3 Strategies for Making Great Decisions

Decisions. You will make hundreds of them today. In fact, you will make hundreds of decisions every day. The thing we do most in life is make decisions.

In many ways, the quality of our lives is determined by the quality of our decisions.

Every day your decisions can range from small things like what to have for breakfast, to big things like whether or not to take a job that would require moving your family across the country.

In many ways, the quality of our lives is determined by the quality of our decisions.

Yet, tragically, most of the world goes through life thinking good decisions are often the result of chance. But, being a great decision-maker is not a matter of luck. It’s a matter of identifying and applying proven strategies that put you in a position to make the best decision you can with the information you have.

Here are three game-changing strategies to help you make great decisions, whether small or large.

1. Start with purpose

Identifying your purpose in life is the most powerful tool in decision-making. Why? Because having a purpose allows you to cut to the heart of every decision and place it in its proper context.

Identifying your life’s purpose will be like a north star for your life. It will direct your decisions, both big and small.

For example, let’s say you identify that your purpose in life is to become rich. This allows you to evaluate every decision by asking yourself, “Will this help me to make more money?”

That way, next time you are considering staying up late to binge-watch Netflix or watch your favorite sports team in overtime, you can ask yourself, “Will staying up late help me make more money?” The answer will likely be no, because if you are tired at work the next day you won’t perform at your best, you won’t make that sale, and your bottom line will be impacted.

Now, I don’t recommend your ultimate purpose in life being to get rich. (Instead I’d invite you to consider the idea of becoming the-best-version-of-yourself as your life’s ultimate purpose.) But I think you get the point.

Identifying your life’s purpose will be like a north star for your life. It will direct your decisions, both big and small.

2. Have a strong why

Let’s say you decide to go on a diet because you want to be healthier. That’s a good and noble choice. It’s a strong enough why to get started, but is it strong enough to last? Let’s test it out.

You have a crazy morning and don’t get to eat breakfast. When you get to work, you are really, really hungry. You walk into the breakroom and see that a coworker brought doughnuts in for their birthday. Suddenly, you’re staring at your favorite pastry—a jelly doughnut. “I am on a diet so I can be healthier,” is up against, “I am incredibly hungry, and I want to eat this doughnut!” Your why doesn’t look so strong now does it?

But, what if your why is, “I am on a diet because I want to be there to walk my daughter down the aisle.” Now, that is a different story.

In the first case, your why is noble, but it is also impersonal, general, and ultimately weak. In the second, your why is personal, specific, compelling, and capable of withstanding even the toughest of temptations.

When you make a decision, big or small, have a why that is personal, specific, and compelling, and you will give that decision significant lasting power.

3. Enlist the help of a friend

One of the best ways to vet your why is to consult a good friend before making a decision.

A few years ago, I had a big decision to make. Even though my mind was pretty made up, I decided to call my best friend to see what he thought. After all, this was a big deal.

Truly good friends never quietly tolerate their friends’ bad decisions.

Respectfully, my friend voiced strong opposition to what I was thinking and challenged me to reconsider. His reasons were sound, and his tone left me unnerved.

As a result of the conversation, I decided to take a little more time and followed my friend’s advice. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. And I know I wouldn’t have had the courage to make it without him.

Truly good friends never quietly tolerate their friends’ bad decisions. Good friends intervene in each other’s lives and help them make great decisions. Good friends hold each other accountable when they make decisions.

If you have a decision to make, consulting a trusted friend or mentor can make all the difference.


While these three strategies don’t guarantee you make a great decision every time (you still have free will!), they will put you in the best position to make a great decision.

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