Is This Decision Going To Be Terrible? 6 Ways To Know

“Hindsight is 20/20.”

That’s what the guy who blindly stumbles into every bad mistake learns from birth. To some extent, he’s right. Post-mortem deconstruction of a choice is far easier than deconstruction in the moment.

Still, with just a bit of rigorous checking, we humans can catch the warning signs of a bad decision from far off. Here are six questions to ask yourself before making any major – even potentially major – life decisions.

  1. Am I hungry or thirsty right now? As the Snicker’s commercial rightfully points out, you’re not you when you’re hungry. You’re far more likely to make short-term decisions in this mindset. Get some food and water.
  2. Am I tired right now? If you’re not getting sleep, you’re just not going to be able to make good decisions. They say a lack of sleep can mirror the effects of drunkenness, and I can confirm. Don’t make any major decisions while you’re sleepy.
  3. Am I doing this because of the opposite sex? Haven’t been around the opposite sex in a while? Take a chill pill and think very carefully before you act. Impressing a girl can feel great in the moment, but is this short-term flirtation really worth a long-term cost?
  4. Am I doing this because my ego is wounded? Most angry or embarrassing (or both) explosions come from people who allow their egos to be wounded by the criticisms and jabs of their neighbors. Put aside your ego and pretend that “you” don’t matter. You’ll see much more clearly, and you’ll be able to admit and leave bad situations more quickly as well.
  5. Am I doing this to impress others? If you’re letting others call the tune, you’re going to resent them for this decision later. You’re also going to regret and resent it yourself. If you find yourself attracted to a job or potential mate primarily because you know they would impress family/friends, move on. If you’re letting others complaints coming to you about problems with your company
  6. Am I in a meaningful, responsible mode? Am I answering or acting from a place of self-esteem and meaningful work? If I have been lazy for days, don’t get dressed on time, or loll in bed, I should not be trusted with making an important decision.
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James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, intellectual explorer, and perpetual apprentice. He opted out of college to join the Praxis startup apprenticeship program and currently manages marketing and communications at bitcoin payment technology company BitPay. He writes daily at

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