Sources claim that adults make roughly 35,000 decisions per day.
The intensity of logic and ripple effect will greatly between the decisions. The intensity and ripple effect of these decisions might vary greatly throughout the day:
What new mouthwash to buy?
Should we sign up for this pilates class or the next?
Which project at work should I prioritize?
Do I need to pick up an extra shift this week to help cover rent?
Do I need to eat that McDouble right now or should I opt for something healthier?
Can my significant other and I really afford to buy this house?
We will never escape our daily decisions. Of course we can put them off yet they then have the tendency to compound in responsibility. When we have so many choices to make during the day and so little time, we often feel overwhelmed.
We should feel lucky.
We have it easy.
Take Marcus Aurelius for instance. Imagine what his life must have been like. He led troops into battle, he heard the grumblings and complaints of the Roman citizens, he heard about appeals from the Senate, he took offers and made resolutions with foreign governments. He was a busy leader. He held a lot of responsibility.
Did he put all these decisions off?
Of course not. He became one of the last great Emperors of Rome.
He became such a great leader by instituting a battle-tested formula for decision making:
Don't get upset.
Do the right thing.
For Aurelius, it was that simple.
Don't Get Upset:
When we are faced with obstacles and decision making, the initial reaction we have is to get overwhelmed. Our mind goes in many different directions. We play out how each branch on our decision making tree might play out. If we go left then.... but if we go right we'll......
The first step in all sound decision making, according to Aurelius, is to not get upset. Take a deep breath if you have to. Use reasoning and calmness.
Do the right thing:
You often have more than two choices to make when faced with a decision. Make the choice that is good, just and right. This doesn't mean the choice that benefits you. This doesn't mean the choice that appeases people. This doesn't mean the choice that's the easiest. What is the reasonably right choice to make as a human being?
Often times the right decision might have blow back and consequences. You might need to sacrifice in order to go through with it.
So be it.
With this formula you will be able to navigate the many decisions that are thrust upon you daily. You will know that the decision made was the right one and you do so in a calm and collected manner so you can move on to the next. You will shed anxiety and procrastination.