I had rice for lunch today. Now that really does not sound spectacular, until you realise that I eat rice almost every day at work. My conversation with the young lady who takes our orders before lunchtime goes something like this-
ME: What do you have?
YOUNG LADY: We have rice, this and this, that and that and that
ME: Okay. Is this sweet? Do you add this to that? How much is this with that and that?
YL: (answers all my questions politely)
ME: Just give me rice.
And even when it comes down to rice, I still have a difficult time making up my mind. Coconut rice? Fried? Jollof? Chicken? Beef? Aaargh…just give me the first thing out of my mouth.
Yet, deciding what to have for lunch is one of the simplest decisions I will have to ever make! Most of the decisions have far-reaching effects and are a bit more complicated than deciding whether to have rice with chicken or beef. There have been times when I’ve had to choose between two equally good (or bad) options. And other times when I had to live with the “terror” of knowing things could go wrong and mar my entire life.
While there’s no rulebook on how to make the best decisions, I’ve learnt a thing or two along the way, made some good decisions and had a few also that didn’t turn out quite as I expected. Remember, no hard and fast rules but here I’ve made a list of things that have helped my decision-making process and I know will prove useful as you try to decide what is best for you.
So first, I take out time to PRAY. No, I lie. Often, prayer is the last thing I do or the one thing I never do. But still, prayer works like magic. It starts by clearing your head and then you realise the burden that comes with deciding on one option is lightened. You know where the bible says, “cast all your cares on Him”? Take that literally. I find that when worry and fear are out of the way, you will be in a much better position to make a good choice.
Then, I spend a lot of time SEEKing more information about the options before me. Let’s say I must choose between A or B. I literally scrub the internet, books, blogs for every material I can find on any of them. If we acknowledge that God has given us a brain and a good helping of common sense, then it makes perfect sense (forgive the pun) that we use these resources to arrive at a wise decision for ourselves, right? Basically, do your research, know your stuff and use logic.
Another angle to “seeking” is to get advice from a trusted friend, mentor, or generally someone who has been there before. This has worked for me on many occasions- a new (and possibly better) option C or some previous experience on A or B. Can I let you in on a little secret? I typically have go-tos for particular life issues- relationships, money, career, you name it. If you have one go-to for everything, they should wear a halo.
One time during an internship, I was not quite sure if I wanted to continue with the company I was with or take up a new offer I had just gotten at the time. I remember a colleague coming to my desk and saying, “Favour, whatever decision you make, you can never be wrong” His words stayed with me for a long time and I always remember them when I am at crossroads. Which leads to my final point, TRUST. You’re going to finally have to choose one thing and trust your guts and your God. When you have prayed and done the homework, then choose what seems like the better option to you and know in your heart that you cannot be wrong.
Today, I had coconut/fried rice with chicken and honestly, I am done. One more rice meal, and I promise I will puke. What do you say if I try something different tomorrow? Say beans, or yam, or just rice.