How to Be an Expert at Making Decisions
by Craig Groeschel
Most people look at others who are successful and figure they probably made just a handful of big, really important decisions. But the opposite is true. It’s the small choices no one sees that result in the big impact everyone wants.
When you choose to forgive your spouse instead of holding on to resentment, no one sees that happen. But the evidence is clear in your marriage. People may tell you how great they think your kids are without ever realizing that their maturity happened over time, growing slowly out of the small decisions, daily boundaries, and tiny course corrections you planted throughout their lives. Coworkers who see you get a promotion probably have no idea how many times you had to ignore workplace politics and just keep bringing your best every day.
Even your friends who attend your college graduation might not appreciate just how many late nights you spent studying while it seemed like everyone else was procrastinating or partying.
If you could take a step back and look at your life, you’d see that every decision matters, even the little ones. Many of our daily choices happen invisibly, almost by default, like taking the same route to work every day or hopping onto social media every time we have a spare moment. Every day, we decide what to wear, where to park, when to schedule the next meeting, how to explain some report, what to eat for dinner.
Neurologists tell us that the first time we think about a decision, our brains start weighing options, eliminating one possibility after another, until we settle on one we think is our best choice in that particular moment. But after a while, for most of the tiny decisions we make every day, we don’t have to think about them anymore; they just happen.
And that makes sense. Whatever consequences decisions like these have are so small that we hardly feel them. If you’re like me, you wear whatever’s clean and reasonably wrinkle-free, work appropriate but still comfortable. You eat whatever kind of cereal you have in the pantry (usually something your kids don’t like) or whatever’s in the fridge. But it’s critical to understand: these seemingly no-big- deal decisions add up over time. They become habits. And those habits have a cumulative effect, ultimately changing the story we tell about our lives.
If you want to take aim at the story you want to tell, you have to make small, life-changing choices and then act on them daily. The best decision you can make is always the next one. Each decision should move you closer to becoming all that God made you to be, to turn your life in the direction of a story you’ll be happy to share.
Taken from Divine Direction: 7 Decisions That Will Change Your Life by Craig Groeschel Copyright © 2017 by Craig Groeschel. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com.
New York Times bestselling author Craig Groeschel is the founding and senior pastor of Life.Church, which created the popular and free YouVersion Bible App. He is the author of several books, including Divine Direction: 7 Decisions That Will Change Your Life.
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