Imagine how much different your life might be if you could go back in time and get a do-over on a few old decisions.
The way you manage decisions, past, present, and future, is a matter of stewardship. Regret is a terrible use of energy, but you can leverage past mistakes to help you make the best decisions from now on.
According to an Inc.com article, adults make more than 35,000 decisions every day. Every decision eats up both physical and emotional energy.
That’s a shocking number! No wonder we’re exhausted.
The #1 regret people report is “not staying true to myself.” In Lynn-speak, that means not staying true to my core values. Much of life today results from decisions you made earlier in life.
While you can’t go back, the good news is that every decision you make today (and tomorrow) will affect your future. Think about the “what-might-have-been’s” for 60 seconds. Indulge in deep regret if you must, then reject the whole mess from your heart and mind.
Regret Is A Wasted Emotion
I believe that regret is a waste of emotions because it has ZERO power to change what was, but huge potential to ruin the quality of what is. Every second wasted on regret for yesterday leeches the joy out of life today. Regret is terrible stewardship of the potential God gives to you each morning.
Simply put, regret is a bad decision. Know who your best self is from God’s perspective, follow the example Jesus taught His disciples, and make decisions that align with those principles.
“We crucify ourselves between two thieves: regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow.”—Fulton Oursler
5 Tips for Making Better Decisions
1. Make your most important decisions early in the day. Decision fatigue is a real thing. The last of the 35,000 decisions you’ll make today are not as well thought out as the first.
2. Make decisions that move you toward something positive instead of avoiding something negative. Escape is a reaction. Intentionality is a wise, reasoned response.
3. Always decide between two options, A or B. When there are more than two options to consider, just pick any two and choose a winner. Then pick up a new second option from the remaining options and choose a winner. Repeat until you get down to the last two choices. Choose. Decision made.
(Having trouble with simplifying decision-making? Drop me a note.)
4. Get the facts. Choosing between a chocolate cookie and a vanilla biscotti isn’t just about flavor and texture. I want to know how many calories are in each one and if one is fresher than the other. Whichever I choose, I’d like my coffee black and hot.
5. Be crystal clear about the difference between a WANT and a NEED. Deciding to risk the rent money on something you hanker for but can live without isn’t the same as risking it on taking a sick kid to the emergency room.