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Article Title:
Decision Making:  A Way of Life

Article Description:
You may be familiar with standard decision making steps such as
fact-finding, problem-finding, idea-finding, solution-finding
and acceptance-finding.  They are fine tools, but first I
suggest practicing the habit of becoming aware of the decisions
that come up every day! 

Additional Article Information:
911 Words; formatted to 65 Characters per Line
Distribution Date and Time: Tue Apr 18 03:22:57 EDT 2006

Written By:     Theresa Gabriel
Copyright:      2006
Contact Email:  mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]

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Decision Making:  A Way of Life
Copyright © 2006 Theresa Gabriel
Life Coach and Expert Tour Guide

You may be familiar with standard decision making steps such as
fact-finding, problem-finding, idea-finding, solution-finding
and acceptance-finding.  They are fine tools, but first I
suggest practicing the habit of becoming aware of the decisions
that come up every day! 

You may face an emergency, a volunteer opportunity, a career
move, or something more subtle.  Maybe something feels wrong, or
you want to help someone but don't know if you should.   You
might be tempted to buy something or try something new.  Little
decisions jump out at you every day and once in a while a big
decision might really floor you!  Be ready.  Here are four steps
to get you on the right track, no matter how big of a decision
you have to make:

1.  Step Back and Look Again

You haven't made any decision or any commitments yet, so back
away from the situation for a moment – physically if you have to.
Consciously refrain from stepping into a situation without
first choosing to.  Look at it from a distance.  Notice what is
happening and listen to your thoughts and feelings.  Know that
you have a decision to make.

If you feel 'funny' about a situation, listen to that feeling. 
Western writer and real-life mountain-man, Louis L'Amour, in his
book "Yonderings," explained he might be riding along a trail
and get a strange feeling that something was wrong.  He would
pause and realize that his eyes had seen something out of place
that hadn't caught up with his consciousness yet.  He always
took these feelings seriously.  To ignore them would be to risk
his safety or even his life.

Your first step is to realize and acknowledge your chance to
evaluate your options and choose your course.  You are
consciously aware you have a choice to make.  Your first
decision is to make a good decision, on your own, not influenced
by sales-pitches, guilt or poor reasoning.

2.  Decide Where you Belong in the Situation

Now is the time to face a few important questions.  It helps to
start with a list.  Some of these will apply to your situation,
and some won't.  They will help you to approach the decision
from your personal perspective and values rather than by outside

 * What do I want?  Why?
 * Where do I belong?
 * What is my role?
 * Where will I draw the line?
 * Are personal boundaries being crossed?
 * What is my gut feeling?
 * What is God telling me?
 * Am I being patient enough to find the right answer?
 * Do I need advice?
 * What are the consequences of this decision?
 * What do I know about this?
 * What don't I know about this?

If someone asks me to help with a big project, it might be
something that I'd really love to be involved in, but I might
need to draw a line with how much time I am taking away from my
family.  If a family member asks me to become involved in their
financial problems, I ask myself what my role in this situation
should be.  Do I belong here?  In what capacity?  Is this a
boundary that shouldn't be crossed?  If I find myself acquainted
with a person who I begin to realize may be psychologically ill,
maybe from depression, I may realize that I can not fill the
role of the problem solver.

3.  Make a Decision

Once you decide where you stand in this situation, you can face
making any decision that you're required to make.  Use decision
making skills such as those listed at the beginning of this

4.  Respond Based Upon your Decision

You have looked at the situation and have evaluated it by asking
yourself questions.  You've made a decision based upon the
information you have at the time.  Now is the time to act on
that decision.  Your decision might not be the right one, but
you can be sure that you've done the best that you could.  The
outcome caused by your decision will help to educate your future

Illustrated Example Sometimes situations happen where an
immediate response is necessary, but if you have that moment to
stand back and then to evaluate what's happening, then you're
half way there!

A Bad Start: I admire my friend Sue for having a good head on
her shoulders, but one winter day when her five-year old crashed
on his sled, and she found him crying, shuddering and holding
his lower leg, she didn't call 911.

A Good Decision: Sue didn't call 911, but she did the most
important step as a mother and as a first aid rescuer:  she
assessed the situation.  She saw that John was protecting his
leg and insisting that it not be moved.  Sue took that cue and
accepted it as important.  She decided to call for advice, and
forced herself to be patient.  She called her brother, an EMT,
who advised her to call 911 immediately and not to try to move
John.  Although she felt unsure, Sue took his advice and called
the rescue squad.

A Good Outcome: John's foot had been shattered in the crash.  By
not moving the leg, Sue saved her son much pain and reduced the
healing time for the several breaks.

Toward Tomorrow

Tomorrow a whole new set of decisions will face you.  Begin a
way of life of making wise choices so you're ready when the
whoppers come around!

Paths began to beckon Theresa when she was 12, visiting the
Bridger Wilderness in Wyoming. Walking, dancing, and movement
are a part of her, nourished by John Denver's musical challenge
for her to "fly." Join her "walking with women" Life Discovery
Tours. Learn more about Theresa Gabriel  Women Summit LLC - Life Discovery Tours - Women's Retreats



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