I have to come to the conclusion that people fall into 1 of 3 categories when it comes to making decisions. First, the ability to make decisions is a skill set that came with birth. Some are born with the ability to be an effective decision maker. Second, is the person who missed the decision maker gene. They were not born with that ability. Finally, there are those who are born with it. Yet, there are some areas of life that stop them dead in their tracks.
To be successful with money, you have to work to improve your decision making skills. The good news is that anyone can become a more effective decision maker given a little work. First, you need to be aware of our human nature tendencies.
Our Human Nature Tendencies
Not making a decision is the same as making a decision - Procrastination, waffling, the inability to make a decision, leaves you stuck. It is important to know and understand that you are making a decision by not making one. The awareness is the first place to start.
Making a decision contains some risk - we all make decisions from the smallest to the largest, we make decisions all day long. With those decisions comes risk. Some risks like what to eat for dinner barely even shows up down to how you invest your money. We are all risk takers to some degree. People treat risk in three ways. It is a well thought out decision weighing the pros and cons. It is the roll of a dice. It just sounds good without any understanding of the details. Finally, you become stuck because you don't want to make a mistake with your decision.
How to Make an Effective Decision
Determine what you need to know to make a decision and commit to making one - This is about doing your homework and validating your values and what is important to you. Your list of things to discover about your decisions must by in line with your values or what is important to you. If you don't define your values it is important to make a well informed decision.
Make a list of pros and cons and weigh them - Ben Franklin reportedly made decisions this way. He would take a piece of paper divide it in two and write out the pros and cons. This is the best method to pull into the present that which is important.
PRAY, PRAY, and PRAY - make this decision an integral part of your prayer life. Most importantly, don't move forward without a peace that God can only give.
Live with no regrets - Once you make a decision, move forward and don't waffle. If you made a mistake, learn from it or you are doomed to repeat it.
The reality is that life is a series of decisions that present themselves. With a clear knowledge of your God given values lead by God's peace, you will stay on the path of financial stewardship.