With each additional candle on my birthday cake I understand more clearly that life is mostly grey, not clearly black or white, this or that. In that muddy middle we find compromise, different perspectives and often surprising solutions. But we’ll all face a time when we have to draw that proverbial line in the sand and choose a side.
Are you prepared for that moment?
It’s impossible to imagine every possible scenario you might encounter and probably not all that helpful of an exercise anyway because you can never predict all the nuances of a situation in advance. But you can stack the decision-making deck in your favor by asking a simple set of questions well before that moment of truth occurs.
1. What are my non-negotiables? Are these the same across all areas of my life? Do I have a different set of non-negotiables for work vs personal vs family?
2. Where in my life am I playing the short game? The long game? Are there areas where these contradict each other?
3. What is my threshold for collateral damage? To things? To people? Which people? Which things?
4. What are my hot buttons? Under what circumstances am I most likely to react versus respond? What is my go-to plan for moving out of reactionary mode?
5. What do I need to feel confident in my decision?
Don’t just answer in your head. Grab a notebook and write out your answers. When you’ve answered all the questions, put the notebook away for a few days. Then revisit your answers. Do you still agree with what you wrote? Has anything shifted? Edit as needed. Keep iterating until you have a solid set of answers.
Repeat this exercise at least annually and after every major life shift.
When that moment comes you’ll be ready.