Choices. Decisions. Life seems to forever be bombarding us with the need to make yet another decision and another and…..well, you know!
And the choices we make indeed weave the very fabric of our personal and professional lives.
Are our decision-making skills strong, so-so or needing improvement?
How do our self-imposed “shoulds” influence us each day, each hour?
Should I take this case? Should this case go to trial? Should I hire an associate? Should I allow my kids to do this? Where should I locate my office? What should I eat? Should I get married? Should I stay married? What should I wear? Should I say anything? How should I say this? Should I work for a different firm? Should I totally change my career course?
And …what about those “shoulds” from others which for better or worse seem to be quite stubbornly embedded within our heads — how do those “voices” influence our decision-making?
You should not associate with him. You should attend church. You shouldn’t leave home in dirty underwear. You should make your bed every day. You should only take these types of cases. You should live and work in a certain location. If you want to be considered a “real” lawyer, you should be “at it” at least 60 or more hours each week. You should or should not do this or that.
No doubt some of the “shoulds” coloring our decisions are safety valves constructed from past lessons learned. Those types of “learned by hard core experience shoulds” can very much help us avoid making (or remaking) unwise and foolish decisions. These types SHOULD be tapped into when we are making our decisions.
Far too many “shoulds,” however, (i.e. the “you shoulds” of our lives!) reflect voices other than our own – some of them manipulative voices that we have allowed to dictate many of our actions and non-actions. Herein lies the danger zone of the “shoulds” in our lives which leads us to critical questions to ask of ourselves: Are we allowing the “shoulds” of our lives to negatively or positively affect our personal and professional decisions? And, to which “shoulds” are we listening?
So — what can WE do to ensure we are listening to the RIGHT voices in our heads?
How can self-evaluation tools help us distinguish better between our self-imposed “shoulds” and those imposed upon us by others (e.g. parents, significant others, friends, partners)?
Please download this 9 page, in depth look that questions, “Are We Listening To The Right Decision-Making “Shoulds“?”. This PDF even includes a few samples “tools” to help with that decision making.
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