Good Decision Making Starts with One Simple Question

I have a secret. 

It’s one simple question that gets more “results” than any of the other sophisticated techniques I use with my coaching clients. 

Would you like to know the secret question? Ok, here it is… 

“How do you want to feel?” 

When all the deciding is done, and you’re busy taking action on the new life-direction you’ve chosen, how do you want to feel? 

Why is this question so powerful? 

Well, it’s simple, really. You see, gaining clarity about how you want to feel is more important than anything else. 

It’s more important than figuring out which job will earn you more money next year. Or which house is going to appreciate more over the next 15 years. 

It’s more important than analyzing your aptitude for the business idea you might leave your job to pursue. And it matters more than the odds of success in one relationship or another. 

All of those factors are helpful for gathering insight. But they should never be your starting point. They should never be considered anything more than interesting information to add to the mix. 

Because here’s the thing… 

None of that stuff is relevant if you choose a life-direction you don’t really want. 

You might have “success” according to other people, but not the kind of success that matters to you. Not the kind of success that’s going to improve your quality of life. 

As a psychologist, here’s something I’ve noticed. People thrive when they invest their energy to pursue a life-direction they really, truly want. 

So when you’re looking for answers, that’s the best place to start. And if you want a compass to guide you, here it is… 

Go toward feelings rather than circumstances. Go toward a life that feels right. 

Now, a common question at this point is, “But what if things change? What if I feel differently in the future?” 

As much as I’d like to impress you with a sophisticated algorithm, the answer is still very simple… 

If that happens, change direction. Because here’s the thing most people forget. Each new chapter of your life will bring new insights and different circumstances. 

It’s not really a matter of “if,” but rather of “when.” When new insights arise, and you realize it’s time to adjust your trajectory, then you simply repeat this process. You continue to allow the same compass to guide you as you reach each new decision point. 

Life is unpredictable. We can look for systems to guide us, calculate the odds, and seek guidance from those who have gone before us down a certain path, but one truth remains… 

Life is beautiful because of its randomness, complexity, and ever-changing currents as it flows continuously toward an unknown future that has never been explored before…by anyone. 

The best way to thrive in that kind of environment is to use a compass that updates continuously. 

When looking for information to help you make a choice, look inside. Look to your deeper wisdom that arises from beyond your conscious thinking. 

Listen for the still small voice that is connected to the life energy that flows through you and everything else in this world. That will clear some of the noise. You’ll remember things you knew all along. 

Knowing how you want to feel is the most important form of clarity you can have. So ask yourself what you really want, and reevaluate the decision you’ve been considering through that lens. 

Til next time,


Dr. Todd Snyder

Psychologist | Productivity Coach | Decision Consultant 


Need more clarity on a big decision? Then read this article next: 3 Ways To Get Clarity When Facing a Big Decision.


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