Decisions are a huge part of our lives. Every day, every hour, every few minutes, you make some kind of decision. What should I wear today? Should I go out with this guy? To sleep or not to sleep? Can I afford this? Should I take a walk or eat chocolate instead? Should I really watch this? Do I have time for this? Where should I go to college? Who should I hang out with? What's really important to me?
Obviously, some decisions are more important than others. Decisions are easy for some people and excruciatingly hard for others. Take the following, totally unscientific mini quiz to decide what kind of decision-maker you are:
1. You're standing in Baskin Robbins, gazing down at the 31 flavors of ice cream. What do you do?
A. Immediately pick the first flavor that looks good.
B. Look at all the flavors, eliminate all but two, and pick one of them after 2-3 minutes.
C. Ask the cashier what flavor they would pick and go with their advice.
D. You've been staring at this question for ten minutes and still haven't decided what you would do.
If you chose answer...A...you are a spontaneous and often impulsive decision-maker.
B...you make decisions fairly quickly, but you think it over before you act.
C...you prefer other people to make decisions for you.
D...you are entirely and hopelessly indecisive. Get help.
Some people sweat the little decisions and others can make major decisions in the blink of an eye. What's the difference between the two types of decision-makers? The latter is too impulsive, and the former isn't impulsive enough. So here are a couple of things that came to mind in regards to decisions.
Be you... Don't make decisions on what to wear, what to eat, how to act around certain people - the small, everyday stuff - based on anyone else's opinion. Don't follow trends - make your own! Can't decide what to wear? Combine a bunch of your stuff (layer shirts, add accessories or fun shoes, wear a skirt over leggings or jeans) to create a totally unique look. You crave ice cream, but everyone else is eating salad? Go for the ice cream. (But be sparing.) All the other peeps in your school/youth group/club/activity are being total jerks? Stand out and be yourself.
...but don't be afraid to ask for advice. Especially on major decisions (college, future spouses, etc.), it's usually a good idea to talk to other people and find out what their opinions are. If you really can't decide what ice cream flavor to pick, it's ok to ask the cashier or your buddy what you should do. Sometime's it's fun to take a risk and sample what other people like (even if the only benefit is that you discover that they're every bit as weird as you thought they were after all!). You might discover a new interest or favorite thing by branching out a bit.
Spontaneity can be fun, but...Some decisions ought not to be thought about too hard. For example, last year when we were in Portugal, we had the opportunity to climb about 40 feet of rock on a windy day. Had I hesitated any longer than I did, I might very well have said no. But that climb (whilst wearing flip flops, no less) was one of the most exhilarating things I have ever experienced, and I am so glad I didn't think about it too hard, or let any annoying distraction such as logic or common sense fill my mind. (Disclaimer: blog author is not responsible for death, injuries, or irritation resulting from mindless or stupid applications of the above reasoning to other situations.) But on the big decisions, spontaneity is usually a bad idea. Harder decisions require more thinking (our favorite thing to do, of course), but making the right choice is worth taking the extra time to think it through.
And definitely pray. There are a lot of tough decisions we all have to make every day, and we'll never have the strength or wisdom to make all the right choices by ourselves. Inevitably, you'll find that your parents' knowledge, your friends' knowledge, and your knowledge aren't adequate to making the hard decisions. There's only One who can see all the possible outcomes from your decisions and help you make the right one. All it requires is asking Him for His guidance and then following through, however uncomfortable the right choice is.
Good luck on making all your decisions, big or small, easy or hard. And in case you were wondering, my answer to the quiz would be B. I'm happy being me right in the middle of the decision-making scale.