenly sets in. It’s normal to feel bewildered when different options present different pros and cons. As we advance down the path of life, sudden shifts require our attention and quick thinking: Should I give this person another chance? Should I take this job opportunity? Should I invest in a new home? And under the pressure of making the correct choice, all or none of our choices may even seem right. Where, then, do we turn for guidance?
Apply these eight rules when weighing your options to ensure that your decisions always play out in your favor:
Pay attention to signs. The first rule asks us to open up to obvious signs. The universe tries to offer guiding signals that we often miss or neglect if we’re not tuned in. Anything can be a sign: your late mother’s name on a truck, a person you were just thinking about calling you, receiving an offer when you need it most, etc. When you do recognize something as a sign, don’t dismiss it. Reflect on the potential message being delivered to you.
Take your own advice. If you can’t take your own advice, you’ve learned it in vain. Our lifelong experiences should fortify our wisdom and clarify our choices. If 5 or 10 years ago you knew what you know now, what would you have done differently? Allow former events to dictate present decisions: What did a bad decision from a similar situation in the past teach you? If you take the same actions now, the same results will repeat. What would you advise someone else to do if they shared an issue identical to yours? Take a sip from your own fountain of knowledge and take your own advice.
Keep clean your conscience. No decision should stain your spirit. Do your best to act for the good of everyone, not just for your own good. Decisions that hurt others and only benefit you will eventually turn against you. When in doubt, consult your moral code. Keep your conscience clean by making clean choices.
Detach from negative emotions. Nothing keeps us stagnant like our own fear, impatience, and frustration. Moving forward with the right choices means we must eliminate these emotions. If we weren’t afraid of anything, we would act with incredible courage. If we weren’t so impatient, we would wait until the right opportunities rolled around. And if we didn’t become so easily frustrated, we would extend our perception. Understand that these feelings are impediments to the progress of your life and that when you eradicate them, your decisions no longer stem from your ego but from your highest self. Always remember this rule of thumb: never make a decision under desperation.
Follow your intuition. In the words of Swiss writer Johann Kaspar Lavater, “Intuition is the clear conception of the whole at once.” Our intuition puts into perspective the entirety of a situation: it takes us beyond one moment in time and reveals how things will unfold in the future. The truth is that we already know exactly what we must do and what will happen, if only we follow our internal GPS. Intuition is what feels right inside, and it isn’t just some “gut feeling;” our instincts can reshape our lives. Following our intuition helps us realize that we have the power to make the right decisions. Engage your sixth sense for a heightened perception of what to do and what to avoid. Make one decision based on your intuition. Allow yourself to be instructed by your inner voice. Note the difference in results when you overanalyze versus when you intuit your way down the right path.
Don’t cross red flags. Just as much as the universe offers signs, it also puts up red flags. For example, if unexplained “coincidences” are stopping you from doing something, reconsider your decision. A few years ago I wanted to work with an agent who ended up being bad news. I mailed her a check, which the post office lost. I mailed the agent another check and it got lost again! The red flags had been erected, but I barreled past them. I stubbornly sent her a third check, and unfortunately, she received that one. Soon, I came to understand why I shouldn’t have crossed the red flags. You might experience a similar example of the universe blocking something from occurring. Instead of becoming stubborn and pushing for it to happen, take a step back and reflect: Am I being saved from something bad here? This same principle holds true under all circumstances, including relationships. As much as you like someone you’ve just met, you must heed the warning signs: are they prone to lying or cheating based on their past relationships? Do they treat others poorly? Are they egocentric? You must distinguish your need to be with a partner from your need to be with this partner so as not to proceed beyond a clear boundary of red flags.
Organize your thoughts Positive thoughts turn on the “possibility” switch: when we think something good can happen, we take the right actions to ensure it comes true. If we decide it’s time to meet a new partner, we may take more time getting ready in the morning, excited to look great for a potential suitor. We may take better care of ourselves, become more outgoing, and even begin a conversation with someone attractive. Introduce new prospect into your life. Write out a situation for which you must make a decision soon. Put into words the entirety of your thoughts–the good, the bad, and the ugly. Then, jot down your choices and their potential outcomes. Project what would happen if you did one thing versus if you did another. Circle the choice that you believe will lead to your highest good. Organized thoughts lead to wise decisions.
The pressure of making the right decisions can be overwhelming, but acting on these principles, our choices become infallible and our lives more rewarding.