Taking difficult personal decisions

There are times when circumstances force you to make difficult decisions. I’ve noticed that most of these decisions are personal. There isn’t a clear path forward and it is hard to really weigh all options. While I’m a huge fan of the WRAP framework for most decision, these are times when I feel the need for a gut-based personal decision.

And, in such times, I have found 3 things to be very helpful –

  1. Create space from the noise. Shift to a different location and spend some time alone. Or, spend time with people with whom you’re very comfortable in silence. It is only in space can we really listen to ourselves.
  2. Get some sleep. This sounds like an extremely counter intuitive thing to do when you have to make a difficult decision. My guess is that the scientific reasons for this approach is that sleep refuels our willpower. And, our willpower helps us make better decisions. There is also some scientific merit to the idea of subconscious information processing. Go to sleep with a complicated problem and sleep can, every once in a while, clear our heads. However, the reason I recommend it is that it has simply worked incredibly well for me. I’ve also a few life experiences that have taught me never to trust my judgment (or others’ for that matter) when sleep deprived.
  3. Share your decision with a few people who understand you. This is just to watch out for any red flags. The folks who really understand will warn you if the decision makes no sense. And, that check point is very helpful.

0 thoughts on “Taking difficult personal decisions”

  1. I agree with you Rohan. I think it’s Ben Horowitz who wrote the book “The Hard Thing about Hard Things.” It seems to me that the greatest teachers and thinkers throughout antiquity all believed and practiced the art of going within. And great point about getting enough sleep. Will power is not always on recall and sleep recharges that battery.

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