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How do I Know I’m Making the Right Decision?

- by Ligia Brubaker, Certified SRA / Dibbles Institute Educator During me teen years, a question that used to pop in my head was, “How do I know that I’m making the best decision I can possibly make?” I used to question everything—the school I was attending, my career plans, my crushes, my diet, everything. Most of the time, I didn’t have adults around me to ask what their thoughts were; so, I had to come up with a plan. I’m sharing my plan with you because it worked for me.

Whenever I had to take a decision, I would sit down and pull out a piece of paper. I would jot down 3 questions about that decision: Would this honor me? Would this honor someone else? If everyone else was doing what I was doing, would society be made better? And if the answer to all these 3 questions was yes, then following through with my decision usually had a good outcome.

Let me give you a practical example. When I fell in love with a rugged, long haired biker in my 8th grade year, I asked one of my teachers to excuse me from their class a couple of times. I didn’t use to skip classes. I had straight A’s, so no one really minded if I asked to be excused from a class or two. And I would go in the park and hang out with this boy. It was never just us, there were usually a few of my friends and a few of his friends, hanging out with us. As far as anyone can say, it was safe.

However, at one point I started wondering if I really should ask to be excused from my classes. In the back of my mind I thought that even though I wasn’t taking crazy risks, what if one day I was alone with him and his friends? After-all, I didn’t know these guys that well. So, I sat down and thought about it.

1. First, is this honoring me? Will these guys respect me more or less if I miss some of my classes? Even though the teachers allowed me to miss classes for whatever excuse I was making, my excuses were not true. Is missing out on my fair share of learning, and lying, a way to gain anyone’s respect? No.

2. Second, is there anyone else in this world that my behavior is honoring? Clearly, not. I was hanging out with this guy because he thought I was pretty, and I liked hearing that. It had nothing to do with anyone else.

3. Third, would the society we live in become a better place if all teens did what I did? Pfff… Absolutely not! If all teens would have excused themselves from a few classes here and there, we’d all be just a bit more illiterate. There are plenty of illiterate people out there already, no need to add to the numbers!

I did the same with my choices in diet; my choices in picking friends and my choices regarding school and training. I rarely came across a situation that couldn’t be put under these 3 questions. I strongly encourage you to make these questions a part of your maturity toolkit. They might prove themselves to be just as valuable for you as they were for me! :)

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