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Making wiser choices: Decisions shape your destiny



There is a limitless number of decisions to make. Some are garden variety choices like what to order in a restaurant and what color to paint the dining room. But often people have trouble making even these choices. Psychologists at Michigan State University say that, on average, people do well with everyday matters in spite of these inhibitors:

1. Too much consideration of others' reactions;

2. Leftover ghosts of domineering parents or bosses; and

3. Fear of making a commitment. Not making a decision is a strategy in itself, as are overanalyzing, procrastinating, perfectionism, and compulsiveness. Indecision preserves the safety of the status quo and the illusion of having many possibilities to consider. To make better choices, here's some good advice: Decide if it's a "right or wrong" decision. These are the easiest to make because the right thing to do is usually more apparent, says Rushworth Kidder, author of How Good People Make Tough Choices .

* Target your goals. Indecision is often caused by not knowing for sure what is really important to you.

* Don't let the past haunt you. View any mistakes as an experience to learn from.

* Calm down, meditate. You are most likely to make a bad decision when emotions cloud your mind.

* Discuss the decision with a positive thinker. Gather information.

* Get in tune with your feelings. People usually know intuitively what they want to do.

* Predict the consequences. Weigh the good points and bad about what you want. Remember that to move forward, you must move on.

* Do it. When you know you've considered all the pros and cons, you'll be less likely to regret your decision afterward.

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