Two Questions To Ask Yourself Before Making A Difficult Decision

For me, one of the best things about the internet is meeting people that you probably wouldn’t have otherwise met.  One such person, who I’d like to introduce you to, is Josh Hanagarne (pictured below), writer of the blog: World’s Strongest Librarian 

I first “discovered” Josh via a guest post he had written for Problogger.  I’ve since come to love his writing style. He is a great storyteller.  He’s funny and smart and not afraid to share his personal side, too.  He has an equally intriguing set of readers that regularly leave thoughtful comments on his posts (which he freely replies to, as well). 

I’m proud to share the following guest post that I asked Josh to write as part of the Guest Post Ultra-Marathon he has embarked on.  Let me/us know how you like it.

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DSC_1333Two Questions To Ask Yourself Before Making A Difficult Decision  – A Guest Post by Josh Hanagarne

By the time a person with an average respiration rate is fifteen years old, they’ve typically taken upwards of 150,000,000 breaths.  Of course, when you’re panicked, you breathe more than usual—like when you’re faced with questions, problems, and dilemmas that don’t have easy answers.

But before you start sucking wind and saying, “Oh man oh man oh man what do I do?” there are two questions you can ask yourself that will guide you—provided you can actually answer these questions. 

Question One: Do I Live By A Code?

It doesn’t always work for me, buy I always try to act, think, and weigh my decisions against this code:

Don’t make anyone’s day worse.

Of course, this isn’t always possible, but this code has served me very well throughout the most recent years of my life.  As long as it doesn’t require me to compromise professional integrity or put other people in danger, it’s as good as anything else I’ve found for solving problems. 

It helps most people I’ve known to have something systematic to weigh their decisions against.  It may mean religion, the laws of the land, their mother’s wisdom, or Newton’s laws of thermodynamics—whatever works as a safety net and compass. 

Personally, it’s my loathing for rudeness and cruelty this little mantra I use.  Life is hard enough without becoming the dark spot in someone else’s day. 

Question Two: What Are My Goals?  

If you are always working towards several goals, you will have a useful tool when faced with a dilemma. 

When you have to make a difficult choice, which direction is most likely to derail your goals?  Whether spiritual, financial, emotional, educational, mental, or other—if you have goals, ask yourself honestly which choice is going to be the biggest setback to them.

This one-size-fits-all approach will often fly out the window in the heat of the moment.  And it certainly isn’t to say that people can’t be happy and productive and reason their way through difficult decisions without codes or goals. 

But I’ve yet to meet the happy person who would turn down greater happiness.  Or the successful person who would turn down more success. 

For me, answering these two simple questions has made some really sticky situations a lot less intimidating and agonizing. 

If you know where you’re going, the inevitable forks in the road are easier to navigate.

Josh Hanagarne
Get Stronger, Get Smarter, Live Better…Every Day

About the Author: Josh Hanagarne is the twitchy force behind World’s Strongest Librarian, a blog with advice about living with Tourette’s Syndrome, book recommendations, buying pants when you’re 6’8”, old-time strongman training, kettlebells, and much more. Please subscribe to Josh’s RSS Updates to stay in touch.

Comments

  1. Helen, thanks for having me. It was a lot of fun to write and I'm proud to be a small part of what you're doing here.

    Always a pleasure.

    • Josh, thanks so much for writing this post. Those are really great questions to ask!

      Also, please know that I truly appreciate how supportive you are of such a wide variety of blogs out there, including those blogs like mine with, as of yet, low traffic levels (other than when I blog about events, or so it seems). Looking forward to reading every one of your Ultra Marathon posts!

  2. Helen, thanks for having me. It was a lot of fun to write and I'm proud to be a small part of what you're doing here.

    Always a pleasure.

    • Josh, thanks so much for writing this post. Those are really great questions to ask!

      Also, please know that I truly appreciate how supportive you are of such a wide variety of blogs out there, including those blogs like mine with, as of yet, low traffic levels (other than when I blog about events, or so it seems). Looking forward to reading every one of your Ultra Marathon posts!

  3. Helen, I don't support the blogs, I support the people who write them. You're worth every bit as much as anyone else. The size and traffic of your blog have nothing to do with it.

    Thanks!

  4. Helen, I don't support the blogs, I support the people who write them. You're worth every bit as much as anyone else. The size and traffic of your blog have nothing to do with it.

    Thanks!

  5. Love the point about whether you live by a code. To me that fits with “What Do I Believe?” If you don’t know what’s important to you in your life, you’re just wandering along, hoping things come out OK.

  6. Love the point about whether you live by a code. To me that fits with “What Do I Believe?” If you don’t know what’s important to you in your life, you’re just wandering along, hoping things come out OK.

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