Lessons from Our Daily Lives: Decision Making
Everyone is a student. Whether you’re in your youth or an adult, doctor or teacher, man or woman – all of you are students.
A student is:
“any person who studies, investigates, or examines thoughtfully:
a student of human nature.”
So, when I say we’re all students, I mean we’re students of life. Day after day, we are taught many lessons by what we do in our lives. And just like in school, some of us don’t learn nor understand these lessons. Another portion of us DO understand but fail to practice what we learn. And the rest of us put them to use. So, when life’s frequent tests and exams come by, how we reacted to the lessons being taught determines whether we fail or pass.
I know many people who don’t believe that there are lessons to be picked up from our daily lives. Therefore, I will now present three vital lessons we can grasp from our day to day activities.
Lesson No. 1 – Don’t make rash decisions.
I recently watched a video of a speech a Navy Seal gave on how to change the world. And it inspired me to write this. He said:
“If you want to change the world, start by making your bed.”
Initially, I was bewildered because I saw no way how that could be linked to changing the world as we know it. Just another comedy skit perhaps – I thought to myself. I was tempted to move onto another video after hearing that statement. But I decided not to.
You see, decision-making is a common process EVERYONE goes through. We’re always having to choose between one thing or another. We’re always having to make sacrifices.
- A workaholic who decides to not work overtime and spend time with family is sacrificing the extra money he/she could have made.
- A teenager waking up early for school is sacrificing the extra hours of sleep he/she could have had.
- A mother using the last cash on her to buy groceries so her kids can eat is sacrificing whatever else she could have used in for.
- When caught red-handed in an offense, telling the truth or a lie is a decision to make.
There are many more examples I could give on how decision-making forms a vital part of our daily lives.
When it comes to making choices, it can be related to a hurdle race. Deciding when to speed up or slow down and when to jump all play a role in whether or not you’ll win the race or fall behind.
Goals are the race tracks and the decisions you have to make to achieve those goals are the hurdles. The other racers on the track are the distractions.
Well, imagine you’re partaking in that race and you see your competitor race past you. You may be influenced to increase your speed so as to not “get left behind”. In other words, you’re distracted from the course of action you initially planned on taking. That decision could either mean that you sail over the hurdle (closer to your goal) or you crash into it.
And just like in a race, every second counts, the same goes for our walk-in life. That second/minute wasted as a result of making wrong decisions could affect millions of lives. Yes, you heard that right. Everyone has an amount of people God has assigned to them to effect a change in those people’s lives. Making wrong decisions can stop you from fulfilling your God-given mission. So, make the right decisions by taking the time to do some analysis.
Lesson No. 2 – Make the right analysis of your options
When you have many tasks to accomplish and want to decide which to do first. Here are some questions you can ask yourself so you can set your priorities right.
First of all, is this task urgent? In other words, is it something that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible?
Secondly, is it important? As in does, it plays a vital role in achieving your current goals? Such that if it isn’t done, you’ll make little or no progress towards your desired goal?
After asking yourself these questions about each task, write them down in your notepad in order of the one with the most priority. You can use this mark scheme to decide which has more priority.
Urgent and Important
Any task that falls under this category should be given top priority. This is because you realize that it plays an important role in achieving your set goals and needs to cleared as soon as possible.
Urgent but Not Important
Now, these tasks should be next. Because although they may not be important, failure to accomplish them quickly may have unwanted consequences.
Not Urgent but Important
These are necessities but not really pressing at the moment. Normally this is because they occur later on and not in the near future. However, they still play a vital role and must be accomplished.
Not Urgent and Not Important
These usually include recreational activities like watching a movie or reading a book. But it basically covers anything that won’t affect your progress for the day if left for last.
Anderson wakes up at eight one morning with the following tasks for the day:
- Attend an important meeting at noon
- Freshen up
- Have breakfast
- Watch a movie
- Call his recovering Mom
- Send an email to his associates
- Feed the dogs
- Buy some groceries
- Sleep some more
- Pick up his nephews from school and drop them off at their house
Using the scheme recommended above, he listed out his activities in this order – 2, 3, 7, 5, 6, 1, 8, 10, 4, 9.
As you can see, Anderson has done fairly well with prioritizing and managing his time well and so nothing is left out.
According to the scheme, do you think there was a better order he could have arranged his tasks? Let me know in the comments below.
Lesson No. 3 – Maintain a positive outlook on things
How you approach a task will determine how well you accomplish it. Once you perceive a task as difficult, you’ll notice that things become difficult to complete. Sometimes, even the simplest of things seem impossible.
If you’re leading a team and come into work with a bad, snappy mood, it will quickly spread to the rest of your team. And you may not be able to achieve much that day. Because everyone’s in a bad mood and not of one mind.
Therefore, the best way to make the most progress towards your goal is to approach everything with an open mind and positive outlook. This enables you to see opportunities you may have otherwise missed. Also, it motivates you that you can do it!
Pro Tip: Another way to motivate yourself is to pray the Word of God. Confess what God has said about you and walk in that truth in the name of Jesus. Example scriptures you can use include, John 14:13-14, 2 Peter 1:3, Philippians 4:13, Matthew 7:7 and so many others.
So there you have it – three lessons we can learn from our everyday lives. Keep an eye out for these lessons. There are a lot more out there.
Success to you,
Jane is one of those rare people who you meet in life that is easy to connect with. She is kind, smart, and incredibly giving. In fact, Jane was kind enough to invite me to join a group of like-minded bloggers from all over the world who share their ideas and values on life. Jane has a unique perspective of the world and it is definitely one worth delving into.
Along with her friends Kingsley and Soul Ja, Jane runs a blog that aims to inspire, pick up, and create a better world. I recommend you taking a look at it over at www.harmoniousjoy.com. While you’re there, be sure to give my favorite article a read. You can find it here. Without saying too much, it discusses one of my favorite topics…
Cheers to your success,