You make hundreds of decisions a day. Trivial decisions like what route to take to work, which shoes to wear, or whether to go to the gym versus happy hour pile up and can take a toll. Decision making consumes lots of energy. Wouldn’t it be nice if was easier?
With your next decision, why not try this. Ask yourself: Is the answer to this decision a resounding HELL YES? If the answer is NO then you likely have your decision.
You might be thinking, wait! This idea can’t possibly apply to my complicated decisions.
I, too, was skeptical reading about this approach in Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. McKeown offers practical advice for simplifying areas of our lives that we often overcomplicate. I, too, wasn’t yet convinced that this approach could work for me and wondered, is this all I need to do to make decisions big and small?
Try this method especially on big decisions. Had I done this prior to making an overwhelming life change (leaving my favorite city and friends for an ill-fated career move), I might have bypassed learning whopping life lessons the hard way. (Full disclosure: these were lessons I needed to learn.)
HELL YES or NO is an immediate testament to your enthusiasm. It subconsciously taps into “gut feeling” or intuition. Try this on your next big decision. Caveat: I do not advocate throwing common sense to the wind. Skipping workouts or maxing your credit cards for what seems like a HELL YES in the moment may not be a good decision in the long run.
Getting to HELL YES (or no) still requires thought. Here are four steps to help you evaluate if a decision is a HELL YES:
When you ask the question, does your body feel giddy with excitement? Tingly, carefree, light?
Imagine the downstream impacts. What are the potential outcomes and what-ifs?
Could saying HELL YES considerably improve your life or current situation?
Take into account your ethics and values. Is it safe to try without causing harm?
If you hesitated or answered no to any of the above, your answer may be… well, NO. Still not convinced? Try traditional decision-making methods - pros/cons list, gathering input from the peanut gallery (beware!), and so on. I place my bets that your answer is the same.
A low-risk decision to start with:
Organizing your closet (Do I really want to walk around in these shoes for a few hours?)
Then, try it for the bigger ticket items:
Career (Am I ready to start that side business I’ve always dreamed of? Should I take this job?)
Buying or renting a home (Can I imagine myself waking up here every day?)
Travel (Should I go to Burma?)
I recently gave this approach a whirl on a big decision (to move BACK to my favorite city). The result? A confident a HELL YES.
Give it a try today and let me know how it worked for you!