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Where Do We Go From Here?

Have you ever felt stuck in a rut? You are comfortable where you are and there are many good nuances to your current location. But in the back of your mind and/or pit of your stomach, you feel there is something more out there. The only problem is that you’ll be required to give up what you currently have to take a chance on what you “think/feel” may be out there. This sounds a bit like “Let’s Make a Deal “, the TV show where contestants would often be given the opportunity to trade their bird in hand for an unknown bird that may or may not be a better deal.

Odds were equally split that contestants would make out better by trading into the unknown and such is the case with the choices we each have presented to us on a consistent basis. This concept is often known as “the grass is greener on the other side” belief. However, as we know, once we head over to the other side we quickly learn that the grass has its own set of weeds, etc. that may in fact make the pastures of yesterday look quite favorable.

So what do you do when you have a “should I stay or should I go” decision to make? While I cannot offer an instant stay or go directive, I can provide an excellent tool that provides a solid decision making strategy. The tool is called a Decision Matrix. 

Below is a decision matrix template. Notice box A represents the question “If I do “xyz” (fill in the blank) the best thing that can happen is (fill in the blank). Box B represents the question “If I do “xyz” (fill in the blank) the worst thing that can happen is (fill in the blank). Boxes C and D work similarly and answer the questions “If I don’t “xyz” the best (C) and worst (D) things that can happen are (fill in the blanks for each question). 

If I do “xyz”

A

B

If I don’t “xyz”

C

D

 

Best thing that can happen

Worst thing that can happen

The decision matrix in practice

Let’s say you are contemplating starting a new restaurant business. You might have the following answers to each question:

A. If I do open a new restaurant the best thing that could happen is that I’ll be doing the work I love. 

B. If I do open a new restaurant the worst thing that could happen is that I’ll go bankrupt and lose my home.

C. If I don’t open a new restaurant the best thing that could happen is that I won’t risk going bankrupt and won’t have to worry about losing my home.

D. If I don’t open a new restaurant the worst thing that could happen is that I’ll never know if I could have had the career and life of my dreams.

O.K. now you have four different outcomes clearly represented in your answers. Two reflect doing something and two reflect not doing something. The real question now becomes which options (those tied to doing or not doing) can you live with and be most at peace with if they were to occur? Would you be able to best accept your doing or not doing outcomes? Once you answer that question you can then begin to move towards that decision with clarity and peace knowing that whether the decision results in the best or worst outcome, you will be able to move forward with gratitude for having taken that action.

Education / Inspirational / Lifestyle

Excellence At Work with Dr. Marilyn combines faith and tenacity to help individuals achieve excellence through keynote speaking engagements, individual and corporate coaching, training, meeting facilitation, and retreats. Whether working with an individual client or a team, the focus is on the achievement of personal and professional goals that facilitate individuals’ abilities to create positive outcomes within their households, organizations, places of worship, and/or communities.  Through motivational speaking, life coaching, and corporate interventions, Dr. Marilyn has developed a “just do it” style that motivates and encourages clients to achieve higher levels of personal and professional effectiveness. She is the author of Running Away for Three Weeks, an inspirational autobiography designed to prepare readers for maximum effectiveness in the workplace; creator of Discovering Your Workplace Gifts, an assessment to help individuals identify the gifts they were motivated to discover in Running; and author of Six Steps to Excellence for Leaders, a roadmap to personal and professional excellence for all leaders.