Making Decisions, Dealing with Problems, and Taking Action

As mentioned earlier, everything that happens, good or bad, comes from an action that we have previously taken. The decisions that you make (or in some cases, don't make) shape your life, both in the short term and long term.

In life you will be faced with many decisions, and your aim should be to make more right decisions than wrong ones. We must also realize that the right long-term decision will not always be easiest in the short term. There are times when you have to endure short-term pain for long-term gain.

How many times have you said, “If only I'd listened to” or “If only I'd left earlier” or “If only I'd invested in XYZ” or “I knew I should have”? It's frustrating to make the wrong decision, but here are some techniques to help you make the right ones.

The Ben Franklin Method

If you need to make a tough decision, take a piece of paper and write your dilemma at the top, phrased as a question. Draw a line down the middle and head one column “Benefits” and head the other column “Disadvantages.”

Put your positive head on and write down all of the advantages underneath the benefits column. Then put your negative head on and write down the disadvantages.

Take your time and think hard. This exercise is for your benefit. Be honest with yourself and write down absolutely every benefit and disadvantage you can think of.

When you have finished, look at all the advantages and weigh them up against the disadvantages. Your ...

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