Each and every day, each and every one of us is put into the position of making a decision of some kind. It may involve something trivial, such as what color to wear or what to have for breakfast, or something life-changing, such as deciding where to live. It can involve just ourselves, or have a broader reach and impact on others, such as our children, partners, friends, co-workers, neighbors or family members. But there is not a single day where, consciously or sub-consciously, decisions are not made.

New York Times bestselling writer Gretchen Rubin, whose goal is to provide her readers and podcast listeners with insights into the “pursuit of happiness and good habits” puts forth seven basic tips for making “Happy Decisions”.  Her fundamental question is whether the outcome of each decision will make her happier in one way or another. We at TUNG Brush and Gel want our readers and customers to be happier and more empowered in all aspects of their lives, so we thought we would share here Ms. Rubin’s top seven tips for making decisions.

  1. Is this decision likely to strengthen my relationships with others? More than likely, such relationships will make you happier in the long run, so even if that family reunion or your long-lost cousin’s wedding is far away, it might be worth it to make the effort to go.
  2. Will this decision provide me with novelty and challenge? Sometimes it is hard for us to take on new challenges because of fears or insecurities. But often if we overcome those fears, the rewards of new things will be well worth it for our happiness.
  3. What is the opportunity cost of this decision? Sometimes what you give up in the pursuit of a new goal or adventure may be more important than what you are pursuing. You have to weigh the importance of this “opportunity cost” in your decision-making process.
  4. Does this decision help me obey my personal commandment to Be Me? The bottom line to this one is be true to yourself!
  5. Does this course of action energize or drain me? The path to this choice should be self-evident!
  6. How happy are others who have made this decision? While happiness may be defined differently by others, getting opinions from people who have been in your particular shoes might help steer you in the right direction.
  7. Remind yourself to “Choose the bigger life.” Once again, the “bigger life” is different for each of us, which drives home the point that there is no right or wrong answer to many personal decisions, but that what is right or wrong for YOU is what matters.

In the 2007 movie, The Bucket List Morgan Freeman’s character tells Jack Nicholson’s character that in ancient Egypt they believed that when people died the gods would ask them two questions before allowing them to enter “Heaven”: (1) Have you found joy in your life? and (2) Has your life brought joy to others?  Happiness and joy for yourself and others are, in many instances, the common threads to making empowered decisions.  But only you know what that means for you.

Thanks to www.gretchenrubin.com for inspiring thoughts and ideas.