The Subtle Art of Decision-Making

And why defining your core values are important

Have you ever found yourself in a difficult situation where you had to make a decision you knew would have a long-term effect on your life and maybe others? Did you also feel like you were wandering around blind-folded stressing about what to do? You probably have, because we all end up in a situation during our lives where we are forced to make a decision.
Decision-making is a part of life, yet a difficult part of life. However, I think decision making is a good thing. Making decisions are a pathway to growth and to freedom and control over your life.
So, I thought I’d explore the topic and share some of my thoughts and experiences 😉

We make about a million decisions every single day – some of our decisions are made without we even notice. For instance, we decide to put on some clothes in the morning, grab the first cup of Joe before heading out for work, we choose whether or not we take the bike and what we eat etc.
It’s all “macro”-decisions, which we have become custom to perform day in and day out, yet those decisions represent a fraction of who we are.

Other decisions are more complicated. Decisions about major life changes; like quitting a job, moving to a new city or breaking up with your partner, making a career change, and so on. Those decisions are a lot more difficult because they have a longterm impact on how we live our lives and the consequences of these decisions are crucial – but as we all know, a closed-door opens up a new door. The question is, how can you be sure you choose the right door?

There are a lot of different answers to this, depending on who you are and your beliefs, but one thing that has made my decision making a lot easier over the past few months was from the day I sat down with pen and paper and wrote down my values. I first did a brainstorm and slowly shortlisted my values to only consisting of 5 values, which I define as my core values. Values that anchor me as a person and provide me guidance in difficult times.

What are core values and how do you define your set of core values?

Core values are a set of beliefs and preferences that define us as who we are. Some of our values may seem to be deeply ingrained in us, and some values are based on our experiences and some are perhaps socially influenced. Values are the things we believe in, our guidelines, how, and what we prioritize in life. They determine the way we live and work, how we respond to the world outside of our minds.

Finding your core values doesn’t happen overnight – not if you do it right. To figure out what values truly resonate with you, you need to ask yourself what you believe in and what is important for you in your life and what do you value in the people – that’s where you have the answer to how you define your core values. But this is a continuous process and requires a lot of self-study.

How do I make a decision?
Whenever I find myself in a difficult situation where I have to make a hard decision, I first start by identifying my options and possible consequences by choosing A as opposed to choosing B. 
Once I’ve identified my options and consequences of choosing one over the other, I turn to my core values and match my options to my values. In that way, it is easier to make sure that the decision I’m about to make resonates with who I am and what I believe in.

To spark some inspiration for finding your core values, here is a list, that helped me sort through and ultimately define my values: 

Balance, Calmness, Caring, Community, Commitment, Compassion, Collaboration, Contribution, Creativity, Credibility, Curiosity, Decisiveness, Dedication, Diversity, Empathy, Enthusiasm, Family, Friendships, Freedom, Fun, Growth, Flexibility, Health, Honesty, Humor, Inclusiveness, Independence, Inspiration, Intelligence, Intuition, Joy, Kindness, Knowledge, Leadership, Learning, Love, Loyalty, Mindfulness, Modesty, Optimism, Open-Mindedness, Passion, Personal, Development, Proactive, Security, Spirituality, Stability, Perseverance, Playfulness, ProactivityRelationships, Reliability, Resilience, Resourcefulness, Responsibility, Self-Control, Selflessness, Simplicity, Stability, Transparency, Trustworthiness, Vision, Wealth, Well-Being 

More can be found here:

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