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You might be deciding if the job offer you received yesterday is the right move for you? or wrestling with whether to give your employee a low performance rating? or debating with your partner whether to confiscate the smart phone from your child? or giving up on your loved ones for your education? The possibilities are endless…I refer a person’s judgement as a “fusion of our thinking, feelings, experience, imagination and character”. But how can we marshal these facets together to create the best decision we can make?
Hard descions are a part of life. Dont think of them as nuisance. Think of them as a one-time oppurtunity to decide upon your future. It may be not a life changer in every case but I’m just quoting an example. Sometimes the hardest desicions in life are the best ones. Now, I would like share with you what i think would help you tackle and simplify this desicion making process. There are five key questions we can ask ourselves –What are the net consequences of all my options? – it’s not about what I should do but what could I do. Think about what might be the outcome of your desicion, whether a favourable one or an unfavourable one. And maybe to brainstorm these with people who are different to me to help me out.
What are my core obligations? – each human being having responsibilities to another. Using my “moral imagination” and stepping out of my normal decision-making pathways to consider biases, blind spots, other’s viewpoints and truly stepping into another’s shoes.
See the world as it is, not how I would like it to be but as it is. “We don’t live in a predictable, calm environment populated with virtuous people. Much of what happens is beyond our control”. So, what can we achieve? What is most likely to work? How can I be opportunistic? How can I be most resilient? It isn’t a cop-out, it’s prudent risk-taking and creativity brought to bear.
Who are we? – seeing our decision in the context of our relationships, values and norms. What are your defining stories and ideals to which you are committed? What are you struggling to achieve and what are the outcomes you are trying to avoid? We need to counterbalance our tendency to take care of our self and our own, and ask this question after taking a more outsider perspective.
Living with it – thinking and feeling that it’s the best decision you can make. Sleep on it and ask yourself in the morning … can I live with it?…as I explain my decision to my partner, am I still OK with it?…as I write it out in a letter or email, am I content and happy to commit to it? Desicions sometimes prove to be the hardest to make, especially when it’s a choice between where you should be and where you wanted to be.I hope, as you’ve read my take on this article, that you’ve found doors opening which might take you down new avenues to help you to make your toughest decisions. In the end, you may still feel that your decision has its risks but if you have asked, and answered (honestly), these questions then you can’t go far wrong.
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